India’s Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) refused to certify deck-based version of Tejas fighter. According to The Sunday Guardian, that was the reason why the aircraft was not qualified for first flight.
The certification agency wanted Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to lower weight of landing gear and to reduce mobility of fore flaps, reports The Sunday Guardian. HAL will be assisted by US Navy and European consortium EADS in elimination of revealed defects.
According to the source, such defects were not revealed in the air-force version of Tejas, since requirements to landing gear of a common fighter are not so severe. Besides, Tejas version for Indian Air Force is not equipped with fore flaps.
The naval version of Tejas fighter was supposed to perform first flight in 2010. As is planned, Tejas fighter will constitute air wing of INS Vikramaditya (former Russian Admiral Gorshkov). For that purpose, Indian Navy ordered 46 Tejas airplanes from HAL. Trials of Vikramaditya are supposed to start late in 2013.
In Feb 2012, India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) approbated beginning of Tejas short-run production. As was reported, first serial aircraft would perform flight in 2012.
Seventh modification (LSP-7) of air-force Tejas carried out its first flight on March 9. According to Defenseworld.net, Indian Air Force will estimate Tejas versions LSP-7 and LSP-8. Air-force Tejas will be commissioned at least late 2013 or early 2014, reports The Hindu.
India has been developing Tejas project since 1984. Works on the deck-based version started in 2000’s. Besides, HAL is about to present operational training version of the light fighter.
Naval Today Staff , March 14, 2012;