The Tejas LCA programme received a major fillip with the first successful flight test using the ‘Litening’ pod which can provide the pilot with day and night pictures of terrain, laser ranging and laser spot seeking (LDP). In a flawless flight on 10 Dec 07, Prototype Vehicle-2 took off with the LDP at around 1630 hrs and completed a landmark flight in which all test objectives were achieved.
Wg Cdr N Tiwari of the National Flight Test centre flew the flight. Wg Cdr M Prabhu as the Test Director, RS Rao, Project Direct (Systems) and JJ Jhadhav, Deputy Project Director were present at the telemetry station to monitor the performance. The performance is as per the design.
The LCA Team consisting members from IAF, HAL-ARDC ADA, CEMILAC and DG-AQA have together worked for several months to make this success in the first attempt. Carriage of the LDP confers a significant precision strike capability to the Tejas in conjunction with laser guided bombs or what are commonly referred to as “smart bombs”.