IAF conducts multi-disciplinary trial of LCA

IAF conducts multi-disciplinary trial of LCA

"The trials entailed flight envelope expansion in various stores configurations, as well as air-to-ground weapon delivery trials in different modes of weapon delivery," a DRDO official said here on Friday.

The LCA successfully demonstrated its ability to tackle targets designated visually by the pilot, officials added. After this phase, officials said that the LCA will be enabled by its on-board navigation and attack computers to take on targets, which are not visible to the pilot.

The five-week trials were conducted by the flight test crew of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) including their test pilots, flight test engineers and instrumentation specialists.

"This was the first time that the Tejas aircraft have operated away from home base for so long," officials said.

LCA is expected to be inducted into the IAF in initial operational capability (IOC) by December 2010. Last year, Defence Minister A K Antony had said that the IAF will induct around seven squadrons of the aircraft in its fleet.

Developing the aircraft since 1982, the DRDO is expected to hand over the first squadron of the LCA in the IOC configuration to the IAF by 2010-end.

A total of seven LCA squadrons will be inducted in the IAF. The first two squadrons will be in the IOC configuration whereas the rest five will be the LCA Mark II, which will be an upgraded version of the aircraft.

The first two squadrons will be equipped with the GE-404 engines and the remaining five will have either the GE-414 or the Eurojet 200 engines. DRDO is also in talks with various aircraft manufacturers to help it in expanding the flight envelope of the aircraft.

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