Final operational clearance for Tejas likely by year end Published May 18, 2016 SOURCE: TNN The latest on the front of indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft, Tejas is not very heartening. LCA Tejas, which after its aerobatic performance at the Bahrain International Airshow 2016 in February followed with its demonstration of firing skill during Iron Fist 2016, was touted for getting a Final Operational Clearance (FOC) soon seems to have inched farther away from it. The FOC which was expected by mid-2016 for Tejas shall now come by year end or perhaps by 2017 beginning. What is ailing the grant of FOC as per the highly placed sources in DRDO includes integration of Air-to- Air Refuelling probe with LCA Tejas and its trials.” Some more tests of Beyond-Visual- Range Air-to- Air Missile (BVRAAM) Derby missile are still remaining. Further, radar testing is on”, said an official associated with the Project adding that in another month or two, the Air-to- Air Refuelling shall in all probability be tested in Rajasthan or from Jamnagar. The official further added that preparations and coordination with the Indian Air Force is being chalked out for managing a target for the Derby missile here. Ironically, DRDO officials in Delhi attributed the delay in FOC to procedural lapses. When quizzed about the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) fired from Tejas missing the target during the Exercise Iron Fist 2016, the official attributed the same to bad weather and the ‘probability percentage of failure’ inherent and indeed granted to such systems. It is to be mentioned that LCA Tejas is a single seat, single engine multi-role light fighter aircraft developed indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It has the fly by wire, state of the art open architecture computer for avionics and better weapon and combat capability. The official shared that while the ground integration of fifth generation Air- to-Air Close Combat Missile, Python 5 is over; its aerial trials along with those for Beyond-Visual- Range Air-to- Air Missile (BVRAAM) Derby missile are pending. Tejas had earlier successfully test fired the BVRAAM Derby missile. All the aforementioned form a part of the FOC consent. Box: Running behind the initial projected time for FOC, Tejas is now aiming at getting the FOC by December end instead of mid-2016 or perhaps even 2017 beginning. Tejas is also armed with a Russian CCM R- 73 and Laser Guided Bombs,Griffin and Paveway. Designed to replace ageing MiG fighter fleet of IAF, Ministry of Defence in January had announced plans to start full-scale production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in 2017. It is to be mentioned that India will have to make do with the Israeli Derby BVRM till its own Astra which so far has been fired from Su-30 MKI gets the operational status for Tejas. While India is eyeing export market for light combat aircraft, Tejas has been much awaited by the IAF to replace its dwindling fighter squadrons and obsolete fighter fleet. ..http://idrw.org . Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website , Kindly don http://idrw.org/final-operational-clearance-for-tejas-likely-by-year-end/ .