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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) fleet of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas trainers is steadily growing. Recent images emerging from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) assembly line show the sixth trainer aircraft, LCA Trainer (LT 5206), in various stages of preparation.

This development comes after HAL delivered the first twin-seater trainer (LT 5201) to the IAF in Bengaluru on October 4, 2023. These trainers play a vital role in pilot conversion training within IAF squadrons before graduating to flying the upgraded single-seater Tejas Mk1A fighter jets.

LT 5205 CREDIT Nitin A. Gokhale / BHARAT-SHAKTI

The images also reveal another trainer, LT 5205, seemingly ready for delivery. It’s likely undergoing low and high-speed taxi trials before officially entering IAF service.

The IAF has placed an order for a total of 18 LCA Tejas twin-seater trainers. These trainers will bridge the gap for pilots transitioning from earlier generation aircraft to the more advanced Tejas Mk1A variant.

The expansion of the IAF’s Tejas trainer fleet signifies a crucial step towards self-sufficiency in training its pilots on indigenous fighter jets. The Tejas trainer variant ensures a smooth conversion process for pilots, preparing them for the IAF’s future generation of single-seater Tejas Mk1A fighters.

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