4 Special Features of FOC Standard LCA Tejas

DefenceXP Author / 18 March 2020

Hello Defence Lovers, As you know that FOC variant of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas (SP21) completed its first flight successfully here on Monday. Piloted by Air Commodore K A Muthanna (Retd), Chief of Test Flying (CTF), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Tejas SP-21 (series production) fighter took off from HAL Airport here at 12:54 pm and landed back at 01:34 pm after 40 minutes of successful maiden flight.This is the first Final Operational Clearance (FOC) variant of Tejas fighter produced by LCA Division, the youngest wing of HAL. With this article we will talk about 4 Special features of this FOC Variant .

  • SP-21 boasts of key features like air-to-air refuelling probe, Gsh-23 mm gun, pressure refuelling with three drop tank configuration, improved wing navigation lamp, tandem pylon and auto-low speed recovery, to name a few. Here’s a quick glance at the new features:
  1. Air-to-air refuelling probe: This novel feature of mid-air refuelling introduced to FOC variants will enhance the range without additional touch downs or pit-stops to refuel. This is the first desi fighter to have this feature.
  2. Fuel system enhancement: Over and above 2350 kg fuel carrying capability of IOC variant with its external drop tanks of 1200 and 800 litres capacity, Tejas FOC has an additional 725 litres centre line drop tank with pressure refuelling.
  3. Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles: The reliable Derby missile has expanded the firing envelope making it more lethal. This feature was tested and cleared for the entire FOC envelope via exhaustive study of missile separation characteristics.
  4. GSH 23 mm twin barrelled gun: This Russian gun underwent extensive butt firing at Nasik before getting on board SP-21. The integral gun would give an edge to the pilot in case of a close-combat scenario.

Jai Hind

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