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).
“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