Photo / NAL
Troubles Slow Tejas Again
The photo above, taken at the National Aerospace Laboratory’s wind-tunnel, shows testing this year of a Tejas model with various stores configurations. With LCA Tejas final operational clearance slipping to 2014, and the programme still struggling to meet performance specs for the second phase of initial operational clearance (IOC-2), the aircraft project has dipped into another difficult phase. According to sources, several requirements (that were watered down during IOC-1 in January), are still to be met. The parameters include wake penetration certification, all weather clearance (ironically, tests were stalled because of the monsoon earlier this year) and lightning clearance. Earlier this month, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said again that final operational clearance was delayed by a full year — moving down to 2014. Meanwhile, the first prototype of the LCA-Navy is preparing for a first flight — hopefully before New Year.