LCA Undergoing Sea Trials

Tejas’s out-of-station flight-test plan, with pilots
from the Bengaluru-based National Flight Test Center performing high
angle-of-attack (AOA) maneuvers.
A source tells AVIATION
WEEK that Tejas will undergo parameter identification (PID) and
sea-level flutter vibration tests, with an all-external stores (bombs,
fuel tanks, missiles) configuration.

“The PID is done
[with] latest software version of the digital flight control computer
being developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment,” the
source says. “There are many system integration checks and weapon modes
to be tested. We need to check some more sea-level performance points
in high-AOA mode.”

The Tejas took part in earlier trials at
NAS Hansa, during which it fired a missile, and will undergo extensive
weapon testing next month. A large contingent of engineers, scientists,
pilots and ground crew are in Goa for the trials, which will continue
until next week.

Five Tejas aircraft from the flight line are expected to participate in the sea trials.

“Radar
assessment at sea level for air-to-air and air-to-sea mode will also be
tested,” the source says. “The Tejas will be flown at different
altitudes and Mach numbers, while the flutter test will be done with
various external configurations.”

The trials are critical
for the Tejas program, which is moving toward completing all
pre-initial operational clearance requirements.