India’s light combat aircraft (LCA), Tejas SP-9 (LA-5009), has successfully completed its maiden flight from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in Bengaluru.

During the trials, the LCA Tejas SP-9 jet was piloted for 21 minutes by Indian Air Force (IAF) retired air commodore KA Muthanna.

LA-5009 is the ninth jet in a series of Tejas aircraft being produced for the Indian armed forces.

Following a few production sorties, the latest aircraft will be handed over to the IAF’s No.45 Squadron, which is also called the ‘Flying Daggers’.

The first flight test of the Tejas SP-9 has been carried out 11 days after the IAF’s LCA Tejas SP-8 (LA-5008) completed its maiden flight from the HAL Airport in Bengaluru on 13 March.

The LA-5008 aircraft flew for 33 minutes with retired group captain KK Venugopal on the controls.

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“The LCA Tejas was inducted into the No. 45 Squadron of the IAF and has been designed to replace the MiG-21 aircraft.”

On 1 July 2016, the LCA Tejas was inducted into the No. 45 Squadron of the IAF and has been designed to replace the MiG-21 aircraft.

The aircraft has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and produced by HAL.

HAL serves as the principal partner of the project along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), the IAF, and the Indian Navy.

The LCA Tejas is the first advance fly-by-wire (FBW) fighter aircraft completely designed, developed, and manufactured in India.

Featuring single engine and compound-delta-wing, the LCA and its variants are the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of their class.