LCA-Tejas SP-6 to have its maiden flight next month ahead of SP-5

Image Credits ADA.GOV.IN

India’s renowned & seasoned aerospace defence journalist Dr. Anantha Krishnan M reported yesterday on his Facebook page that SP-6 will fly first ahead of SP-5, the jet is warming up at the HAL hangars and is expected to have its maiden flight shortly. Interestingly fourth series production Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas-SP4 (LA-5004 ) completed its first flight in March but HAL will skip sequential test flight this time since SP6 will be airborne before SP5.

SP-5 and SP-6 both were assembled at different production line and SP-5 was assembled at Second production line which was earlier used as Kiran hangar. HAL has used erstwhile Kiran hangar to set up this additional production line which can produce three LCA Tejas per annum and 8 per annum with both production line.

Meanwhile, on May 11, 2017, TEJAS NP-2 carried out a touch and go on AGS site, leading to carrier compatibility flight testing phase.

LCA Navy is designed to operate from the deck of aircraft carriers and incorporates stronger landing gear to absorb forces exerted during the ski jump ramp during take-off. A total of 115 flights (as on December 31, 2016) have been completed on the two LCA Navy prototypes. Other trials included ski-jump launch from SBTF, ski jump/night ski-jump from RGS, fuel dumping trials, LEVCON -30˚ sorties, approach trials, hot refueling, short take-off from landing area with deck pressure and high sink rate landing.
Earlier and in a significant development, the Limited Series Production (LSP-4) aircraft from Tejas successfully fired the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) missile Derby in radar mode on Thursday.
According to sources, the launch was ‘picture-perfect’ with the missile hitting the target bang on. The missile hit a maneuvering aerial target during Tejas’ critical weapon trials held at the interim test range in Chandipur. The aircraft took off from Kalaikunda base in West Bengal.
In a detailed press note the agencies have confirmed that the test met all desired parameters and have termed it a major step forward towards attaining the much awaited FOC certification. Outlining the test details the press note read “A safe separation was followed by missile guidance towards RADAR acquired target. The flawless launch was demonstrated with all on-board systems performing satisfactorily and the missile scored a direct hit on the target with complete destruction of it.”
The missile launch was performed in Lock-On after launch mode for a BVR target in the look down mode and the target was destroyed. The objective of the test was to assess the Derby integration with aircraft systems on-board Tejas including the aircraft avionics, fire-control radar, launchers and Missile Weapon Delivery System and to verify its performance. A safe separation was followed by missile guidance towards the radar-acquired target.
With this successful trial, sources confirm to Mathrubhumi that all tasks for the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) will now be achieved by December 2017.
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