Under the idea that Indian air force should induct the indigenously developed combat aircraft even if it did fails to fulfill the requirements of the service, Indian air force has so far placed an order for 20 LCA Tejas MK-I fighter aircrafts and has an option to purchase another 20 LCA. First of these LCA MK-I is planned to be delivered to the Indian Air Force early next year.
Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Tejas) has so far failed to meet the revised requirements set by the Indian Air Force. LCA MK-I is not likely to meet these requirement over and above the requirements of high thrust engine for the LCA MK-II. Indian airforce has selected the F414-INS6 MK-II version of LCA Tejas.
Under current plans LCA Tejas MK-II will be able to perform first flight in 2014 and after going through different tests and evaluations, LCA Tejas MK-II will enter into full-scale production in 2016.
First prototype of LCA Tejas was rolled out some 15 years ago in 1995. Prototype was powered by US GE F404 engine as Indian Kaveri jet engine designed and developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) was to be ready only in 2002. So far India has failed in its attempt to successfully develop the Kaveri jet engine. Kaveri jet engine has been flight tested for the first time using an IL-76 in Russia in November 2010. India has already placed an order for the 99 F414-INS6 for LCA MK-II which is planned to enter into production in 2016.