India's Homegrown Tejas Fighter Still Years Away from Combat Readiness
India's Tejas fighter will not be ready for active service until at least 2015, according to a new report in the India Times.
The newspaper said the single-engine fighter, developed by the country's own Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, has achieved initial operational clearance (IOC) that certifies that it is airworthy. Weapons still need to be integrated and tests conducted before the program reaches final operational clearance.
The first 20 Tejas fighters will be powered by General Electric F404 engines, but this powerplant lacks the power necessary for the full range of combat missions the Tejas is expected to handle for the Indian Air Force and Navy. The program has selected the GE F414 to replace the F404 starting with the 21st production aircraft.
The Indian Air Force and Navy are the only customers for the Tejas. Forecast International does not anticipate export orders for the aircraft.
Source: NEWTOWN, Conn. - Forecast International, Inc. News - 20 July 2012
Photo: The Indian Air Force (IAF) Tejas fighter Aircraft (Photo by IAF)