Bengaluru: The Indian Air Force got its first Tejas twin-seater trainer version aircraft on October 4. The aircraft was handed over by Defence Public Sector Undertaking HAL at a ceremony here.
Marking a significant milestone in India’s aviation history, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) twin-seater trainer version aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Bengaluru. The twin-seater trainer version aircraft is part of the LCA Tejas project, the largest Research and Development program ever undertaken in India. The LCA Tejas Twin Seater is a remarkable achievement, designed with the strategic intent of transitioning budding pilots from the twin-seater variants to fighter pilots.
Minister of State for Defence, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, HAL Chairman CB Ananthakrishnan were present on the occasion.
“As part of the Tejas contract between the HAL and the Indian Air Force, the defence public sector unit has to supply eight twin-seater trainer aircraft to the force,” officials said. HAL has an order for 18 twin-seaters from the IAF, with plans to deliver eight by the fiscal year 2023-24 and the remaining ten by 2026-27. HAL has further solidified its position to meet the IAF’s training requirements and serve as a fighter aircraft when necessary with the successful production of the first twin-seater variant. Additional orders from the IAF are expected.
The LCA Tejas Twin Seater is a lightweight, all-weather multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft, featuring advanced technologies such as relaxed static stability, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control, carefree manoeuvring, an advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems, and advanced composite materials for the airframe.
Aligning with the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” initiative of self-reliance, India now joins the exclusive ranks of countries with such capabilities in their defence forces. In addition to these achievements, HAL is exploring export opportunities for the LCA Tejas platform. The company has submitted customised proposals to several foreign-friendly countries, aiming to contribute to India’s export targets set by the government.
Symbolising a significant step forward in India’s defence capabilities, the momentous event further strengthened the nation’s commitment to self-sufficiency and offer opportunities for international collaboration in the field of aviation technology.