Friday, January 21, 2011

Indian Tejas Multi-Role Light Combat Aircraft Gets Its Operational Clearance:IOC

India has joined the select club of countries making a
fighter jet from scratch, receiving operational clearance for its first
lightweight indigenous multi-role Light Combat Aircraft.

Dubbed Tejas, the new fighter was handed over to the Indian air force this week by Defense Minister A.K. Antony.

Describing the hand-over as a "historic occasion," Antony said the
state-of-the-art aircraft would enhance national security and the
country's aspirations of buildings it own warplane capability.

The project is said to have been conceived 27 years ago as a replacement
for the air force's aging MiG-21 fleet. It was conceived and designed
by the Aeronautical Development Agency of the Defense Research and
Development Organization's and manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics

"After accomplishing a series of milestones of envelope expansion,
sensor integration and weapon delivery in over 1,500 sorties, the
country is poised for a major turning point with the declaration of the
IOC," Antony said during the hand-over ceremony.

The Indian air force is expected to roll out as many as 140 Tejas aircraft by the end of the decade.

The test stage of the new fighter jet was started in January 2001 and it
has completed 1,508 flight tests using various variations, including a
two-seat trainer version.

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