Indian light fighter Tejas should finally be fully operational this year

It was time ! Yesterday the Indian light hunter Tejas Mark 1 made its first flight in a fully operational configuration, or FOC (for Final Operational Clearance). Launched in the 1980s, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program was to give birth to a light, versatile and economical combat aircraft in order to quickly replace the aging MiG-21s of the Indian Air Force.

More than 35 years later, LCA Tejas is still far from living up to its promises. The blame for a chaotic development and mismanagement of the program by the national aircraft manufacturer HAL, which cannot keep up with the expected rates or the quality level expected for such a program. However, we cannot say that the Tejas is particularly ambitious. With 13m in length, a wingspan of 8,2m, a maximum weight of 13t and a carrying capacity of 5t, it is one of the smallest supersonic fighters in the world.

The Tejas SP-21, representative of the FOC configuration, during its taxi tests. With the last fifteen Tejas Mk1 remaining to be produced, he will form the second operational squadron on the light fighter of national design

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