Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Wednesday flew a sortie in the indigenously-developed light combat aircraft Tejas Mk1 fighter jet over the skies of Bengaluru. The IAF chief flew the aircraft that had initial operational clearance or IOC. There are two standards of LCA Tejas aircraft -- IOC and Final Operation Clearance or FOC. The Tejas FOC is the more advanced and developed version. The IOC standard has a limited range and fuel carrying capacity.  Presently, the Tejas can carry two fixed tanks of 1,200 and 800-litre capacity. However, the FOC-version has an additional tank with a 725-litre capacity. The air chief was in Bengaluru to review the ongoing projects and progress of operational trials at the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment. During his interaction with personnel, ACM Bhadauria spoke of the unique and challenging role of ASTE.  He reemphasised the need for staying ahead of the curve in order to leverage its expertise in delivering the requirements of IAF Operational units. During his two-day stay in the city, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria also visited the Software Development Institute, the unit tasked with undertaking the development of avionics software. He noted that Software Development Institute's sustained focus on critical projects had significantly contributed to increasing the operational and functional capability of the IAF.  Further, ACM Bhadauria outlined his vision for SDI to move towards software indigenisation for integration of various weapons on IAF aircraft and achieving self-reliance in enhancing combat potential. As part of his visit, he also met and interacted with the test crew and engineers of Aeronautical Development Agency, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the Defence Research and Development Organisation.  During his interaction, the air chief underscored the crucial role of both the establishments in furthering the shared goal of building an indigenous aviation industry capability of meeting our future requirements.

from asianetnews

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