140 hours till LCA achieves IOC-2
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.