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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first trainer version of the twin-seater Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Bengaluru on Wednesday. HAL announced that seven more LCA twin-seater aircraft will be delivered next year.

The LCA Tejas Twin Seater is a lightweight, all-weather multi-role 4.5 generation aircraft designed to support the IAF’s training needs and act as a fighter when necessary. It incorporates modern concepts and technologies such as quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, advanced glass cockpit, and advanced composite materials for the airframe, HAL stated.

In 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the procurement of 83 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft at a cost of Rs 45,696 crore. During the handover ceremony, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari announced that the IAF plans to procure an additional 97 LCAs in the future.

The trainer version of the LCA successfully completed its first flight on April 5 from the HAL airport in Bengaluru. Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt expressed pride in being part of the historic occasion and commended HAL for its dedication to indigenous defense manufacturing.

C B Ananthakrishnan, chairman and managing director of HAL, emphasized the company’s commitment to delivering all twin-seater aircraft related to the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) contract to the IAF in the current fiscal year. He highlighted that these trainers facilitate a smooth transition for pilots from trainer to fighter aircraft in this category.

The LCA project was initiated in 1983, showcasing India’s talent, knowledge, and capability in designing and manufacturing world-class fighters.

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