Did HAL fumble with the production of Tejas FOC? [Reality check]
The first FOC Tejas SP21 took skies on 17th March 2020, followed by the first flight of SP 22 on 24th September 2020. The Indian Airforce based on the user experience recommended some software patches and these were to be incorporated in the subsequent units.
Current Status of FOC Units
SP21 is delivered and SP22 is readyThis makes one delivered, one ready for delivery and four aircraft in advance stages. Also, a larger bunch is already loaded on the jigs. Despite hurdles created by Covid-19, HAL is well poised to achieve its target of eight aircraft by end of March 2021. In the worst-case scenario, HAL will for sure deliver six jets make up numbers in coming months.
SP23 and SP24 – Jets are ready and only a few components are to be added which were delayed due to COVID delays.
SP25 and SP26 nearing completion – The coupling stage is almost complete.