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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has set its sights on a March 2026 rollout for the first prototype of the LCA Mk-2 fighter jet, as confirmed during their Q4 FY2023-24 earnings conference call. This news comes amidst earlier estimations suggesting a 2025 maiden flight.

Previously, Prabhulla Chandran VK, director of avionics and weapon systems at the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which oversees the LCA Mk-2 design, had indicated a possible 2025 maiden flight with an American engine. However, HAL’s revised target suggests a slight delay, pushing the rollout to March 2026.

The reasons for the shift in timelines are not explicitly mentioned in available reports. However, complexities involved in developing a new aircraft prototype, potential hurdles in integrating advanced technologies, or unforeseen technical challenges could all contribute to such adjustments.