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
- Lightest in its category of fighter planes.
- More advanced than its contemporaries like F-16, Mirage 2000, Gripen, etc.
- Not even a single small accident during trials.
- 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.
- Will break the monopoly of select countries which can build fighter jets.
- Its development experience can be put to good use by India for developing FGFAs (Fifth Genration Fighter Aircrafts) and Advanced Medium Combat Aircrafts (MCA).
- 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.