New Delhi: The light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas is deficient in at least 100 technical parameters, said experts associated with the project. They also alleged that the initial operation clearance granted to Tejas two years ago was given despite the aircraft not meeting various crucial technical parameters.
The experts said as the aircraft has not achieved crucial technical parameters, it continues to be flown only by test pilots and its performance parameters too need to be monitored by ground-based stations. They also said the engine of Tejas lacked sufficient power. Though the experts are hopeful that these issues would be resolved by the end of 2013, they admit complex technicalities pose serious obstacles.
In a press release issued in March, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) admitted the delay in completion of project "Development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas" and said it was hopeful to achieve Full Operational Clearance (FOC) by December 2014. "The LCA project, which though got delayed initially, is currently progressing on a fast track and is working on aggressive time schedules," it said.
"Productionisation of LCA is already going on. First series production aircraft is likely to be ready by the end of 2013. Indian Air Force has already placed order for 20 LCA in IOC configuration and another of 20 LCA in FOC configuration," added the release.
The Tejas aircraft is being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The project 'Development of LCA' was sanctioned in August 1983 and Project Definition Phase (PDP) of LCA was completed in 1988. In 1990, a decision was taken to undertake LCA development in two phases. In the first phase to build 02 Technology Demonstrators (TDs) along with development of critical technologies including Multi Mode Radar (MMR) and in the second phase to build Prototype Vehicles, integrate weapons, sensors, and flight testing leading to Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC).