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07:54 AM, November 15, 2017
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IAF's Southern Command Chief Flies LCA Tejas to Repose Faith
Air Mshl RKS Bhadauria, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Air Command in the cockpit of indigenous LCA-Tejas during solo sortie at HAL Airport, Bengaluru on November 14, 2017 (Image:HAL)

The Indian Air Force’ Southern Command Chief undertook a solo flight of 30 minutes of the home-grown Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas Tuesday.

The CMD-HAL, T Suvarna Raju thanked Air Marshal RKS Bhaduauria, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Air Command for ‘reposing’ the faith in the aircraft, HAL said in a statement Tuesday.

HAL has established assembly line including second production line for LCA to meet the operational requirements of the IAF.  Currently, HAL has the production capacity of eight LCAs per annum and is ramping up the capacity to 16.  The ramping-up cost is shared equally by HAL and IAF/Navy, the statement said.

Major sub-assembly such as front, centre and rear fuselages and wings have been outsourced to the private players.  The 45 Squadron of the IAF “The Flying Daggers” was the first squadron to be equipped with LCA-Tejas in July last year.

Today, the Squadron hosted the Air Marshal Bhadauria, who has been associated with the Tejas programme for long. The Squadron which is expected to move to its permanent location at Sulur, near Coimbatore, next year is presently involved in training of Air and Ground Crew, formulation of procedures and realization of the operational potential of the aircraft.

The squadron has undertaken detachments at operational bases to test the weapon capability of this agile aircraft. With the induction of an additional assembly line, HAL is all set to ramp-up the production rate in order to meet the delivery schedules. 

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