Tejas Combat, the first Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) from the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) block, SP-21, is scheduled for independent and integrated system checks in the LCA-Tejas division of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). “In aeronautical parliament, the first fighter product in the FOC category is in the equipping phase of the life cycle.
Proactive steps towards the construction of common parts and assemblies by HAL to meet the time requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have now shown superior results. The final DAL (drawing applicability list) for the Tejas FOC variants were obtained by HAL during February 2019.
In a recent interaction with several teams involved in the Tejas project during Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to HAL, Onmonorama revealed that HAL is currently undergoing a significant software upgrade from its partner Aeronautics Development Agency (ADA) for advanced fighter aircraft. is waiting.
In the FOC block, then HAL needs to build 16 fighters, which is now expected to be completed by March 2021.
The Air Force’s FOC configuration has been developed based on various technical improvements on the initial operational clearance (IOC) block of 16 fighter jets, which are now operated by the Indian Air Force.
Team HAL expects the SP-21 to go for EGR (Engine Ground Run) during the end of October, followed by the first flight.
“Our workforce is currently domestically equipped with the SP-21 for its first flight,” said an official.
The decision to pre-launch common parts between IOC and FOC fighters has now shown rich dividends. The LCA-Tejas division has now reduced the prime time of production of the aircraft from 12-18 months to eight months.
“We have gained good experience during the manufacture of aircraft with IOC configurations, which are in use during the production of SP-21,” the official said.
HAL has incorporated several significant improvements to the production line to reduce cycle time and better quality product. These include robotic drilling, reduction of LRU’s PI (pre-installation check) (line replacement units), maximizing outsourcing for extension components, outsourcing of complete key assemblies such as wing and torso, enhanced loop cut-outs. Improve stability with. And the use of copper mesh on ICY (interchangeability) pipes and panels and wing assemblies.
HAL has developed a good vendor base across India to supply the entire wing and fuselage extension parts, sub-assemblies and key assemblies for LCA production. Currently, 45 percent of the components of LCA is being subcontracted.
Steps are being taken to indigenize imported LRUs to further improve private participation in the program.
“This will enable us to increase the production rate of LCA. Of the 16 FOC strike aircraft, four are planned to be delivered by this fiscal year (March 2020) and the remaining 12 fighters will be delivered within the next fiscal year (March 2021).
The structural construction of the SP-22 and SP-23 in the division is in progress, while the assembly of the front, center, and rear fuses are well completed at the time of their production.
Wing sets for both of these fighters are being produced in a dedicated facility and are expected by October and November.
The team alleged:
The LCA-Tejas division is a comparatively new wing of HAL and is operated by more than 800 engineers and workers. The journey of Rajnath Singh and his subsequent flight on Tejas trainer has boosted the morale of the team.
The appointment of Air Marshal RKS Bhadoria as the next Chief of the Air Force has been done for LCA-Tejas Division at the right time. Air Marshal Bhadoria saw Tejas taking baby steps and he was an assistant in the number 45 Squadron Flying Daggers heading to AFS Sulur from Bengaluru ahead of schedule.
Inputs from No 45 Squadron (Tejas operating at AFS Sulur) have been encouraging. We have a self-motivated and dedicated team that has acquired expertise and technical skills by being part of the IOC aircraft production process. This has increased the confidence of our team and we are now keeping an eye on the orders of 83 MK 1A of the Ministry of Defense. ‘
Chairman of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Dr. G. Satesh Reddy and HAL Chairman and Managing Director M. Both Madhavan confirmed to Onomora that the orders for 83 MK1A were in the final stages.
They say that all major issues have been settled like those associated with ground equipment and other support systems.
HAL expects all pending issues to be resolved in the next two months and the contract will be terminated during this financial year.
Source: Defence News