HAL to go into supersonic mode
BANGALORE: Five years after the first indigenous developmental fighter took
to the air after complaints of time and technology gaps, the defence PSU
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - has now decided to go into supersonic
HAL chairman Ashok Baweja told this website's newspaper that the fifth prototype
vehicle, trainer and the first of the eight Limited Series Production (LSP)
will join the programme this year. These aircraft will help accelerate the
initial operational clearance for the LCA.
On Saturday, PV2, among a cluster of four jets built, turned supersonic with
air-to-air missiles on board. Scientists of the Aeronautical Development
Agency (ADA) said it was a big leap forward in the project as the jet was
now propelled into operational test light mode.
‘‘As for the LCA project, it is a war-room like situation at HAL. I am getting
daily inputs from officers on the progress made in the project,’’ the HAL
HAL has now taken up the challenge to complete the eight LSPs and 20 more
aircraft within three years. The IAF will induct these delta-winged world’s
lightest fighter aircraft by 2010 to replace its ageing fleet of MiGs.
The PSU’s focus now is on stepping up the pressure on this strategically
important project to ensure that there are no further delays. Three more
aircraft, which will join the test flying envelope later this year, will
increase the number of aircraft used for certification.
In all, four LCAs, two technology demonstrators and two prototypes had logged
over 525 flights.
Not just HAL, but even the ADA has accelerated the programme to the next
level by putting a radar on the aircraft and is taking up a weaponisation
programme by fitting pylons on the PV2.
The PV2 is a much lighter aircraft and possesses advanced software technology,
unlike the Test Demonstrator I, II and PV1. There is a quantum jump in the
build standard of PV2, which is a software intensive fourth generation combat
aircraft built to production standard. Besides having a high percentage of
composite materials in its airframe structure, it incorporates a state-of-the-art,
integrated, modular avionics system with open architecture concepts to facilitate
easy hardware and software upgrades and re-usability.
The avionics system of Tejas PV II provides excellent pilot vehicle interface
in a glass cockpit which has an all-round panoramic view to reduce the pilot’s
workload and to increase situational awareness.