NEW DELHI --- The indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has undertaken 2,400 sorties to meet the requirements of the IAF, which is set to induct the aircraft on December 20.
"The LCA has clocked over 2400 flights till now with highest ever number of sorties achieved in the current year. The programme has achieved highest ever average number of flights per aircraft per month during this year," HAL officials said here.
The aircraft is set to be inducted into the IAF next week three decades after the programme was sanctioned by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The aircraft had recently met its final parameter by displaying its missile firing capabilities with the launching of an infrared seeking air-to-air missile that hit the target with precision and destroyed it.
The Initial Operational Clearance-II of the aircraft will be done at its home-base in Bangalore after which it will be inducted into the IAF by Defence Minister A K Antony.
The aircraft will be the LCA Mark 1 and 40 of them will be inducted by the IAF and the DRDO and HAL will continue to make improvements in it, they said, adding more powerful and capable version would be inducted later in the force.
The IAF, if everything moves ahead as per the present plans, will have a total of seven squadrons of such aircraft which comes to about 140 aircraft.
The aircraft project was sanctioned in 1983 at a cost of Rs 560 crore at an approximate overall cost of less than Rs 8,000 crore. The overall programme is expected to cost over Rs 25,000 crore.