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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAF “LCA' Tejas undergoes weapons trials

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept 23, IRNA -- In a key step towards attaining Final Operational Clearance (FOC) from the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is undergoing weapons trials, including firing air-to-air missiles to test its capability to bring down enemy planes.

As part of its first phase trials to fire bombs and missiles, Tejas underwent tests of its aerial skills a few days ago at a Jaisalmer range in Rajasthan state.

The tests will continue till the end of this month during which the indigenously developed fighter plane will fire laser-guided bombs. A series of tests will be held in different conditions, DRDO officials said here on Friday.

This is part of the development trials of the LCA Tejas for the purpose of FOC. More such trials will take place in coming months, they said.

The aircraft was inducted into the IAF in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration in January this year.

Following the successful trials and necessary changes in its configuration, LCA Tejas is expected to get the FOC by Dec 2012.

Before attaining the FOC, the aircraft will be subjected to intensive weapons trials at several locations, including mountainous regions of Leh.

By 2014, a total of seven squadrons (over 120 aircraft) of the advanced version of the fighter aircraft, LCA MK-II with upgraded system and capabilities would be inducted into the IAF.

As part of its plans, the IAF will rely on a mix of the Su-30 MKI, 126 Medium-Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) and the indigenous LCA as its combat assets by the end of this decade.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30577822

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