August 19, 2013: Towards achieving initial operational clearance (IOC-II) by the end of this year, the LCA Tejas was deployed last month to Jamnagar Air Force Station for weapons trials, which included missile firing and release of bombs. The trials were successfully completed. More rounds of weapons release trials will be conducted both at Jamnagar and Goa shortly. Defence Minister A.K. Antony recently informed Parliament that the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) had been told to strictly follow timelines, giving a clear indication that the MoD and IAF would not tolerate any further slippages in delivery dates for squadron service, slated for 2015.
The Jamnagar trials comes shortly after the deployment of the Tejas in the Iron Fist exercise earlier this year, though it was not in combat mode there. Several parameters still need to be cleared on the Tejas before it achieves IOC-II, including all-weather clearance, lightning clearance and other test points.