Indian Tejas: 15 and counting

Gear up for the 15th LCA Tejan. (Image © ADA)
Gear up for the 15th LCA Tejan. (Image © ADA)

It’s one of those aircraft we have to keep reminding ourselves of in the Airheadsfly.com editorial office: the Indian Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). On Saturday 8 November, the 15th produced Tejas got airborne from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru. It was however only the second two seat aircraft ever to do so.

The very first Tejas was seen in the skies over India on 4 January 2001, following over a decade of development that initially also involved Lockheed Martin. Since then, seven single seat Tejas fighter aircraft were produced in a Limited Series Production (LSP). The first two-seater flew on 26 November 2009. According to HAL, the flight of the second Tejas Trainer (known as PV-6) is another step forward towards achieving Final Operational Clearance (FOC).

The first series production version of the Tejas completed its maiden flight in October. The Indian Air Force has so far ordered 20 aircraft.

The two seat LCA Tejas after its first flight on Saturday. (Image © ADA)
The two seat LCA Tejas after its first flight on Saturday. (Image © ADA)

© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest