Bengaluru: The first of home built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was handed over to the Indian Air Force by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Bengaluru on Saturday.
Air chied Marshal Arup Raha was present on the occasion. The aircraft was built by hindusthan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) in Bengaluru.
The process of induction of the home built fighters started in 1983 to replace the MiG-21 aircraft and the project has already cost over 8,000 crores.
The aircraft has been handed over to the IAF after initial operational clearance II signifying that the Tejas is worthy of flying in different conditions.
The aircraft lacks the latest electronic warfare suite which was inserted into one of the aircraft two weeks ago. The Final Operational Clearance version of the aircraft will also have mid air refuelling and long range missile capabilities. The Initial Operational clearance was given to the aircraft on September 30 last year after the aircraft complete successfully its Maiden flight.
The initial operational clearance was granted in 2011 and the final clearance is expected to come by this year’s end.