One of the Limited series production (LSP) aircraft that will be used as a flying testbed (FTB) for the Tejas Mk1A program is set to be rolled out by end of next month and will begin ground trials for its first flight that has been planned for by end of June. First FTB will be the first aircraft that will be equipped with Israeli supplied Elta ELM-2052 AESA Fire control Radar and other hosts of upgrades that needs to be validated before the first Tejas Mk1A aircraft is delivered to IAF by March 2024.

Indian state-owned, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has decided to add another Mk1A FTB to fast track the program for which the second LCA LSP is also undergoing an upgrades system that will also see validation of internal changes of equipment and systems to make them more accessible and easier for maintenance. HAL also proposes to remove 300 kg of dead weight distributed across the Mark I to balance it evenly on Mk1A.

Initially, HAL had announced that LSP- FTB for Mk1A will have its first flight by March but had to postpone it to June due to some delays in the work schedule that was disrupted due to covid surge earlier this year. Both LSP Mk1A FTB will be used to validate specific enhancements related to the Mk1A program for the next 20 to 24 months of testing that have been planned.

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