Indian Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha who took his maiden flight in India’s indigenous light combat aircraft, Tejas, on Tuesday defined the aircraft as a good one.
Raha said “It’s my first sortie in Tejas,it’s a good aircraft for induction into IAF operations.”
According to reports, Raha on Tuesday flew the Aircraft(Tejas) for over 30 minutes at Bengaluru’s HAL Airport.
Here is the video:
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 17, 2016
The IAF has given an order of 120 Tejas, with 100 of them being an upgraded version.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), manufacturer of Tejas, is likely to hand over the fourth aircraft to IAF by June end.
The four aircraft will make up for the first squadron of IAF which will be used for training and familarisation. Rather than waiting for LAC Mk II, IAF had decided to go in with an upgraded version of the existing Tejas with over 40 modifications.
IAF currently plans to acquire 120 Tejas aircraft, with 100 of these having major modifications. The force wants Active Electrically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, mid-air refueling capacity and beyond the vision range missiles.
As per the production plan, six aircraft will be made this year (2015-16) and HAL will subsequently scale it up to eight and 16 aircraft per year.
Upgraded version of Tejas will cost between Rs 275 crore and Rs 300 crore.
Tejas, which was several years in the making, has now caught the attention of foreign buyers, with Sri Lanka and Egypt evincing interest in the fighter jet.
Sri Lanka had recently rejected Pakistan’s JF-17 aircraft built with Chinese help, while Egypt had last year signed a contract for 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets.
The two countries are interested in the current version of Tejas and not the upgraded one which will be rolled out later.
(With Agency Inputs)