LCA Te­jas com­pletes 2,400 sor­ties

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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