Likely to see increased deployments of LCA on forward bases: IAF

Representation Pic
Representation Pic

New Delhi, Aug 23: With timely deliveries of the more capable variant, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1A is likely to see increased deployments on forward bases, besides participation in international exercises in the days to come, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Wednesday.

Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari has reviewed the status of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme.

He went to air headquarters to check the status of the LCA.

Senior functionaries from the Ministry of Defence, DRDO, HAL and ADA, were also present.

The CAS said that the LCA has been the flag bearer of the IAF's efforts towards indigenisation of its aircraft fleet.

He said that given the nature of this project of national importance, it is required that all stakeholders adopt a collaborative approach towards its success.

He noted that the programme has been the harbinger of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives of the nation. "More importantly, it is a flag bearer of India's self-reliance in the aerospace sector," he added.

During the review, it was brought out that all contracted fighter variants of the LCA Mk 1 had been delivered to the IAF.

The Defence Ministry said that representatives of HAL assured the CAS of the timely delivery of the contracted twin-seaters in the coming months, as well.

Further to the LCA Mk 1, 83 LCA Mk-1A aircraft have also been contracted by the IAF in 2021.

The Chairman and Managing Director of HAL assured those present that the deliveries of this advanced variant of the LCA would commence by February 2024.

While complimenting the HAL, the CAS indicated that based on these assurances, the LCA Mk 1A could be inducted into a newly raised squadron at one of the IAF's operational bases, early next year.

Notwithstanding the project delays that were brought out during the course of the review, the CAS lauded the efforts of all stakeholders and emphasised on the need to incorporate the lessons learnt from the LCA programme into future indigenous Design and Developmental projects.

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