LCA Tejas completes 2,400 sorties
The indigenously-developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas has undertaken 2,400 sorties to meet the requirements of the IAF. “The LCA has clocked over 2,400 flights till now with highest ever number of sorties achieved in the current year. The programme has achieved highest ever average number of flights per aircraft per month during this year,” HAL officials said here.
The aircraft had recently met its final parameter by displaying its missile firing capabilities with the launching of an infrared seeking air-to-air missile that hit the target with precision and destroyed it.
The initial operational clearance-II of the aircraft will be done at its home-base in Bengaluru after which it will be inducted into the IAF by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.
The aircraft will be the LCA Mark I and 40 of them will be inducted by the IAF and the DRDO and HAL will continue to make improvements in it, they said, adding more powerful and capable version would be inducted later in the force. KAI announced in Baghdad that the contract is signed for exporting its indigenous 24 T-50 aircraft to Iraq, including training for Iraqi pilots.
The signing ceremony was made with KAI’s President and CEO, Ha Sung-yong, Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s Administrator, Lee Young-geol and the ROKAF Deputy Chief of Staff, Kim Hyung-chol as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in attendance.
Following the contract, KAI will be entitled to supply its follow-on support to Iraq Air Force for over two decades. The combined amount of export would reach more than $2 billion.
In April 2011, KAI introduced the T-50-variant aircraft to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during his visit to Korea and set out on marketing campaigns for those trainer airplanes. After July of the same year, the company started to enter negotiations with Iraq in earnest.