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HAL will stick to deadline on LCA, IJT: MoS Defence

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Light Combat Aircraft and Intermediate Jet Trainer (above). A file photo.

BANGALORE (PTI): Expressing confidence over the progress in Light Combat Aircraft and Intermediate Jet Trainer projects, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd would stick to its deadline.

"In last six months, lots of developments have happened, LCA has flown extensively and technical hiccups have been resolved; ....I can say HAL will stick to the deadline, IOC (Initial Operation Clearance) for LCA is November and for IJT is December," Jitendra Singh, the minister of State for Defence told reporters here.

"IOC for IJT is December but there may be one or two months delay. Some of the seepage is due to weather, as there have been rains in Karnataka, so we have not been able to test the aircraft," he added.

Complimenting the IAF (Indian Air force), HAL and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) for the work they have put in, he said "we will have a quality product."

On the query whether the IAF is keen on having an indigenous trainer developed by HAL, the minister said, "It is not the matter of who is keen to do what, IAF wants best and quality product on time; operationally they want a product which has long life. Now it is for HAL to satisfy all these conditions laid down by IAF."

Commenting on a controversy relating to safety in flying MIG fighter, he said it is not right for him to preempt and comment on it when IAF is investigating recent incidents and issues relating to the safety standards.

"IAF is investigating on the technical issues relating to the safety standard and also mechanical or training failure if any, so that such incidents don't repeat. There is robust system in place," he added.

On repeated incursions by Chinese army into the Indian territory, Singh said, "We want good relationship with all our neighbours; .....Any such incident is taken up at the highest level across the border."

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LCA  IJT  HAL  India  
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