The TEJAS MK-1 in service and the more capable TEJAS MK-1A, for which the Indian Air Force has placed an order for 83 aircraft, share the same airframe.
The Main Airframe Fatigue Test (MAFT) of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS MK-1 airframe has begun at the Ground Test Centre of the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) in Bangalore, according to a statement released by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Wednesday.
“These experiments will be conducted over a period of eight to nine years,” says the researcher. If the MAFT is completed successfully, the TEJAS [Air Force] MK-1 aircraft will be qualified for the remainder of its service life,” according to the statement. In order to meet military airworthiness criteria, the MAFT had to show that its airframe was capable of withstanding four times the operational life of the aircraft, according to the report.
The TEJAS MK-1 in service and the more capable TEJAS MK-1A, for which the Indian Air Force has placed an order for 83 aircraft, share the same airframe. According to current estimates, the MK-1A will begin shipping within the next few months.
Setbacks as a result of the pandemic
Following the inauguration of the MAFT test facility, HAL Director (Engineering and R&D) Arup Chatterjee stated, “Despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the HAL has been able to initiate the MAFT testing within the deadlines planned.”
In a statement, Air Vice Marshal KVR Raju, Director of the Indian Air Force project management team, emphasized the importance of the initiation of the MAFT testing in order to clear the TEJAS fleet for the duration of its operational life.
CEMILAC’s Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) and the HAL’s designers collaborated to develop the MAFT’s test plan and schedule, which was approved by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in cooperation with the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA).