Mr T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL flew the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas from HAL Airport here today. The twin seat variant of LCA (PV5) was piloted by Group Captain KK Venugopal, VM (Retd) HAL’s Chief Test Pilot.
In a thrilling set of manoeuvres, the aircraft climbed to 30,000 feet and accelerated to supersonic speed of 1.1 Mach. This was followed by a simulated launch of Beyond Visual Range missile on a target of opportunity, said Mr Raju after the sortie. It is a wonderful flying machine, capable of being the backbone of IAF combat power in the years to come, he adds.
The pilot demonstrated the prowess of the aircraft to attack targets on ground. An attack on the ground target was carried out by a simulated laser guided bomb. The demonstration of manoeuvring capability of the aircraft in close combat situations is an unique experience to even veteran pilots. The landing was carried out simulating low visibility conditions using the ‘automatic approach’ mode of the aircraft.
In order to ensure the speedy deliveries of LCAs, HAL has ramped up the production rate to meet the requirement of IAF in association with other industrial partners. HAL is in talks with IAF for production of 83 more LCAs with upgraded capabilities known as Tejas Mk 1A.
Mr Raju reiterated that as one of the biggest aircraft production houses in Asia, HAL is committed to constantly improve its products to meet the national security requirements.