First LCA Te­jas Mk.II pro­to­type next year?

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES - By SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent for more in­for­ma­tion, log on to: www.sps­mai.com

The first pro­to­type of the LCA Te­jas Mk.2 could be rolled out in 2014, it has been re­vealed. In an ex­er­cise to lo­cate and cer­tify line-re­place­able units for the evolved Mk.II jet, the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Limited (HAL) has re­vealed to prospec­tive de­vel­op­ment part­ners and sup­pli­ers of a hy­draulic pump, among other com­po­nents and sys­tems “HALARDC is tak­ing up for de­vel­op­ment and qual­i­fi­ca­tion of cer­tain LRUs re­quired for cater­ing to LCA-Mark 2 ver­sion. The first pro­to­type air­craft is slated for built dur­ing 2013-14, while se­ries pro­duc­tion(s) are planned for in­duc­tion to fleet which is stated to be taken up in two phases com­menc­ing from 2016 on­wards.”

The time­lines ap­pear op­ti­mistic, es­pe­cially since 2014 is when the LCA Mk.I will only be at­tain­ing fi­nal op­er­a­tional clear­ance to­wards squadron ser­vice. That be­ing said, work has in­deed be­gun in right earnest at the Aero­nau­ti­cal De­vel­op­ment Agency (ADA) and HAL to build a mock-up of the new jet be­fore get­ting started on me­tal cut­ting for the pro­to­type. A whole raft of ten­ders and re­quest for in­for­ma­tion have flown out from both agen­cies for sev­eral dif­fer­ent kinds of me­tal, com­pos­ites and sys­tems to put the new jet to­gether.

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