New Delhi: India's indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is set to cross another milestone of obtaining Final Operational Clearance (FOC) and is currently undergoing weapon trials, including firing of air-to-air missiles.
As part of the first phase of trials, Tejas underwent tests of its capabilities a few days ago at a Jaisalmer range in Rajasthan. The tests will continue till the end of this month during which the indigenously developed fighter plane will fire laser-guided bombs.
A series of tests will be held in different conditions, DRDO officials said in New Delhi on Friday. These will include the mountainous regions of Ladakh.
This is part of the development trials of the LCA Tejas for the purpose of FOC. More such trials will take place in coming months, they said.
The aircraft was inducted into the IAF in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration in January 2011.
Following the successful trials and necessary changes in its configuration, Tejas is expected to get the FOC by December 2012.
By 2014, a total of seven squadrons (over 120 aircraft) of the advanced version of the fighter aircraft, LCA MK-II with upgraded system and capabilities would be inducted into the IAF.
As part of its plans, IAF will have a mix of Su-30MKI, 126 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) and the indigenous LCA Tejas as its fighter combat assets by the end of this decade.