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LCA to be supersonic in two weeks: Aatre
Fakir Chand in Bangalore | June 19, 2003 14:08 IST
The Light Combat Aircraft will be crossing the sound barrier during its next test flight scheduled in a fortnight.
V K Aatre, scientific adviser to Defence Minister George Fernandes, told the media in Bangalore that the LCA programme was going on as per schedule and the tests conducted so far have met their objectives.
"A review meeting of the LCA project is being held on Saturday (June 21) at the Aeronautical Development Agency in Bangalore to chalk out the sound barrier test flights," Aatre said.
Christened Tejas by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee last month, the ADA, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, in association with other aerospace industries in the private sector, are building the supersonic multirole fighter.
"The IAF has placed an order with the HAL to produce eight LCAs for induction in its fleet from 2007 onwards," Aatre said.
Powered by the GE F404 F2J3 engine, the single-seat combat aircraft is capable of carrying four tons of assorted weapons, including air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface munitions, besides drop tanks below its wings and fuselage.
Asked about the certification of Kaveri engine, designed and developed by the Bangalore-based Gas Turbine Research Establishment for the LCA, Aatre told rediff.com that its prototype was undergoing tests in Russia.
"Final trials are being carried out on the flight test bed in Russia. It has been fitted in an Ilyushin TU-17 aircraft for its efficiency level in real-time operations," Aatre added.