FOC-Standard LCA Tejas takes to skies on maiden flight

Tejas, the first Light Combat Aircraft in Final Operational Clearance-standard (SP-21) took to the skies for its maiden flight in Bengaluru on Tuesday, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said.

Piloted by Air Cmde. K.A Muthana (Retd), Chief Test Flying (Fixed Wing), the aircraft took-off from HAL Airport at around 12:30 hours, the Bengaluru-headquartered defence PSU said in a statement.

It was airborne for 40 minutes.

"HAL achieved the momentous feat within a record time of 12 months after release of Drawing Applicability List (DAL) and SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) by CEMILAC", the statement said.

"This would pave the way for production of remaining 15 fighters from FOC (Final Operational Clearance) block, which are planned to be delivered during the next financial year", it said.

The FOC aircraft are equipped with advanced features such as Air-to-Air refueling and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile system.