SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG/ IMAGE COURTESY Harsh Vardhan Thakur
Harsh Vardhan Thakur, Test Pilot with HAL has confirmed that first FOC Configured SP-21 has been rechristened as SP-17 to avoid confusion in Tail Numbers and also tweeted the first picture of the SP-17 with new Tail number LA-5017 so has to continue with single-seater Tejas Mk1 already inducted by the IAF from LA-5001 to LA-5016 in IOC-II Configuration.
First, 20 Tejas Mk1 aircraft ordered by IAF had 16 single-seaters and 4 Twin seater aircraft and the same was with the second lot of orders for the FOC configured aircraft of 20 aircraft. But final design specification of the Twin seater Tejas trainer aircraft was not frozen due to which it was decided that they will be manufactured at a later stage but that now could have created confusion so HAL has now decided to have a different Tail number for Trainer aircraft.
HAL will start manufacturing 8 Trainer variants of LCA-Tejas aircraft once SP-32 (Earlier known as SP-36) is delivered to IAF. LT-5201 to LT-5208 will be first 8 Trainers in FOC Configuration and 10 more Tejas Mk1A Trainer aircraft with upgraded features will have Tail number from LT-5209 to LT-5219.
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