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HAL prepares first two Tejas Mk 1As for delivery to IAF

The IAF seeks to acquire the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Mk 1A to replace its ageing MiG-21 fleet. The Mk 1A has a greater payload and fuel capacity than the earlier Mk 1 aircraft (pictured), plus improved avionics and cockpit features. (Indian Air Force)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is preparing the first two units of the improved Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A for delivery to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in March.

A source in HAL told Janes that the company aims to deliver the first two aircraft by 31 March. β€œThe IAF has requested the handover of at least one Mk 1A aircraft before this date,” the source said.

HAL was awarded the contract to produce 83 LCA Mk 1A (including 73 single-seat and 10 two-seat trainers) aircraft in January 2021. As per the contract, HAL was originally scheduled to deliver the first single-seat aircraft in February, with a total of three Mk 1As to be delivered in 2024.

β€œThe production of the first two LCA Mk 1A aircraft is almost complete, and we need to ensure that all systems, parts, and components of the aircraft pass inspections in preparation for the handover to the IAF,” the source said.

Janes understands that HAL is working to avoid a potential rejection of the aircraft by the IAF because of a production defect, however minor. β€œWe are trying to ensure that the aircraft will pass the final inspection,” the HAL source said.


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