De­fence Min­is­ter hands over Te­jas to IAF


De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar handed over the first se­ries pro­duc­tion light com­bat air­craft (LCA) Te­jas made by the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Limited (HAL) to the In­dian Air Force (IAF) at a cer­e­mony at HAL Ben­galuru com­plex on Jan­uary 17, 2015. The Air Chief Mar­shal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), re­ceived the air­craft doc­u­ments from the Min­is­ter in pres­ence of HAL Chair­man Dr R.K. Tyagi.

Speak­ing at the cer­e­mony, De­fence Min­is­ter con­grat­u­lated HAL and ev­ery­one in­volved in the project and called upon to think “out of the box” to meet the time line chal­lenges by ap­ply­ing the right man­age­ment tools. “Thrust should be given on re­search and tech­nol­ogy by ex­ploit­ing the ex­ist­ing knowl­edge base which com­pa­nies like HAL have”, he said. “Although one does not achieve ev­ery­thing overnight. How­ever by mod­i­fy­ing our work cul­ture and by adopt­ing bet­ter tech­nol­ogy and tools we can achieve the re­sults bet­ter”, he added.

The CAS out­lined that LCA is the need of the hour, given the op­er­a­tional needs of IAF. “We are happy to re­ceive the doc­u­ments of the first se­ries pro­duc­tion of LCA”, he said. He com­pli­mented HAL for hand­ing over this air­craft, which would al­low its in­duc­tion and sub­se­quent for­ma­tion of first Te­jas squadron.

Dr Tyagi de­scribed the event as one of the ma­jor mile­stones in the his­tory of HAL. “We have achieved 60 per cent indi­geni­sa­tion in this LCA project so far. We will pro­duce six air­craft next year (201516) and sub­se­quently scale it up to eight and 16 air­craft per year” he added. He com­pli­mented, IAF, the Aero­nau­ti­cal Devel­op­ment Agency, Cen­tre for Mil­i­tary Air­wor­thi­ness & Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Aero­nau­ti­cal Qual­ity As­sur­ance, Na­tional Aerospace Lab­o­ra­tory and other par­tic­i­pat­ing in­sti­tu­tions for the suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of first se­ries pro­duc­tion air­craft.

Te­jas is a 4.5th gen­er­a­tion air­craft. It is sig­nif­i­cant for its lighter weight and greater agility and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity. The lighter weight is achieved by use of higher per­cent­age of car­bon fi­bre com­pos­ites. Other sig­nif­i­cant fea­tures of this in­dige­nous air­craft are the dig­i­tal fly-by-wire sys­tem, flight con­trol sys­tems, open ar­chi­tec­ture com­puter, etc. The naval vari­ant of LCA is also un­der devel­op­ment and had last month did its first flight from the shore-based test fa­cil­ity (STBF) at Goa.

In the de­sign and devel­op­ment pro­gramme, HAL has pro­duced 15 air­craft in­clud­ing the seven in limited se­ries pro­duc­tion (LSP), two tech­nol­ogy demon­stra­tors, three fighter pro­to­type, two trainer pro­to­type and one naval pro­to­type. Th­ese air­craft have com­pleted more than 2,800 flights.

With the com­ing up of new high-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing com­plex for the ca­pac­ity aug­men­ta­tion of LCA, HAL is con­fi­dent of shar­ing its re­spon­si­bil­ity in en­sur­ing the na­tional se­cu­rity. HAL is the prin­ci­pal part­ner for the devel­op­ment of LCA along with the Aero­nau­ti­cal Devel­op­ment Agency which is the nodal de­sign agency and re­spon­si­ble for pro­gramme man­age­ment of the project.

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