Tejas, India’s first home-grown Light Combat Aircraft was inducted in the Indian Air force On Friday. After a long wait of three decades the country’s military aviation achieved a major Milestone. While designing the aircraft many aspects were kept in focus such as carrying weapons, manoeuvrability, light weight, and many other things. It has a weight of 6,560 Kg, which is a lightest multi role aircraft of its class. It has a max take-off weight of 13,500 Kg.

The performance factors shows that it can achieve a max speed of Mach 1.8 i.e. 2205 Km/h for FOC version and Mach 1.6 i.e. 2000 Km/h for IOC version. The aircraft carries a single mounted 23 mm twin-barrel Gryazev-Shipunov (GSh-23) cannon with 220 rounds of ammunition. It has S-8 rocket pods for Bofors 135 mm rocket. The aircraft is equipped to carry air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles.

The Indian Air force will induct 6 aircraft this year and 8 aircraft next year. Tejas is set to replace Mig-21s, infamously known as ‘flying coffins’. Group Captain Madhav Ragnachari was the first to fly the aircraft after its induction into IAF. “I felt like being on top of the world when flying the Tejas fighter. It’s an honour and a privilege to pilot the inaugural flight of the LCA soon after its induction,” Ragnachari told reporters.

Light Combat AIrcraft

5 things you should know about Tejas:

1) Tejas is equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system to enhance manoeuvrability.

2) Tejas is set to replace Mig-21s and has been designed only for light combat.

3) Countries like Sri Lanka and Egypt have shown interest in buying the aircraft.

4) Tejas is a single-engined,  light-weighted, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter.

5) It is considered to be better than JF-17 Thunder, jointly produced by Pakistan and China.