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India joins ‘elite club’ as Air Force receives first light combat aircraft in Bengaluru

On Wednesday, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited officially delivered the inaugural LCA Tejas twin-seater aircraft to the Indian Air Force. The company, based in Bengaluru, emphasized that the twin-seater variant is fully equipped to meet the training needs of the IAF. Additionally, it can seamlessly transition to a fighter role when required.

The chief guest at the event, where the LCA twin-seater was unveiled and the Release to Service (RSD) and Signalling out Certificate (SOC) were handed over, was Union Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt. The ceremony took place in the presence of various dignitaries, including Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari.

The LCA Tejas twin-seater is categorized as a lightweight, all-weather, multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft.

According to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the LCA Tejas twin-seater represents a fusion of contemporary concepts and technologies. These include features like relaxed static-stability, quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, carefree maneuvering, an advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems, and the use of advanced composite materials in the airframe. HAL emphasized that with these capabilities, India now joins the exclusive list of “very few” elite countries that have successfully developed and operationalized such advanced features in their Defense Forces. This achievement is viewed as another noteworthy milestone in the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative undertaken by the Government of India.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) stated that the significance of today’s historic event lies in reaching a crucial milestone in the production of the LCA twin-seater. This aircraft is strategically designed to facilitate the transition of aspiring pilots from twin-seater variants to becoming fighter pilots.

HAL currently has an order for 18 twin-seaters from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and plans to deliver eight of them within the 2023-24 timeframe. The remaining 10 units are scheduled for progressive delivery by 2026-27. Additionally, HAL anticipates further orders from the IAF in the future.


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