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Hindustan Aeronautics delivers first two-seater LCA Tejas to Indian Air Force.

| 2023

On October 4, 2023, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) delivered its first two-seater Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Bengaluru. The event was marked by the presence of Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari. The aircraft aligns with India's "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative, which aims for self-reliance in various sectors, including aviation.

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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited delivers First Twin Seater LCA Tejas to Indian Air Force 925 001   Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd delivered its first two-seater Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF). (Picture source: HAL)

The LCA Tejas is a multi-role light combat aircraft designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with HAL's Aircraft Research and Design Center (ARDC). It was developed from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program which began in the 1980s. The LCA Tejas was initially flown in 2001. The Tejas is the second aircraft developed by HAL with the intention of achieving supersonic performance, after the HAL HF-24 Marut. The Tejas achieved initial operational certification in 2011 and final operational certification in 2019. There are currently three production models of the Tejas: the Mark 1, the Mark 1A, and a training version. The IAF has ordered 32 Mark 1, 73 Mark 1A, and 18 Mark 1 trainer aircraft. The indigenous content in the Tejas Mark 1 is 59.7% in value and 75.5% in the number of replaceable units in line. The Tejas Mark 2 is currently in development and is expected to be ready for mass production by 2026.

The twin-seater version of the LCA Tejas incorporates advanced features such as relaxed static stability, a modern glass cockpit, quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control, and the use of composite materials. The aircraft is designed to facilitate the transition of trainee pilots to operational fighter pilots.

HAL has received orders for 18 twin-seater LCAs from the IAF and plans to deliver eight of these by the financial year 2023-24, with the remainder to be delivered by 2026-27. The IAF has indicated interest in acquiring additional units in the future.

Currently, two squadrons of the LCA Tejas are stationed at the Sulur Air Base, and deliveries are expected to be completed by 2027-28.

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