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Trainer version of Tejas LCA makes maiden flight

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A file photo of Tejas LCA.

BANGALORE (BNS): India’s indigenously designed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas’s Trainer version has made its maiden flight “at clock work precision”.

The two-seater trainer variant of the fighter aircraft, designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, flew at Mach 0.85 speed at an altitude of nine km, DRDO said on Thursday.

The prototype of the aircraft was flown by Gp Capt Ritu Raj Tyagi of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC).

Air Cmde Rohit Varma, Project Director (Flight Test) flew in the rear cockpit, while Wg Cdr (Retd) PK Raveendran, Group Director (Flight Test) was the Test Director, a statement by the DRDO said.

Extensive preparatory work resulted in the first flight profile being executed with ‘clock work’ precision, it said. All objectives set out for the test flight were achieved and e-systems on board the new prototype performed well throughout the sortie.

The trainer, when fully developed, would have full operational capability from the rear cockpit as well.

Since the Tejas Trainer has a great degree of commonality with its naval version, its successful flight test will give boost to the Tejas Navy programme, the DRDO said.

As the first flight coincided with the programme review by the Indian Air Force, the event was witnessed by Air Marshal NV Tyagi, chairman of the Review Committee, along with Ashok Nayak, chairman, Hidustan Aeronautics Limited, Chief Controller, DRDO D Banerjee and P S Subramanyam, Programme Director (Combat Aircraft) and Director, Aeronautical Development Agency.

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