At this time next year, India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, is near certain to receive a long due HF (“Hindustan Fighter”) designation just ahead of initial operational clearance (IOC), after which the ubiquitous “LCA” tag will be dropped and serve only as its type description. A senior Air Force officer told me recently that while designating the fighter was scarcely a priority at this juncture, a file was in motion containing possible HF designations based on various parameters. HAL has been periodically questioned about why the LCA doesn’t already have an HF tag. Stands to reason, actually. HAL’s under development intermediate jet trainer, Sitara, already has its final designation HJT-36 (Hindustan Jet Trainer), and HAL’s yet-t0-begin development ab-initio trainer already has the designation HTT-40 (Hindustan Turbo Trainer). So it isn’t really clear why the Tejas hasn’t received its rightful lineage designation, after all, it is India’s first fighter jet after the Marut of the sixties, which had its own venerable designation, HF-24.
So then, the HF-X Tejas, it shall be.
Photo ©Copyright Shiv Aroor