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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has delivered five Tejas Mk1 twin-seat trainer aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) fulfilling a crucial part of an earlier contract. This is significant progress towards bolstering the IAF’s pilot training capabilities for its indigenously developed light combat aircraft.

The contract comprised eight Tejas Mk1 trainers, divided into two batches of four each – Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configurations. HAL has successfully delivered five trainers, with the remaining three expected soon.

The Tejas Mk1 twin-seat trainers are critical for pilot training. They provide a safe and efficient environment for trainee pilots to learn the intricacies of flying the Tejas aircraft under the guidance of experienced instructors. These trainers are equipped with dual flight controls and advanced simulation systems, allowing pilots to practice various maneuvers and procedures before progressing to solo flights in single-seater Tejas Mk1 variants.

HAL is also working on fulfilling an additional order for 10 Tejas Mk1 twin-seat trainers. This order was placed in 2021 as part of a larger contract for 83 Tejas aircraft, which included 73 single-seater Tejas Mk1A variants. The delivery schedule for these ten trainers is expected to be phased, with completion anticipated by 2026-27.

The delivery of Tejas trainers is a positive development for India’s self-reliance efforts in the defense sector. These trainers will play a key role in ensuring a well-trained pilot force to effectively utilize the Tejas Mk1 and future variants for the IAF.