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HAL rolls out 16th LCA for IAF

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LCA Tejas.

BENGALURU (PTI): The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Monday announced the production of 16th light combat aircraft "Tejas" as per the target.

The city-headquartered public sector company said the customer flights would be completed by the end of this month.

HAL in a statement said it has orders from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for 40 LCAs (16 each in Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operation Clearance (FOC) configurations and eight trainers) and the 16th LCA was as per the target till March 31.

The aircraft was inducted into the IAF squadron Flying Daggers on July 1, 2016 and given the FOC last month, signalling its combat readiness.

The FOC involves addition of key capabilities to the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) aircraft, which in main are Beyond Visual Range Missile capabilities, Air-to-Air Refuelling, Air-to-Ground FOC earmarked weapons and general flight envelope expansion.

HAL said LCA production was started in 2014 and in five years, it reached a current production capacity of eight aircraft per annum.

A second production line had been established at the Aircraft Division here which was carrying out structural assembly, final assembly and equipping of the aircraft, it said.

The statement said two LCAs will be flying at the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Expo (Lima- 2019) in Malaysia beginning tomorrow.

HAL team will be providing the technical support at the show, the company said.

During the Aero India show here last month, Army chief General Bipin Rawat flew in Tejas and described it as a "wonderful" aircraft.

It was during the Aero India show Tejas MK-I was given the final operation clearance by the defence ministry.

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HAL  LCA  Tejas  
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