LCA Tejas : Knight of the Indian Skies

Development time taken: 30 years in the making

Cost: ₹ 172.69 billion

Developer: HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited)

Category: Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)

Top Speed: 1920 kmph (Supersonic)

Range: 850 km

To be inducted in IAF (Indian Air Force) by: 2015 

Advantages:

  1. Lightest in its category of fighter planes.
  2. More advanced than its contemporaries like F-16, Mirage 2000, Gripen, etc.
  3. Not even a single small accident during trials.
  4. At ₹180 crore per plane is one-third of the costs of similar aircraft even though one-third of its parts including the engine are imported.
  5. Will break the monopoly of select countries which can build fighter jets.
  6. Its development experience can be put to good use by India for developing FGFAs (Fifth Genration Fighter Aircrafts) and Advanced Medium Combat Aircrafts (MCA).
  7. Opens up exciting new possibilities for Indian defence-industrial sector though the export of Tejas especially to interested developing and under-developed countries and has the potential to bring huge inflow of foreign revenue.

The DRDO is developing four versions of the LCA; viz., LCA for Air Force, LCA trainer for Air Force, LCA for Navy and LCA Navy Trainer. DRDO has also developed a special facility in Goa that mimics the conditions for a Tejas for Navy landing, take-off and manoeuvre from an aircraft carrier.

Jai Hind.

-Ribhu V.

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