Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered the first LCA Tejas twin-seater aircraft to the Indian Air Force on Wednesday. This aircraft will support the training needs of the IAF and can also serve as a fighter. Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt attended the handover ceremony, along with Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari.
The LCA Tejas twin seater is a 4.5 generation multi-role aircraft, equipped with advanced technologies like fly-by-wire flight control, advanced glass cockpit, and integrated digital avionics systems. This achievement places India among a select group of countries with such advanced aircraft in their defense forces and supports the ”Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative.
HAL highlighted the strategic intent behind the twin-seater design, emphasizing its role in training budding pilots to transition to fighter pilots. The company has an order to produce 18 twin seaters for the IAF, with plans to deliver eight in 2023-24 and the rest by 2026-27. HAL anticipates further orders from the IAF.
Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari says, “We have now signed a contract for 83 additional LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) and we are moving forward to procuring 97 more LCAs. In the coming years, we will have a fleet of 220 LCAs in the inventory of the Indian Air Force. It is a matter of pride for the country.”