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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Maiden engine relight test of Tejas successful | Project shrouded in secrecy since Antony's rap

By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas successfully completed the maiden engine relight test on Friday -- a critical parameter the programme needs to achieve for the Initial Operational Clarence (IOC-2). Military sources confirmed to Express that the Limited Series Production (LSP-7) aircraft from the Tejas flight-line, piloted by Gp Capt R R Tyagi, underwent the engine relight test at 1 pm. The LSP-7 was chased by a Hawk aircraft.
“It's a great milestone for a single-engine fighter aircraft. The relight test is the second most critical event for a fighter jet programme, after its maiden flight. The pilot took the flight to a height of 30,000 feet before the relight test, which was performed over the skies of Kolar region,” a source said.
(During Friday's test, the pilot is said to have brought the throttle down to zero for a few seconds, so that the aircraft lose power. The pilot pulled the throttle again, confirming the relight process. Engine relight is done to check the aircraft's performance in an emergency situation.)
Ever since the rap by Defence Minister A K Antony recenlty, who asked both the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), to complete the IOC-2 formalities at the earliest, the project has been shrouded in secrecy. As reported by
Express earlier, HAL has even put restrictions in sharing photos of Tejas to its stakeholders and media.
A senior airworthiness officials said that project is now slowly, but steadily completing the IOC-2 parameters. “The relight test will give tremendous boost to the programme. So far Tejas has logged over 2330 flights cloaking around 1,350 hours. There are issues on both sides (DRDO & HAL), but in the interest of the programme hope everything will get sorted out soon. It's high time we finish IOC-2 and get on with the FOC (Final Operational Clearance) formalities,” the official, said.

Copyright@The New Indian Express

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