LCA Tejas in winter trials
The LCA Tejas has had an excellent year 2014 so far, most recently with three platforms completing a rigorous round of weapons trials in Jamnagar. Equally crucial are ongoing weather trials and performance trials at hot and high airfields. Newly available photographs of the LCA Tejas Mk.1 gunning its engines to notch up test points from the world’s highest operational airfield at Leh shows a limited series production (LSP) airframe buzzing the Himalayas of lower Ladakh in a series of manoeuvres crucial to final operational clearance. Performance in rarefied high altitude airfields is a critical requirement stipulated by the IAF as it intends to deploy or detach aircraft at a series of forward bases from time to time for operations and force projection. The Tejas, which underwent crucial winter trials in February last year as well, will continue to stretch its legs over the forbidding north in an effort to achieve full weather compliance. Sources on Team Tejas confirm that the little jet performed admirably, and were confident of strapping on additional loads to the aircraft’s pylons to push it even further.