skip to main content

HAL hands over first Tejas trainer to IAF

The Indian Air Force's induction of the Tejas Mk 1 trainer is expected to accelerate pilot training and support the replacement of obsolete Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s with the newer Tejas Mk 1A aircraft. (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over the first two-seat Light Combat Aircraft Tejas trainer to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The handover comes six months after the first production trainer (serial no LT-5201) began flight trials in April 2023. According to HAL, the LT-5201 was handed over to the IAF on the afternoon of 4 October.

The LCA Tejas twin seater is a lightweight, all-weather multirole aircraft. HAL describes the trainer as a 4.5-generation aircraft “designed to support the training requirements of the IAF and augment itself to the role of a fighter in case of necessity”. HAL added that the trainer is equipped with features such as a “relaxed static-stability, quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control, carefree manoeuvring, [an] advanced glass cockpit, integrated digital avionics systems, and advanced composite materials for the airframe”.

An HAL source told Janes that the aircraft will be subject to modifications and additions after entering IAF service, such as adding an in-flight refuelling probe. “The avionics in the trainers are the same as the [full operational capability] FOC [single-seat] Tejas,” the source said.

A second Tejas trainer aircraft (serial no LT-5202) is likely being prepared for handover to the IAF in the near future. HAL said the production of the other trainers of this order is close to completion. Janes understands that two additional Tejas trainers from the contract could be handed over to the IAF later in 2023 or in early 2024.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...