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IAF to induct LCA Tejas by 2015


NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force will induct the homegrown light combat aircraft Tejas by 2015, Air Chief Marshal FH Major said today.

Admitting that the Tejas programme was running behind schedule, Major said, the IAF has recently decided to absorb 20 Tejas aircraft and ten others with old engines for training.

Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the single-engine supersonic fighter controlled by the pilot with electronically on-board computers, was mooted to replace the ageing fleet of MIGs.

About reports that the aircraft would be able to carry only limited weaponry, Major said, it was conceived in 1982. A new configuration has been developed and it has proved to be very capable, he added.

Of late, experts had found complications such as that Tejas' US aeroengine GE404 did not have the requisite thrust to give it power to carry its full load of weaponry.

LCA's present GE404 engines gives a thrust of only 80-85 kilo newtons, while the weapon payload of the fighter needed a thrust of 95-100 kilo newtons.

Major admitted that there was some problems with the engine and search was on for a new one.

"We are looking for a new engine and the RFP in this regard is expected to be issued soon," the Air chief said. (PTI)

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