26 Nov 2023

Tejas: These are noteworthy features of IAF fighter plane on which PM Modi completed a sortie?

In a historic milestone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew a sortie in the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured Tejas Twin Seat Light Combat Fighter aircraft at Bengaluru. During the 30-minute sortie, capabilities of fighter aircraft Tejas were demonstrated to the PM. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has flown a fighter aircraft sortie. PM Modi described his experience of flying the sortie as memorable. Tejas has been manufactured by India's oldest and prestigious enterprise Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The LCA trainer is a light weight, all weather, multirole aircraft which can undertake all roles of a single seat Tejas fighter and can also be used as a fighter trainer. Tejas is fully combat-capable and is poised to become a cornerstone of the Indian Air Force in the years ahead. With several Tejas aircrafts already in service and a substantial number of pending orders, it is anticipated that the order for 83 Tejas Mk1A jets for the IAF will be fulfilled by 2029.

Noteworthy features of Tejas

Noteworthy features of Tejas include its capability for long-range missile deployment, target locking, and firing. The aircraft is equipped with advanced technology, including radar developed both in Israel and domestically. Flying at speeds ranging from Mach 1.6 to Mach 1.8 and reaching altitudes of up to 52,000 feet, Tejas is a formidable force. (Mach 1 = About 1235 km/h) 

Designed for electronic warfare

With a lifting capacity of eight to nine tonnes, Tejas is designed for electronic warfare and air-to-air refueling. Reflecting India's commitment to self-reliance in the defense sector, Tejas serves as the focal point for defense acquisition priorities. Ongoing upgrades, such as those planned for the Tejas Mk1A, will enhance its range and incorporate more advanced electronic warfare systems. Furthermore, a Tejas Mk2 is envisaged for the future.

HAL recently secured a deal with General Electric to manufacture jet engines in India. This partnership is expected to deliver dozens of engines for the Tejas jets. General Electric will establish a manufacturing line for the F414 engine in India, which will power the Tejas Mk2.

Rs 9000 crore sanctioned for development of LCA Mk 2

The first version of the aircraft was inducted into the IAF in 2016. More than Rs 9000 crore have been sanctioned for the development of LCA Mk 2, an updated and more lethal version of LCA Tejas. 

In the coming years, Tejas would be the largest fleet of fighter aircraft to be operated by the Indian Air Force. Today’s sortie by the Prime Minister will encourage the aeronautics ecosystem and give a big boost to Aatmanirbharta in defence sector.

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