First, of the aircraft coming from the second LCA-Tejas line, SP-5 successfully conducted its maiden flight yesterday after suffering delays of few months due to technical reasons. SP-5 after few rounds of Initial flights will be handed over to the No. 45 Flying Daggers, the first Indian Air Force (IAF) squadron to be equipped with the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.
SP-5 reportedly suffered from Technical issues due to the shoddy job at the second line which was developed by HAL from an erstwhile Kiran hangar. The main production line has the capacity to assemble 5 aircrafts and the second line has a capacity of 3 aircrafts per annum.
HAL also has started work on expanding Tejas production to 16 fighters per year involves establishing a second assembly line which can assemble 8 aircrafts per annum talking overhaul capacity to 16 aircrafts per annum by 2019.
HAL Chief T Suvarna Raju last year said that Production can be further ramped up to 24 aircrafts per annum without adding additional production line if companies like Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, Bengaluru (front fuselage), VEM Technologies, Hyderabad (centre fuselage), Alpha Tocol, Bengaluru (rear fuselage), L&T, Coimbatore (wings), National Aerospace Laboratory and Tata Advanced Materials Ltd ( tail fin and rudder) which are in charge of Major sub-assemblies can increase their capacity.
By end of March 2018, HAL still hopes to deliver 11 planes to No. 45 Flying Daggers but it is likely deadline will be missed but few more aircrafts will take to air soon.