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Avoid further time slippage: Antony on LCA project

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas

NEW DELHI (PTI): Worried over the long delay in the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, Defence Minister A K Antony has asked DRDO and HAL to avoid further time slippage and stick to the schedule of achieving final clearance for the indigenous plane by the end of next year.

In a meeting to review the programme, it was decided that efforts would be made by all the stakeholders to attain the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC-2) of the aircraft by November this year and its Final Operational Clearance (FOC) by the end of 2014.

"The Defence Minister stressed upon the necessity to stick to the schedule and for concerted efforts on the part of all stake holders for avoiding further slippage in the programme," Defence Ministry officials said here.

Asking Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to make the project "number one thrust area", the meeting decided that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would ramp up its production capacity to 16 aircraft per year.

The high-level meeting was attended by National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, Defence Secretary R K Mathur, IAF chief NAK Browne, DRDO chief Avinash Chander and LCA Programme Director P Subramaniam.

The first Initial Operational Clearance (IOC-I) of the aircraft was achieved in January 2011.

In recent times, Antony has grown impatient over the continuing delays in the programme which was initiated in the 80s and has seen several time and cost overruns.

Recently, he had said at a DRDO function, "I am waiting that LCA should become a reality. I have been given a particular date by DRDO and I hope that it is the final date and the aircraft gets its Initial Operational Clearance II."


India  LCA  Antony  

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