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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Indian Air Force’s LCA project suffers setback

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Oct 4, IRNA -- India's ambitious project to develop indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has suffered a setback as Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) for aircraft was delayed by another year.

'As far as LCA is concerned, there was an initial IOC in January this year. We were supposed to get the IOC (final) by the end of this year. As we see it, there is a delay of almost an year in that,' IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne told a press conference here.

The delay in IOC is expected to further affect the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of the aircraft, which was expected by 2012.

The delay in IOC has taken place as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has not been able to complete certain trials of the aircraft, pti reported quoting the sources as said.

The extended monsoon this year also affected the trial schedule of the aircraft, they said.

Replying to a question on upgradation of the fleet of Mirage-2000 fighter aircraft, Browne said the case is being studied by the Finance Ministry and a final nod by the government is expected by the end of this month.

'We have finished the negotiations for the MICA missile for the aircraft and the case is now with the Finance Ministry. If not this month, it should get cleared next month at least,' he said.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30593796

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