Berhampur rejoices as Tejas takes off

Berhampur rejoices as Tejas takes off

Kota Harinarayan, Programme Director and Chief Designer of the Light Combat Aircraft, hails from Berhampur city 

The induction of India’s first home-grown fighter jet ‘Tejas’ into the air force has brought special cheer to the people of Odisha as its leading architect, Programme Director and chief designer hails from Berhampur city.

Kota Harinarayan, who contributed in designing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), is jubilant following the aircraft’s induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Tejas

“We worked for over two decades to design the Tejas. Hard work finally paid off as the aircraft was inducted into the IAF. I will be really happy when it is fully utilized by the Air Force,” Harinarayan said over the phone from Bengaluru.

“The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles and anti-ship missiles. It can also track the enemy’s craft Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and support army operations across the border,” he said.

“Tejas is superior to fighter aircrafts of China and Pakistan. It is designed with the latest technology,” he added. “Though we started work on the LCA in the 1980s, which is when the government decided to develop an indigenous aircraft for the air force with the establishment of the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the actual work started when the government sanctioned funds in 1993,” Harinarayan said, who was then the director of the project.

According to him, around 20 educational institutions like the IITs in Kanpur, Kharagapur and Bombay, 40 Research and Development (R&D) laboratories and over 500 engineers toiled for years to develop the indigenous aircraft. While a few components of the jet were imported, most parts are made in India.

Though he is settled in Bengaluru now, Harinarayan frequently visits his home town. Tejas, India’s first home-grown fighter jet, was finally inducted into the IAF on Friday after a tortuous saga spread over 33 long years with the launch of the first squadron of two Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) in Bengaluru.

— PTI, July 4, 2016

Indian Tejas jet’s success leaves Western arms contractors worried

Indian Tejas jet’s success leaves Western arms contractors worried

Indian Tejas jet's success leaves Western arms contractors worried

 

Leading defence and aeronautical firms of the West are reportedly worried over the success of the Tejas Trainer Jet, especially as India is expected to bag the first contracts for the trainer jet from Sri Lanka and Egypt.

The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is a supersonic, single-seat, single-engine multi-role light fighter aircraft, which has been under development for the past three decades.

It has been co-developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in cooperation with the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is reportedly looking to procure 18 to 24 new fighter aircraft to replace its obsolete fleet of Chinese license-built MIG-21 by 2017, and had recently rejected Pakistan`s JF-17 aircraft built with Chinese help.

On the other hand, Egypt has also shown some interest in procuring the Tejas, though it had last year signed a contract to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets from France.

According to the web site www.dailymirror.lk, both Colombo and Cairo are said to be interested in purchasing the current version of the aircraft.

Two things going in favour of the Tejas are its lower cost and its flying ability.

The Tejas is perhaps the world`s smallest lightweight, multi-role single engine tactical fighter aircraft and the state-run HAL has said it has received expressions of interest for it from abroad, but refused to reveal any names.

It has maintained that its priority is to deliver this combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy first.The Indian Air Force (IAF) is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat and 20 two-seat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy might order up to 40 single-seaters to replace its Sea Harrier FRS.51 and Harrier T.60.

Rather than wait for LAC Mk II, the IAF had decided to go for an upgraded version of the existing Tejas with over 40 modifications. As per the production plan, six aircraft will be made this year and HAL will subsequently scale it up to eight and 16 aircraft per year.HAL is likely to hand over the fourth Tejas aircraft to the IAF by June end.

The four aircraft will make up the first squadron to be used for training and familarisation. The first Tejas squadron will be based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and is scheduled to enter service by 2017-2018.

The LCA programme was initiated in 1983 to replace the ageing MiG-21s planes in IAF`s combat fleet. In 1984, the Indian government established the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme.

The Tejas is often described as a HAL product, but the responsibility for its development belongs to ADA, a national consortium of over 100 defence laboratories, industrial organisations, and academic institutions with HAL being the principal contractor.

The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by HAL after the HAL HF-24 Marut.

-April 23, 2016,London