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09:07 AM, January 2, 2019
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LAC Tejas (image: ADA)

Indigenously developed and built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will get the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) on January 4, eighteen years after the aircraft’s first prototype took shape, Indian media reported Wednesday.

"LCA Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) are on final induction after going through all the tests," said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Satheesh Reddy in an interview to the state-run All India Radio (AIR).

Tejas is a supersonic fourth generation fighter for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. The multirole fighter aircraft’s variant for the Indian Navy is designed and developed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

The IAF formed its first Tejas unit- No.45 Squadron "Flying Daggers" on July 1, 2016 with two aircraft while the FOC for its weaponised version is still pending.

The DRDO is also building six next generation AEW&CS on the Airbus platform to enhance surveillance and detection with longer range and complete view for the IAF.

The platform will have 300-km-long range and 360-degree angle of coverage as against 200-km range and 240-degree angle of the AEW&CS the DRDO built on the Brazilian Embraer-145 modified jet for the IAF in the past.

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