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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has already started manufacturing LCA-Tejas Trainer aircraft in FOC configuration, will deliver the first batch of 4 aircraft this year, and has plans to complete deliveries of 14 more by end of FY2023. IAF in Three batches had placed orders for 4 IOC config LCA-Trainer, and 14 FOC config Trainer but all 18 will be in the final configuration as decided.

While the development of LCA-LIFT will be based on the LCA-Trainer aircraft, the rollout might happen sometime in late 2025 that will be used for demonstration and trials to meet the requirements of the Indian Air force, Royal Australian Air force, and Egyptian Air force.

Malaysia has been offered 10 Tejas Mk1A and 8 LCA-Trainer aircraft to meet its requirements for its Tender for 18 Light Combat Jets, As per Malaysian media reports by August, it is expected that the winner of the tender will be announced and the deal might be concluded sometime in mid-2023. HAL which claims to be a front runner in the Malaysian tender will deliver the first batch of LCA-Trainer from 2026 onwards and later 10 Tejas Mk1A by 2028.

idrw.org has been told that provisions have been made to activate the HAL plant in Nashik to shift some of the IAF orders in case the Malaysian order is concluded by next year. IAF and HAL might hold back on the last two LCA-Trainer ordered by IAF to be used as Flying Test Bed for the LCA-LIFT program.

LCA-Trainer and LCA-LIFT will have different configurations, while LCA-Trainer will be similar to the single-seater variant, LCA-LIFT will get several upgrades considering it will be used to impart advanced training to new pilots it will get a new set of avionics package and ability to be configured as frontline jets like Su-30 and Rafale even before they fly the actual aircraft.

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