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AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Flies Tejas: Reposes Faith in the Indigenous Combat Aircraft
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 14 Nov , 2017

Air Mshl RKS Bhadauria, AVSM, VM, AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command in the cockpit of indigenous LCA-Tejas during solo sortie at HAL Airport, Bengaluru on November 14, 2017.

The induction and operationalization of the indigenous fighter jet Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas received a major boost with Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria, AVSM, VM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Air Command undertaking a solo flight for 30 minutes from HAL Airport, here today.   Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD-HAL thanked the AOC-in-C for reposing the faith on this advanced and indigenous combat aircraft. 

HAL has established the state-of-the-art aircraft assembly line including second production line for LCA to meet the operational requirements of the IAF.  Currently, HAL has the production capacity of eight LCAs per annum and is ramping up the capacity to 16.  The ramping-up cost is shared equally by HAL and IAF/Navy.  Major sub-assembly such as front, centre and rear fuselages and wings have been outsourced to the private players.  The 45 Squadron of the IAF “The Flying Daggers” was the first squadron to be equipped with LCA-Tejas in July last year. Today, the Squadron hosted the Air Marshal Bhadauria, who has been associated with the Tejas programme for long.

The Squadron which is expected to move to its permanent location at Sulur, near Coimbatore, next year is presently involved in training of Air and Ground Crew, formulation of procedures and realization of the operational potential of the aircraft. Apart from the much appreciated participation in the Republic Day and Air Force Day fly-pasts the squadron has also undertaken detachments at operational bases to test the weapon capability of this agile aircraft.

With the induction of an additional assembly line, HAL is all set to ramp-up the production rate in order to meet the delivery schedules.

Air Mshl RKS Bhadauria, AVSM, VM, AOC-in-C, Southern Air Command in the cockpit of indigenous LCA-Tejas during solo sortie at HAL Airport, Bengaluru on November 14, 2017.

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One thought on “AOC-in-C Southern Air Command Flies Tejas: Reposes Faith in the Indigenous Combat Aircraft

  1. Its good to see a chief of a command flying the Tejas. Hope the IAF realize the importance & long term benefits of inducting an indigenous jet & supports the Tejas program. HAL, on its part must ramp up the production to 240 LCA tejas jets in the next 5 years. This can be done by starting 4 assembly lines of 48 jets each in 4 different cities. The Bangalore assembly line must also be increased to 48 jets by 2020. HAL must also ask the government to direct the IAF to quickly finalize the Tejas mk2 configuration. Apart from mk2, HAL & DRDO must start working on twin engine, stealth & unmanned versions of Tejas. This is critical to keep the assembly lines occupied in the coming years. If HAL is able to deliver the fully armed Tejas for under $50 million per piece, then the IAF can induct Tejas in large numbers. The development of twin engine, stealth & unmanned versions will only help the IAF to get variety of jets on a single platform, which in turn will help in maintenance & logistics of its spares. The defence minister must push all the parties concerned to finalize the configuration of mk2, so that the indigenous fighter jet Tejas mk2 can be developed quickly & inducted in large numbers.

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