|LCA at Leh during winter trials|
Speaking at the Annual Awards Functions of Defence Research Development Organisation, he said, all stakeholders including the DRDO, IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited must put their energy together in a focused manner to achieve this objective.
The FOC is the final nod required before an aircraft is considered to be ready for operational deployment in an air force.
Tejas has completed a total of 2175 test flights successfully as on 26 May without any incidents.
The LCA Tejas received Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) in January 2011.
Indian Air Force has ordered 40 Tejas Mark-I aircrafts, out of which 20 in IOC standards, while the rest in FOC standards.
While the first 40 Tejas Mark-I variants will be powered by the GE-404 engines, the next six Mark-II variant squadrons (16-18 jets in each) will have the more powerful GE F-414 engines.
Tejus would replace the ageing Soviet-era MiG-21s with IAF, which had earned the sobriquet ’flying coffins’ due to crashes.