LCA Tejas light fighter is finally fully operational in the Indian Air Force

Two months ago, we mentioned the first flight of a Tejas Light Combat Aircraft with the FOC standard, representative of aircraft at the final operational standard. Produced in India by HAL, the Tejas is a light combat aircraft whose development has experienced many delays and additional costs, now limiting its operational impact within the Indian Air Force. Thus, the Indian air force has so far ordered only 40 Tejas Mk1. The first twenty are already in squadrons and operate according to an IOC standard which covers only a small part of the missions devolved to the aircraft, and which greatly limits their use. Today, The Indian Air Force has however integrated into a squadron the first of the twenty Tejas Mk1 ordered to the FOC standard..

Exploited to the maximum of its possibilities, the Tejas FOC finally has a long-range air combat capability, an in-flight refueling pole, an enlarged flight envelope (speed and maneuverability) and new external loads ( air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, new fuel tanks, etc.). HAL has already indicated that four other FOC standard planes should soon be delivered to the IAF. Beyond the 20 aircraft ordered directly from the FOC standard, aircraft delivered with IOC and currently in service should also be gradually upgraded.

For the moment, the Indian Navy does not wish to follow the path of the Indian Air Force. If it continues, contractually, to develop the Naval Tejas, it does not intend to buy this aircraft which it considers too light to meet current operational needs.

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