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India’s Indigenously developed and built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will get the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) in January. “LCA Tejas and Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) are on final induction after going through all the tests,” said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Satheesh Reddy.

Tejas is a supersonic fourth generation fighter for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. The multirole fighter aircraft’s variant for the Indian Navy is designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

The clearance comes 18 years after the aircraft’s first prototype took shape, Indian media reported. The Indian Air Force formed its first Tejas unit- No.45 Squadron “Flying Daggers” on July 1, 2016 with two aircraft while the FOC for its weaponized version is still pending.

In August 2018, the aircraft conducted an arrested landing for the very first time. The naval variant of the LCA is India’s first indigenous carrier-based aircraft as reported by nationalinterest.org..

The platform will have 300-km-long range and 360-degree angle of coverage as against 200-km range and 240-degree angle of the AEW&CS the DRDO built on the Brazilian Embraer-145 modified jet for the IAF in the past, according to defenseworld.net.

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