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The Tejas Mk1A program achieved a significant milestone yesterday with the successful maiden flight of the first aircraft, LA5033, from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility in Bengaluru. However, a report in “The Print” suggests potential delays in deliveries to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The report indicates that LA5033’s delivery to the IAF might be pushed back by four months due to last-minute modifications requested by the IAF. These modifications include minor software upgrades and structural changes. While HAL has not officially confirmed this information, sources at suggest that LA5033 incorporates various alterations, both evident and subtle. These changes could necessitate additional test flights beyond the standard 4-5 pre-induction trials conducted before delivering a new aircraft to the IAF.

The IAF’s requested changes require validation through further testing to ensure the aircraft’s operational readiness. This additional testing could explain the potential delay in deliveries.

Despite the potential delay, the successful first flight signifies a critical step forward for the Tejas Mk1A program. The additional testing, if required, serves to guarantee the aircraft’s optimal performance and safety for the IAF pilots. The coming weeks will likely reveal more concrete information on the delivery timeline from HAL.

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