Saturday, July 11, 2020
Home Business First indigenous Combat Plane of India enters service after 33 Years

First indigenous Combat Plane of India enters service after 33 Years

The single-seat Indian fighter is considered superior to counterparts like the JF-17 aircraft jointly built by China and Pakistan

  • India’s fighter aircraft fleet, made up of a mix of Russian, British and French planes
  • China said it is still testing its first stealth fighter, the J-20, but it would enter service soon
  • The single-seat Indian fighter is considered superior to counterparts like the JF-17 aircraft jointly built by China and Pakistan

India’s first locally-built combat aircraft officially took to the skies on Friday, 33 years after it was cleared for development, marking a long-held goal of cutting expensive imports to build a domestic defense-industrial base.

BENGALURU- India’s fighter aircraft fleet, made up of a mix of Russian, British and French planes, is down to 33 squadrons as against the air force’s requirement of 45 to face Pakistan and China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has nudged the military to accept the first version of the “Tejas” Light Combat Aircraft to make up for the shortfall while a more powerful subsequent model is under development.

Indian Air Force officers broke coconuts and priests held multi-faith ceremonies to mark the induction of two planes in the southern city of Bengaluru. Later, the aircraft took off in the colors of the air force as fire tenders sprayed water on he tarmac in a military ritual.

“Moment of national pride. Indigenously developed Tejas fighter jet inducted into Air Force. Tejas will take our air strength to new heights,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has led the drive for indigenisation, said in a Twitter post.

Early this month, in June, China said it is still testing its first stealth fighter, the J-20, but it would enter service soon.

Crew inspecting first J-20 prototype. Image source: manglermuldoon.blogspot.com
Crew inspecting first J-20 prototype. Image source: manglermuldoon.blogspot.com

The single-seat Indian fighter is considered superior to counterparts like the JF-17 aircraft jointly built by China and Pakistan. Tejas has had no accident in 3,000 hours of flying and its use of composites helps lower its radar signature, making it harder to detect early, air force officials said.

“The LCA is as good as any in the world in its class,” said retired Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur now a fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi.

But the challenge for state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which is making the aircraft, will be to stick to the production schedule as the air force seeks to arrest the decline in the number of planes it can deploy, he said.

HAL only has the capacity to produce four Tejas planes a year, a government-appointed audit committee said in a report last year. The plan is to increase production capacity to eight, a defense ministry official said on Friday, June 30.

India is separately negotiating for the purchase of 36 top end Rafale fighter planes from France’s Dassault Aviation, a scaled-back deal that has been hanging fire since 2012. (Reuters)

ALSO READ:

STAY CONNECTED

18,990FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,786FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Ageing, Muscle Mass and Your Health

We've all battled with a lid that just won't budge. Maybe we tried banging it on the counter or holding it under hot water,...

Tips to Rejuvenate Your Home This Shravan

The fifth month of the Hindu calendar is called 'the holy month of Shravan', known to be a conduit for conveying natural and tremendous...

Here’s How Yoga Improves Reproductive and Sexual Health

Yoga is an ancient method of relaxation, exercise, and healing that has gained a wide following across the world. It rejuvenates the mind, body,...

Research on Link between Humans and Cats on Silk Road

In some news for cat lovers, new analyses done on an almost-complete cat skeleton found during an excavation along the former Silk Road in...

Application Rate per Job Increases by 48% Amid Covid-19 in India

Rate of applications per job has now increased by 48 per cent in India compared to average applications per job in the pre-Covid period,...

Spotify Signs Deal With Archie Comics to Produce Podcasts

Swedish audio streaming giant Spotify on Friday signed an exclusive deal with Archie Comics to produce podcast adaptations starring the comic book publisher's iconic...

3 in 4 Indians Prefer Watching Movies on OTT Platforms Amid Pandemic

Three in four Indians would prefer to watch a movie on various over-the-top (OTT) platforms in the social distancing times compared to just one...

Poor Indian Children Consistently Face Educational Disadvantages: Researchers

Children from poorer households in India consistently experience educational disadvantages as compared to their wealthier peers, say researchers, adding that the girls are more...

Recent Comments