LCA Tejas History

1980 - 1989

  • DRDO got permission to initiate a programme to design and develop a Light Combat Aircraft.
  • Government of India set up Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) as the nodal agency developing the LCA and managing the programme.
  • IAF generated Air Staff Requirements (ASR) for LCA in October 1985.
  • Government allocated Rs. 575 Crores for the LCA programme.

  • Programme to develop an indigenous power plant (engine)- Kaveri was launched at GTRE.
  • Project definition commenced in October 1987 with French aircraft major Dassault Aviation as consultants.
  • 1988
  • Project definition phase completed in September 1988.
  • Government review committee expressed confidence in LCA programme. It was decided that the programme will be implemented in two phases.
1990 - 1999
  • Design of LCA was completed as a tail-less compound delta winged relaxed static stability aircraft.

  • Phase 1 (Technology Demonstrator) of the development was commenced to create the proof of concept.


  • Full funding approved from April 1993 and development work for phase 1 started in June.
  • First technology demonstrator, TD-1, rolled out on 17th November.


  • Multi-Mode Radar (MMR) for LCA design work started at HAL Hyderabad division and LRDE.

2000 - 2009
  • 4th January – the historic first flight of the Technology Demonstrator TD-1 marking a new era in the aviation history of India.
  • 6th June - TD-2 made her successful maiden flight.
  • Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee named LCA – "Tejas" meaning Radiance in ancient Indian language Sanskrit.

  • Tejas crossed the sonic barrier for the first time

  • 25th November - PV-1 made her successful maiden flight.

  • 1st December - PV-2 made her successful maiden flight.
  • 1st December - PV-3 flew for the first time for 27 minutes at an altitude of 2.5 km and at a speed of Mach 0.8. PV-3 was equipped with a more advanced pilot interface, refined avionics and higher control law capabilities compared with the previous versions.
  • 25th April - The first Limited Series Production LCA (LSP-1) made her first flight and reached a speed of Mach 1.1 in the very first flight.

  • PV-2 and PV-3 underwent sea-level trials at INS Rajali Naval Air Station, Arakkonam to study the effects of flying at sea-level, as all earlier trials have been conducted at Bengaluru which is 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea-level. The reliability of the LCA systems under the hot and humid conditions, as well as low level flight characteristics was tested.

  • 7th September - Tejas Prototype Vehicle (PV-1) made a successful flight with two external drop tanks of 800 Ltrs capacity

  • 25th October - Tejas PV-1 fired R-73 (CCM) missile for the first time. The trials were conducted off the Goa coast at INS Hansa Naval Air Station.

  • 11th December - LITENING targeting pod was successfully tested on Tejas PV-2.
  • 28th May 2008 to 4th June 2008 - LCA Tejas prototypes PV-2 & PV-3 underwent hot weather trials at Air Force Station, Nagpur.

  • 16th June - Tejas second Limited Series Production LCA (LSP-2) made its first flight.

  • 7th November - LCA Prototype Vehicle-3 made first successful night flight.

  • 13th December - PV-3 and LSP-2 completed the high altitude test at Leh, world's highest operational airfield.
  • 22nd January - Tejas completed 1000 flights.

  • October - PV-3 and LSP-2 completed air-to-ground weapons delivery trials.

  • 26th November - Two seater (Trainer) version of Tejas (PV-5) made its maiden flight on 26 Nov 09.

  • 7th December - Tejas speed envelope expanded to 1350 km/h (CAS) while performing flight flutter test in a dive to near sea level. These tests were conducted at INS Hansa, Goa.
2010 - 2019
  • 6th June - TD-2 made her successful maiden flight.

  • 23rd April - LCA Tejas LSP-3 made maiden flight. LSP-3 is close to the final configuration including the new air-data computers, Hybrid
  • Multi Mode Radar, new communication and navigation equipment and radar warning receiver. With this the LCA programme has completed 1350 test flights logging about 800 flying hours.

  • 2nd June - LCA Tejas LSP-4 made successful maiden Flight. In addition to the LSP-3 standard of preparation, the aircraft also flew with the Countermeasure Dispensing System.

  • 19 November - LCA Tejas LSP-5 made successful maiden Flight.
  • 10th January - Certification for the Release to Service.
  • 9th March - The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, LSP-7 accomplished its maiden flight from HAL airport on 9th March 2012

  • 29th April - The Naval version of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, made its maiden flight from the HAL Airport in Bengaluru. This was a significant milestone in the history of Indian Aviation in designing a naval variant of a fighter aircraft.
  • 22nd February - The LCA took part in the Iron Fist Exercise in Pokhran, Jaisalmer

  • 31st March - The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, LSP-8 accomplished its maiden flight from HAL airport.

  • 20th Decemeber - Initial Operation Clearance - 2: LCA Tejas inducted into the Indian Air Force
    Indian Defence Minister Mr. A.K. Antony handed over the "Release to Service Document" of the country’s own Light Combat Aircraft to The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.
  • 1st October - First Flight of LCA Tejas SP 1
    The first Tejas Light Combat Aircraft from the batch of 20 ‘series production’ or full-fledged fighters flew for about 25 minutes in Bengaluru. The flight of ‘SP1’ was piloted by HAL’s Chief Test Pilot Air Cmde K.A. Muthanna(retd). The First Flight of SP1 was achieved within nine months of receiving the penultimate flight worthiness certification, called IOC (initial operational clearance) in December 2013.

  • 8th November - LCA Tejas PV6 (Prototype Vehicle 6), a final configuration two-seater trainer aircraft, successfully completed its maiden flight at the HAL Airport in Bengaluru.

  • 20th December - Maiden Ski Jump of LCA NP-1 : Carrier Compatibility Test - The first prototype of the light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas Naval version - LCA NP-1 completed its maiden flight as the part of the carrier compatibility tests at the shore-based test facility in Goa.
  • 17th January - IAF gets first indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas - The LCA Tejas Series Production-1 (SP1) was handed over by Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar to Indian Air Force Chief Air Marshal Arup Raha in Bengaluru on Saturday.

  • 7th February - The Second Prototype of the Light Combat Aircraft, the NP-2, flew her maiden flight on 7th February 2015 from HAL Airport in Bengaluru. Piloted by Capt. Shivnath Dahiya (Indian Navy), the aircraft performed flawlessly in the first-flight.