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.
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