The advanced version of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, SP-21, with features such as air-to-air refuelling and Beyond Visual Range Missile system completed its maiden flight on Tuesday.
The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard variant of Tejas flew for 40 minutes, after taking off from Bengaluru’s HAL Airport around noon. The aircraft is an improved version of the Indian Air Force’s initial LCA fleet.
The first flight of the jet could push India to produce remaining 15 fighters from the FOC block for delivery in the next fiscal year.
The naval variant, LCA Navy, also made progress earlier this year. The fighter completed its maiden arrested landing onboard India’s INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
The IAF concluded a $5.46 billion (INR 39,000 crore) deal for 83 Tejas jets last month.