Indian Tejas Multi-Role Light Combat Aircraft Gets Its Operational Clearance:IOC


India has joined the select club of countries making a fighter jet from scratch, receiving operational clearance for its first lightweight indigenous multi-role Light Combat Aircraft.

Dubbed Tejas, the new fighter was handed over to the Indian air force this week by Defense Minister A.K. Antony.

Describing the hand-over as a "historic occasion," Antony said the state-of-the-art aircraft would enhance national security and the country's aspirations of buildings it own warplane capability.

The project is said to have been conceived 27 years ago as a replacement for the air force's aging MiG-21 fleet. It was conceived and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency of the Defense Research and Development Organization's and manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

 "After accomplishing a series of milestones of envelope expansion, sensor integration and weapon delivery in over 1,500 sorties, the country is poised for a major turning point with the declaration of the IOC," Antony said during the hand-over ceremony.
The Indian air force is expected to roll out as many as 140 Tejas aircraft by the end of the decade.

The test stage of the new fighter jet was started in January 2001 and it has completed 1,508 flight tests using various variations, including a two-seat trainer version.




Reportedly, development of the jet suffered because of sanctions by the United States after India carried out nuclear tests in May 1998.
Bent on bolstering its defenses and becoming a regional superpower, India intends to spend up to $30 billion on its military by 2012. In recent months, also, it inducted a long-range, nuclear-tipped missile into its armed forces, unveiling a defense spending budget spiked by 24 percent since last year.

The moves have Pakistan fretting, with leading officials billing India's drive a "massive militarization."

Defense ministry officials say that the first batch of aircraft with international operational clearance will be handed over to the country's air force will be handed over by March, while two more will be inducted by the end of the year.

"These will be part of the consignment of 20 aircraft that the Indian air force has ordered," The Hindu daily reported. "The rest will be delivered progressives until 2013."

Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said final operation clearance would require two years.

To earn the final clearance, experts say the aircraft will have to go through Mach-speed and weapon systems checks by the government's Defense Research and Development Organization.



The aircraft is powered by the U.S.-built GE 404 engine. The government defense organization short-listed General Electric last year against Eurojet in the competition to build a higher thrust engine to power the next lightweight version, billed the Mark-2.




India has joined the select club of countries making a fighter jet from scratch, receiving operational clearance for its first lightweight indigenous multi-role Light Combat Aircraft.

Dubbed Tejas, the new fighter was handed over to the Indian air force this week by Defense Minister A.K. Antony.

Describing the hand-over as a "historic occasion," Antony said the state-of-the-art aircraft would enhance national security and the country's aspirations of buildings it own warplane capability.

The project is said to have been conceived 27 years ago as a replacement for the air force's aging MiG-21 fleet. It was conceived and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency of the Defense Research and Development Organization's and manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

"After accomplishing a series of milestones of envelope expansion, sensor integration and weapon delivery in over 1,500 sorties, the country is poised for a major turning point with the declaration of the IOC," Antony said during the hand-over ceremony.
The Indian air force is expected to roll out as many as 140 Tejas aircraft by the end of the decade.

The test stage of the new fighter jet was started in January 2001 and it has completed 1,508 flight tests using various variations, including a two-seat trainer version.

Reportedly, development of the jet suffered because of sanctions by the United States after India carried out nuclear tests in May 1998.
Bent on bolstering its defenses and becoming a regional superpower, India intends to spend up to $30 billion on its military by 2012. In recent months, also, it inducted a long-range, nuclear-tipped missile into its armed forces, unveiling a defense spending budget spiked by 24 percent since last year.

The moves have Pakistan fretting, with leading officials billing India's drive a "massive militarization."

Defense ministry officials say that the first batch of aircraft with international operational clearance will be handed over to the country's air force will be handed over by March, while two more will be inducted by the end of the year.

"These will be part of the consignment of 20 aircraft that the Indian air force has ordered," The Hindu daily reported. "The rest will be delivered progressives until 2013."

Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said final operation clearance would require two years.

To earn the final clearance, experts say the aircraft will have to go through Mach-speed and weapon systems checks by the government's Defense Research and Development Organization.



The aircraft is powered by the U.S.-built GE 404 engine. The government defense organization short-listed General Electric last year against Eurojet in the competition to build a higher thrust engine to power the next lightweight version, billed the Mark-2.



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