Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), India’s topmost Aeronautical production agency has again fumbled in production of the locally developed fighter jet LCA-Tejas after the CCP virus not only halted the production line of the indigenous jet, it also exposed poor planning on part of the LCA- Division that is in charge of the production and supply chain logistics of the jet.

HAL’s Aircraft Division from March has been able to complete test flight of only Two Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configured aircraft while the target till March 2021 was supposed to be 8. HAL has been told to ensure similar build standards for all FOC variants and also Interchangeability (ICY) of parts to ease maintenance woes by IAF, which has now stalled the production line.

IAF had demanded that certain components from the airframe and internal electricals, mechanicals, or Cosmetic parts should be Interchangeable and that it can be replaced at a base level workshop of the Squadron where the aircraft are operational. Interchangeable parts are parts (components) that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly the same as the ones they are replacing.

Apart from 2 that took to air this year,2 FOC Tejas aircraft are near completion and 2 more at the advanced stage of construction can take their flight by end of the financial year in March 2021, but that could also mean HAL will miss its production target again this financial year too said an informed source close to As usual, the majority of this aircraft will make its first flight in March to meet companies internal target, but will they be able to achieve the same build standards for all FOC variants is another question to ponder said the same source.

Production line and supplies have been ramped up to meet targets but it unlikely they will see any speed due to low current orders. HAL plans to start production of 8 LCA-Tejas Trainers by end of 2021 and deliver the remaining 8 FOC Tejas Single seaters by end of March 2022. Delays in aircraft deliveries also halted the operationalization of the second LCA squadron No. 18 ‘Flying Bullets’.

83 Tejas Mk1A delayed

Poor execution of the FOC deliveries has delayed the final contract for 83 upgraded Tejas Mk1A jet that the company was planning to execute with IAF and Government this month. HAL has been allowed to get its act together and the deal might be announced in Aero India and likely to be inked by end of March 2021.

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