HAL’s Tejas fighter makes debut at Bahrain air show
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 22 Jan 2016 13:17:34|
BENGALURU, Jan 21 (IANS)
LIGHT combat aircraft Tejas, made in India by state-run company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), flew for the first time at the Bahrain International Air Show on Thursday.
“Two Tejas fighters are participating in the three-day Bahrain air show to display its air prowess through aerobatic manoeuvres like 8-G (gravity) pull, vertical loop, slow fly past and barrel roll,” HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju said in a
statement from the island country in the Persian Gulf. Designed and developed by the city-based aeronautical agencies of state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Tejas is a single
engine, light weight, agile, multi-role supersonic fighter.
“It is important that indigenous aircraft fly outside India in international air shows,” Raju said.
HAL has set-up a dedicated division in Bengaluru to manufacture a fleet of Tejas for induction in the Indian Air Force (IAF) as frontline fighters.
“Tejas is a 4.5 generation aircraft with supersonic capability at all altitudes. It has fly-by-wire, open architecture computer for avionics and combat capability,” Raju added.
India is also displaying the HAL-made four advanced light helicopters (ALH) Dhruv of the IAF as aerobatic team Sarang to enthrall visitors at the air show.
Full scale production of Tejas by next year: Parrikar
DEFENCE Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said full-scale production of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will begin by next year and that other countries have shown interest in the plane.
“As per my primary report, it is appreciated by other countries who are interested... By next year, we are starting full-scale production,” he told reporters at the NCC Republic Day camp here.
Tejas, which had been in the making for over 3 decades, is taking part in the ongoing Bahrain International Airshow as the country hopes to explore potential export opportunities. It is a single-engine, light-weight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter plane. Tejas is a 4.5 generation aircraft with supersonic capability at all altitudes. Indian Air Force plans to acquire 120 Tejas aircraft, with 100 of them having some major modifications. It wants better radar, new electronic warfare suit, refuelling capacity and improved missiles.
The training of IAF pilots on LCA has already commenced.
Though DRDO has developed a naval version of Tejas, the Navy is seeking a more powerful engine, besides other changes. As per the production plan, six aircraft will be made this year (2015-16) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will subsequently scale it up to eight and 16 aircraft per year.