140 hours till LCA achieves IOC-2

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

By Septem­ber, the LCA Te­jas will achieve ini­tial op­er­a­tion clear­ance 2 (IOC-2) and be­gin mov­ing to­wards pro­duc­tion, ac­cord­ing to DRDO Chief Av­inash Chan­der. Re­veal­ing that ap­prox­i­mately 140 hours of test-fly­ing re­mained to sort out the resid­ual test-points, the Aero­nau­ti­cal De­vel­op­ment Agency (ADA) has been asked to stick to a Septem­ber dead­line for IOC-2 and speed­ily move to­wards fi­nal op­er­a­tional clear­ance 14 months later.

Start­ing Oc­to­ber this year, the Te­jas plat­forms will be put through a lit­er­ally end­less rou­tine of weather and weapons tri­als across the coun­try. The Te­jas pro­gramme was also re­cently given a non-ne­go­tiable ul­ti­ma­tum by De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony call­ing for in­duc­tion into the IAF by next year. As a re­sult, the pro­gramme has willy-nilly be­come the high­est pri­or­ity of the DRDO, and ad­di­tional re­sources may be al­lo­cated to the pro­gramme in terms of man­power, to en­sure that it does not stray from its path for even a mo­ment. It has also been re­cently re­ported that in an ef­fort to speed up delays in the pro­duc­tion, a se­ries of steps to aug­ment pro­duc­tion of air­craft will be un­der­taken from this year it­self, in­stead of next year as was the orig­i­nal plan.

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