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 program
  • 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 Bangalore 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 Bangalore. 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.