Improved Light combat Aircraft gets green Light for Production
04, Jan 2019
Prelims level : Defence Mains level : GS 3: Internal Security
- Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas progressed towards manufacture in an enhanced, battle standard format.
- The LCA is being designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in Bengaluru.
- A new limited clearance from military airworthiness certifier CEMILAC for the Indian fighter green-lights its production in a superior lethal version.
- HAL aims to get the first aircraft out in late 2019.
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) has asked Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to make 40 LCA aircraft.
- Of this, 20 will be in the advanced Final Operational Clearance (FOC) format. Another 20 are in the earlier Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) version.
- The IAF has modified and upgraded its trainer requirement in its old package order of 40 LCA aircraft.
Light Combat Aircraft:
- A Light combat aircraft is a light multirole military aircraft most coming from advanced trainers that have been modified or designed for engaging in light combat missions, either in light strike or attack missions, reconnaissance or interdiction roles while some keeping its trainer role.
- They are also slower than their bigger counterparts capable only of subsonic speed though some are capable of reaching mach 1+.
- Although equipped with either guns or short range air-to-air missiles it is usually for self-defense purpose or anti-hostile aircraft/helicopter missions not for air defense as lightweight fighters do, though some are capable of air combat or point air defense missions due to integrated or have variants capable of carrying powerful multi-mode radar systems, most LCAs don’t have such due to their small limited design or are less powerful.
- However, they can still be used to patrol the skies and implement border patrol or air policing.