New Delhi: The deliveries of the contracted 83 twin-seaters Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk-1A would commence by February 2024, the Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), C.B. Ananthakrishnan, said in the course of a review of the LCA programme by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, here on August 22, 2023.
During the review, it was brought out that all contracted fighter variants of the LCA Mk 1 had been delivered to the IAF. Representatives of HAL assured the CAS of the timely delivery of the contracted twin-seaters in the coming months, as well.
It may be mentioned that 83 LCA Mk-1A aircraft were contracted by the IAF in 2021. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said that given the nature of this project of national importance, it is required that all stakeholders adopt a collaborative approach towards its success. He brought out that the LCA has been the flag bearer of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) efforts towards the indigenisation of its aircraft fleet. “The programme has been the harbinger of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives of the nation. More importantly, it is a flag bearer of India’s self-reliance in the aerospace sector,” he said.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS) reviewed the status of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme in the Air Headquarters. Also in attendance were senior functionaries from the Ministry of Defence, Defence Research and Development Organisation, HAL and the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
While complimenting HAL, the CAS indicated that based on these assurances, the LCA Mk 1A could be inducted in a newly raised squadron in one of the Indian Air Force’s operational bases, early next year. Notwithstanding the project delays that were brought out during the course of the review, the CAS lauded the efforts of all stakeholders and emphasized the need to incorporate the lessons learnt from the LCA programme into future indigenous design and developmental projects. With timely deliveries of the more capable variant, the LCA Mk 1A is likely to see increased deployments at forward bases, besides participation in International exercises in the days to come, he said.
– global bihari bureau