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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

LCA-Tejas Program on 19th June 2018 achieved a major milestone when it successfully concluded 4000th Accident-free Developmental test flight in its 17th year of the start of LCA-Tejas Program from its first flight. Two Technological Demonstraters, Six Prototype Vehicles, Eight Limited Serial Production aircraft along with Two Naval Prototypes in total 18 aircraft all it took to achieve this milestone.

All the flight tests and aircraft instrumentation related activities are planned, coordinated and executed by the National Flight Test Centre, ADA in Bengaluru and not losing any aircraft in any major accident in a critical phase of LCA-Tejas program has not only saved the long-delayed program from being axed but it also helped India to build confidence and trust on the machine more over the years .

As India continues to develop more upgraded Tejas (MK1A & Unmanned Tejas) variants to meet future demands of Indian Air Force, most of the aircraft associated with the developmental test flight program will remain forefront in testing out new avionics, sensors, weapons and equipments for all future variants and upgrades planned for the LCA-Tejas Program .

Testing and certification of the indigenous electronic warfare equipment and Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar will be done by developmental test flight team and as LCA-Tejas program is all set to achieve its Final Operation Clearance (FOC) Soon, many believe its real work is only getting started now, since India is all set to introduce more indigenous equipment on board and most challenging of them all will be using one of the Prototype Vehicles as a testbed to certify Kaveri engine in near future .

Government clearance of development of Unmanned LCA-Tejas Variant to prove unmanned technologies like auto take-off and landing on LCA for future uses on Ghatak Unmanned Combat Vehicle is also likely to gather pace in next few years and Developmental test flight team is bracing for more complex challenges which lie ahead.

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