Status of LCA Tejas and Kaveri Engine
Status Of Tejas
Tejas (LCA) , India's very own Light Combat Aircraft has achieved an important milestone by gaining Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) in December 2010 . This has authenticated the Indian aircraft's airworthiness. The birth of India's first fighter aircraft is thus certified. So far, 1,659 flight tests have been completed.
LCA, Tejas Phase-ll Programme (Air Force version) was sanctioned in November 2001 at a cost`of Rs.3301.78 Cr. with Probable Date of Completion (PDC) of December 2008. The project is likely to be completed by December 2012 with an additional cost of Rs.2475.78 Cr. The additional cost is to meet the expanded scope of the programme, increased cost of materials, manpower, maintenance of facilities, etc.
Indian Air Force has ordered 40 Tejas Mk-I aircraft (20 aircraft in IOC and 20 aircraft in FOC standard). Two aircraft will be ready by March 2012 for induction.
Status of Kaveri Engine
There were reports in the press that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has made an agreement with a French firm to develop the Kaveria aero engine to be used for the Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas. This has been denied by theDefence Minister Shri A.K. Antony in Loksabha. He added that however, DRDO is negotiating with M/s Snecma, France for co-development and co-production of Kaveri aero engine for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK-II. The project proposal will be put up for Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approval after the completion of price negotiation.
Indian Air Force (IAF) has been consulted at every stage and is part of negotiation. IAF has cleared the Kaveri engine co-development proposal with M/s Snecma, France. The draft engine technical specification has been examined and cleared by IAF. IAF has further suggested that the engine design should have minimal impact on the LCA Tejas airframe for future retrofitment.