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Final operational clearance to Tejas was granted even though the jet's drop tank & other weapon configurations are yet to be cleared while airframe fatigue test is still underway.
The Indian Air Force strike on Pakistan's Balakot was carried out by the French-built Mirage 2000 aircraft.
DRDO chief G. Satheesh Reddy says General Bipin Rawat's endorsemnt comes as a big morale boost for DRDO scientists and HAL.
After integration issues with Israeli Python-5 on Tejas, IAF looks to equip Light Combat Aircraft Tejas with the French air-to-air missile ASRAAM.
HAL was to roll out the Final Operational Clearance version of the indigenously-built aircraft by 2011, but project has been hit by delays.
The panel, headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, reported that insufficiency was affecting the Airforce's combat potential.
A quick turnaround of the Tejas light fighter is on the cards but the government needs to step up.