“ The delivery of remaining Tejas MK 1 aircraft in Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) will be completed by the March 2019. Thereafter the production of Tejas in Final operation clearance configuration will start,”said the HAL CMD R. Madhavan in an interview.
The total 20 Tejas Mk 1 were to be delivered in IOC and remaining 20 in the FOC configuration out of the order of 40 aircrafts placed by the Indian Air Force. The Hindustan Aeronautics limited has delivered only nine aircrafts until now, and has delivered just one aircraft in this fiscal year to the IAF.
As LCA Tejas is set to receive FOC in coming days HAL has decided to set up the assembly line with capacity for 16 aircraft per year by the March 2020. R. Madhavan said that the 1,381 crore has been finalized for ramping up the production capacity and major assembly modules have been outsourced to tier-I vendors to enhance the capacity.
The delivery of 20 jets in FOC configuration is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
When asked about the reasons behind the delay in the production of indigenous aircraft he explained “The LCA program is based on the philosophy of concurrent engineering, which means, design and production progress simultaneously. Aircraft configuration evolves based on the experience gained during design and production. Further, multiple agencies at various geographical locations needs to liaise with one another to arrive at an optimum solution for each issue. This requires close coordination and assigning priority to each task. In such an ecosystem some delays are inevitable.”