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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has resumed production lines after being hit with the second wave of CCP Virus that killed nearly 100 employees and over 4000 of its employees that required home isolation and hospitalization over the last few weeks. Indigenous LCA-Tejas and LCH program seem to be have been most hit with further delays in their production capabilities due to frequent lockdowns and outbreak of the CCP Virus directly at its facility or at the facility of the MSME private supply chain for the program that will have spillover effects also on the LCA-AF Mk2 program said industrial sources close to idrw.org.

HAL had started metal cutting exercise for the LCA-AF Mk2 program earlier this year and everything seemed to be on track till the second wave of the CCP Virus hit the country that was much deadlier than the last one. idrw.org has been told, many of the supply chains have requested an extension to the supply of components/ tools/ machines that were meant for the LCA-AF Mk2 program due to lack of manpower or due to issues with state lockdowns, that could affect the rollout of the first aircraft that was supposed to happen in August 2022.

With proper components from the supply chain, it was expected that work on the first aircraft of the LCA-AF Mk2 program to commence by October or November initially but that might be delayed which might offset the rollout that was promised in August next year that might be delayed till early 2023. HAL official who spoke to idrw.org is still hopeful that they will be able to turn the tide in the next few weeks as the supply chain has resumed operations but fear that the third wave might again disturb their plans.

HAL official is confident that even if the rollout is effected, the first high-speed trials and first flight will be conducted in 2023 as per schedule. Much of the major equipment for the LCA-AF Mk2 program like engines, avionics, and life support equipment is already in the country barring some major systems like indigenous AESA radar and EW suite that are still under development. Problems seem to be with the external supply chain that was supposed to supply other components for the construction of the main airframe said defense analysts Ranesh Rajan to idrw.org.

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