Light Combat Aircraft Tejas has already achieved Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) in December 2013 for fighter version of aircraft and 10 fighter version aircraft have been delivered to Indian Air Force. These aircraft are equipped with various combat equipment as envisaged for IOC version of aircraft.
Final Operational Clearance (FOC) was initially planned by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for December 2012. However the same has not yet been achieved by ADA.
Delays in attaining FOC have been mainly due to delay in finalization of Air to Air Refuelling contract; challenges faced in integration of Air to Air Refuelling probe and associated major hardware (structural modification) and software (Flight control software) modification & flight testing etc.
Two contracts were signed between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., (HAL) for procurement of (i) 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft, including 16 IOC fighters and 04 trainers on 31st March 2006 to be completed in December 2011 and (ii) 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft including 16 FOC fighters and four trainers on 23rd December 2010 to be completed by December 2016.
Till date, out of 16 IOC fighter aircraft, 10 fighters have been delivered by HAL and are operational with IAF’s 45 Squadron. The delivery of remaining 6 IOC fighter aircraft is planned by March, 2019. The production of 4 IOC trainer aircraft would be taken up only after design clearance from ADA. Production of 20 FOC aircraft will be taken up only after FOC by ADA.