Troublesome LCA-Tejas SP-5 has finally cleared High-Speed Taxi Trials and is gearing up to carry out its first official test flight later this week. SP-5 was the first aircraft which came from the second production facility and had faced technical issues due to which flight trials were held up.

Due to delays with SP-5, both SP-6 and SP-7 have preceded in first flights and SP-7 will soon be joining Indian Air Force, while Sp-6 already has joined No 45 Flying Daggers Squadrons of Indian Air Force.

While HAL is struggling to meet its deadline for Tejas Deliveries, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) still aims to double production of the indigenously developed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 8 to 16 platforms per year from 2019-20.

HAL says time taken to produce one LCA has been reduced to just 9 months per aircraft from previous 19 months. With Private sector been contracted for subassembly of the fuselage, HAL is confident that from 2019-20 onwards it can raise production up to 19-21 aircrafts once the production line stabilises.

IAF already has issued a request for proposal (RFP) to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 83 upgraded Tejas Mk-1A light combat aircraft (LCA) worth nearly Rs. 60,000 crore. HAL is working on freeze Standard of Preparation – 2018 (SoP-18) for MK1-A Aircraft this year so that it can have its first flight by 2020-21 and commence production immediately.


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