Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tejas To Demonstrate Stores Release At Chitradurga Range


India’s Aeronautical Development Agency is gearing up to start the last phase of flight trials for the Tejas light combat aircraft at Chitradurga in Karnataka, 100 mi. northwest of here. This will be the first time the new test range of the Defense Research and Development Organization will be put to use. Test pilots from the National Flight Test Center in Bengaluru are readying themselves to undertake the last leg of weapon trials/stores release in Chitradurga. “Currently, a series of trials are being done to characterize the aerodynamics of the platform,” a senior official associated with the program says. “ This will be the first outing for Tejas in Chitradurga. We are now setting up the telemetry range.” Aviation Week has learned that accuracy studies will be done at Chitradurga when Tejas releases stores. “It will be dummy trials to start with,” the official says. “The pilots will be taking off from Old Bangalore airport and land after finishing their mission in Chitradurga within 10-12 minutes.” The certification process for Tejas is now entering its last lap with the Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification ( Cemilac). “Once the proposed trials in Chitradurga are over, we would have finished all the parameters Tejas should have tested ahead of the initial operational clearance,” the official says. An Empowered Committee Meeting is scheduled in New Delhi next week with the Indian air force chief to review the certification process. “Once we demonstrate all that the Indian air force [wants], the Cemilac will hand over the documents to the air force,” the official says. “By December 27 , we are sure that the Tejas will enter the initial operational clearance phase. However, the production aircraft will be available to air force pilots only by mid-2011. There’s 100% clarity on everything now.”

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