Bangalore: First of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas built to series production standard successfully completed its maiden flight, piloted by Air Cmde K.A. Muthana, (Retd) Chief Test Flying, HAL here yesterday evening. “This could be achieved within nine months after receiving the IOC certification in December 2013 and within one year after receiving the build standard documents”, said Dr. R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. “The aircraft is now ready for IAF operations”, he added. Dr. Tyagi also congratulated HAL engineers, technicians and other staff involved in this project. The other series aircraft are in various stages of “build” in the fully equipped production line at HAL factory at Bangalore.
The Contract for delivery of aircraft was signed in 2006 for first 20 LCA Tejas aircraft in IOC configuration. The build standard documents for IOC aircraft were finalised in September 2013 and Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) was accorded in December 2013.
HAL faced many technological challenges in the making of LCA that included sanctions on import of carbon fibre, establishing the entire tooling and manufacturing capability by in-house design of tooling and test equipments and incorporation of world class manufacturing standards. Inspection devices such as laser trackers tolerancing to the tune of 0.08 mm for inter changeability features and 0.2 mm for contours were used to achieve these standards.