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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

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Tejas. Image source: militaryaviationnews.wordpress.com
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  • 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)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    Tejas means Radiation, the name was suggested by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This will strengthen the IAF.

  • AJ Krish

    It is indeed a big achievement. The fight starts from now on, though. They should strive to build more planes with lesser imports and finally make a complete indigenous plane.

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Badshah: Indians Don’t Take Rapping Seriously

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show "Dil Hai Hindustani"

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Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously
Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously, flickr

Rapper and music composer Badshah, who is excited about his new reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani 2”, says that rapping is not taken seriously in India as an art form.

Badshah was interacting with the media at the launch of Star Plus channel’s forthcoming reality show along with singer Sunidhi Chauhan on Monday.

Badshah, who has delivered some chart-busting rap songs like “Chull”, “Saturday Saturday” and most recent “Tareefan” is eager to spread awareness about rap as an art form.

Talking about it, he said: “Rapping along with dance and stand-up comedy is not taken seriously as an art form in India and this misconception should change.”

“That is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to be a judge on the show. But apart from that, I’m here to have fun as well, and have a better connection with the audience,” he added.

Badshah
Badshah, flickr

The rapper is also gearing up to produce Bollywood and Punjabi movies and also launching a web series soon through his production house.

Talking about the future of the digital platform, Badshah said: “I think it (digital media) is the future, so it’s very important for any production house right now to concentrate on digital media.”

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani”, along with Bollywood singer and composer Pritam.

Also read: Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

The show, which first aired in January 2017, provides a platform for people from all over the world and of varying age groups to showcase their talent in Indian music. (IANS)