Indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' will be inducted into the Indian Air Force this year, DRDO chief V K Saraswat has said.
"With 'Tejas' completing almost 1,855 flying hours (flight tests) and all problems it encountered during the initial operational clearance having been solved, it is ready to enter into the final operational clearance phase. With production also having taken off at HAL... We are now at the verge of writing history as far as aeronautics is concerned," he said here.
"LCA will be inducted this year in the armed forces where our own squadrons of Air Force will be flying this aircraft," he said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) director general was speaking after inaugurating the 'Aerospace Luminary Lecture Series' organised by Hyderabad chapter of Aeronautical Society of India last night.
Referring to the recent successful maiden flight of the Naval variant of LCA, Saraswat said, "The first flight trial of LCA Navy achieved capability, particularly on take off and landing, from an aircraft carrier. The Naval variant will certainly be a force multiplier for Indian Navy."
The LCA has been conceived and designed by DRDO's Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured at Bangalore- based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
Saraswat said April 2012 will go down in the history as a historic month as it saw successful launches of Agni-V, RISAT-I (radar imaging satellite) and first flight trial of LCA Navy.
India today has a potent long-range ballistic missile system, said Saraswat, who is also the Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.
Nuclear capable Agni-V ballistic missile, with a strike range of over 5,000 km, was successfully test-fired on April 19.