India's Aeronautical Development Agency has conducted the first flight of a Tejas light combat aircraft powered by a General Electric F404-IN20 engine.

Achieved on 16 June, the milestone saw the second of eight limited series production aircraft reach Mach 1.1 and an altitude of over 31,100ft (9,480m) during its 43min debut.

With a maximum rating of 19,000lb (84kN), the -IN20 offers increased thrust over the LCA's original F404-F2J3. India has ordered 24 of the new engines to power an initial production batch of 20 aircraft, to achieve initial operational capability in 2010.

However, the service has already said that it needs a powerplant capable of generating 21,000-22,500lb for the Tejas. Options include completing development of the domestic Gas Turbine Research Establishment Kaveri, the Eurojet EJ200 and GE's F414.


Source: Flight International