Indegenous combat jet successfully lands at high altitude air base

December 16th, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) India’s indigenously developed Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) has achieved another milestone by successfully landing at the Leh airbase in Jammu and Kashmir, one of the highest airfields in the world at 10,600 ft, an official said Tuesday.“The Tejas programme achieved a significant success with the prototype vehicle PV-3 landing at Leh on Dec 13 at around 1.26 p.m. The event is important as Leh airfield is one of the highest in the world,” a official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that has developed the aircraft said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The objective of the test flight was also to expose the onboard systems to extremely low temperatures.

“The prevailing temperature at Leh range from plus 5 to minus 20 degree Celsius. Besides exposing the onboard systems to the extremely low temperatures, the objective was to make an assessment of the aircraft’s performance in the rarified atmospheric conditions,” the official added.

Two Tejas prototypes PV-3 and limited series production (LSP)-2 aircraft are involved in the environmental test. The LSP-2, powered by the latest IN­20 engines, will soon be cleared for induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy. The first eight Tejas aircraft to be delivered between 2010 and 2012.

According to the official, the current phase of flight trials is progressing well with the aircraft and its systems “performing well as expected”.

“The aircraft were soaked overnight in cold weather, with the temperature around minus 20 degree Celsius and powered up next day for operations. The performance of the aircraft was satisfactory,” the official added.

The flight trials are being conducted by the test pilots and flight test engineers of the National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) under the direction of Air Conmodore Rohit Varma Project Director (Flight Tests)

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