Can the Indian HAL LCA Tejas Would Ever Face Reality?
The HAL LCA Tejas is from India, single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter jet, designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Army. The LCA Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration, which gives high manoeuvrability. Originally came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which started in 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighter jets. LCA named “Tejas” in 2003, by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The LCA Tejas has double delta wing configuration (wing root leading edge sweep 50°, outer wing leading edge sweep 62.5° and trailing edge forward sweep 4°), with no tailplanes or canard and single dorsal fin. The aircraft integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, digital avionics system, composite material structures and a flat rated engine.
In 2016 the LCA Tejas MK1 was in production for the Indian Air Force and the naval version was undergoing flight tests for the Indian Navy. The Indian Air Force required 200 single seat fighters & twenty Dual seat trainers, while the Indian Navy expects to operate 40 single seat aircraft but will induct them in 5 or 10 years period time when the LCA has improved to the requirement. The first LCA Tejas Indian Air Force unit 45 Squadron Flying Daggers was formed in July 2016 with 2 fighter jets only. Now are stationed and under going development in Bangalore, the first squadron will be in Sulur, Tamil Nadu.
In February 2016, The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in the Lok Sabha that the Indian Air Force will accept three to four Tejas this year and stand up a total of eight squadrons in eight years. He also said, “We are also in the process of approving the second line of manufacturing to the HAL so that they can produce 16 aircraft per year”.
In November 2016, The Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar has approved procurement of 83 LCA Tejas fighter jets for the state Indian Air Force. Decision to procure Tejas will reduce the dependence on imports. 3 LCA Tejas will be procured from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. In December 2016 rejected by the Indian Navy announced that the fighter jet is overweight and useless and they will look for other alternatives.
As of now 2017, the LCA Tejas has flown 3339 sorties and 2100 hours without any accidents or any failures.