Tejas induction only by mid-2014
India’s ''pride,'' the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas, will only be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in mid-2014, as the aircraft, about which the IAF had expressed some dissatisfaction, is yet to get the second initial operational clearance (IOC-2).
Answering queries from the media after inaugurating a conference here, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne said the IOC-2 is expected only by mid-2012
and the final operational clearance could be scheduled only two years after that.
Pointing out that there are some delays in its development, he said: “The delay is caused by the active monsoon during which not many flights could be undertaken. But there are also some technical issues that have to be resolved as we go along.”
It is noteworthy that his predecessor Air Chief Marshal P V Naik was very vocal about the shortcomings of Tejas. He had, in fact, said the aircraft had not yet reached the category its promoters claimed it was on the day it received the IOC and that it had a long way to go before his men are able to fly it.
Further, Browne said the IAF was keen on inducting two more Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) with the same configuration with electronic suite as it has already spent a lot of money on the integration.
“The proposal has just come to us from IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries). We will examine it and forward it to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for approval,” he said.
He also said the IAF hoped to conclude the contract for buying six more C-130J Super Hercules heavy-lift aircraft from Lockheed Martin by January. Stating that the trials have been completed for the 197 light helicopters that the armed forces want to buy, he said: “A trial report is being formulated now. Although the issue is being handled by the Army, we (IAF) would get 64 of those choppers.”
Browne on air base
Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne on Friday said that the re-activation of the Arunachal Pradesh airbase is aimed more at providing accessibility in the region and not at countering the Chinese, reports DHNS from Bangalore The airbase, which was closed two years ago was re-activated on Friday.