Yelahanka, Bangalore. 25 February 2019. Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat was flown in trainer version of DRDO’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas to demonstrate the operational capabilities of the aircraft during Aero India 2019 at Bengaluru. Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, Head of National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) at Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bengaluru piloted this aircraft.
On this occasion, Tejas was flown at medium altitude to showcase the Pin-point attack capabilities using a Laser Designation Pod (LDP).
The Army Chief was demonstrated the maneuvering and radar capabilities of the aircraft. After the sortie, the Army chief expressed immense satisfaction and said that Tejas is a wonderful aircraft and if it gets added to the IAF inventory, it will be a great asset.
A familiarization sortie in LCA Trainer was also conducted for the Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan, which was flown by Group Captain S. Gunasekaran, the test pilot from NFTC. This was a handling sortie of 30 minutes duration during which Prof Vijay Raghavan experienced the controls of the aircraft and maneuvered it for some time.
Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of LCA Tejas MK-I certificate was handed over on 20th February 2019 by Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary Department of Defence R&D, Chairman DRDO & Director General ADA to the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in presence of Defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra and Chairman & Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Shri R Madhavan.