SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Air Chief Marshal RK Bhadauria wants Base Repair Depot (BRD) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to carry out conversion of the first 16 IOC (Initial Operational Clearance ) configuration aircraft from the first Squadrons to the FOC (Final Operational Clearance ) configuration as seen in the second squadron so has to maintain combat effectiveness of both the Tejas Mk1 Squadrons without relying on State-owned HAL ‘s LCA- Division team which it has relied on all these years for regular maintenance works of the first squadron.
Bhadauria wants BRD and Squadron level technicians to take over full maintenance activities of the LCA-Tejas Mk1 fleet henceforth and rely on HAL only for major maintenance activities like when they are due to for ” Major Overhauls ” as prescribed by the manufacture like IAF does for all other fighter jets in its fleet.
FOC (Final Operational Clearance ) configuration will enable Beyond Visual Range capabilities on the first 16 aircraft and also clear other Air to Ground weapons which were not available with IOC configuration. Software upgrades to the Mission computer of the IOC aircraft will also expand its flight envelope clearance and usage of additional drop tank other fuel-related modifications and upgrades as told to idrw.org.
A major addition in the FOC configuration Tejas Mk1 aircraft has been the removable Mid-Air refueling probe which will not feature in the IOC Tejas Mk1 even after FOC conversion since it could require remapped fuel plumping and many changes to the internally hardware of the aircraft which IAF has decided to avoid at this stage and might be done at a later stage by HAL in separate contract work order . All 83 Tejas Mk1A will feature a removable Mid-Air refueling probe from the first aircraft onwards.
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