- Source: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba
- What: The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas does not meet requirements
- Reason: The current weight of the Naval LCA with the underpowered engine does not allow it to fly from a carrier
- This effectively means the end of the road for the fighter’s Naval variant as the service is looking at the global market for its needs
- The Naval LCA made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes are currently undergoing flying as part of the development
Tejas has been inducted into the IAF. But the Navy’s rejection shows that India has just begun to get rid of its dependence on other nations for its defence needs. It also impacts Make in India.
The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. It is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
In the early eighties, it was realised that no organisation existed which had the total capability to develop such an aircraft all on its own. The last time an indigenous fighter aircraft, the HF 24 flew was in 1961. Since then, the HF 24 assembly line had been shut down and the design team had been wound up. The only way left was to develop an aircraft from scratch.
To better accomplish these goals, the government of India in 1984 decided to establish the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL) was to be the principal partner with participation of various DRDO & CSIR Laboratories, Public & private sector industries and academic institutions.