SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
Cobham U.K as finally handed over newly designed quartz radome and in-flight refueling probe for integration with LCA-Tejas MK-1 to speed up its final operational clearance (FOC) which due to non-supplies already has been pushed back to March 2016.
New quartz radome developed by Cobham will replace Composite radome of Indian make to increase the detection range of the Indo-Israeli developed Hybrid ELTA MMR Radar from 50 Kms to 80 plus Km which currently are been used on Tejas MK-I aircrafts.
Cobham U.K were awarded Contract to supply New quartz radome and in-flight refueling probe in early 2014 , which missed multiple deadlines due to which FOC certification for Tejas MK-1 had to be postponed to March 2016 from its December deadline of this year.
Defence Analyst believe that radome integration and testing will begin soon and can be completed in next few weeks, but Integration of IFR probe might take few months since it involves Structural changes but sources close to idrw.org in past have confirmed that fuel pumping and fuel lines have already been installed in all last batch of LSP (Limited Series Production LCA) and SP ( Series Production LCA) aircrafts in anticipation of integrating IFR probes at later stage.
But Mid-air testing of IFR probes, where aircraft receives aviation fuel from the Refuelling tanker aircraft while in flight is not only a time-consuming process but requires months of preparations, which might again delay FOC process unless HAL is able to integrate in-flight refueling probes in multiple LCA aircrafts, to speed up the testing process.
Indian and Israeli team of engineers are closely currently working on Integrating Israeli developed within visual range (WVR) air-to-air Python-V missile and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air Derby missile in LCA Tejas aircrafts in Bangalore and DRDO plans to carry out first weapons trials in next few months, which are also important requirements of the final operational clearance (FOC) certification process required to be cleared by Tejas MK-1.