Finally India got its 1st ever indigenous aircraft, a 4th generation light combat aircraft (LCA) manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (a Bangalore based public sector unit) & named as Tejas. This aircraft is meant to replace aging Russian MIG21 fighter plane which has gained a bad reputation due to frequent accidents. By the way until now Tejas has not been victim of any accident in it’s around 3000 flights. Its induction will now curb the influence of middlemen in fighter plane deals, thus in the first instance only it will curb corruption.
But the more important reason of being Tejas is something bigger and much wider. Its induction will make India’s dependence on other countries for LCA less. Before its induction Indian Air force (IAF) has 3 kinds of fighter planes; Russian MIG21, Sukhoi 30 & French Mirage. Talks had been there for buying 126 Rafael (a fighter plane) from France but price issue & guarantee of delivery were some major issues which delayed the deal. If we talk about pricing then cost of a Rafael was around $270 million, which is about 3 times the cost of Tejas. Added advantage of Tejas is that it couldn’t be detected by radars as demonstrated in Bahrain International Air show 2016 with great fighting quality. Even highly experienced IAF pilots acknowledge that Tejas is the best 4th generation fighter plane they have ever fly. Tejas will now support “Make in India” program and thus will augment country’s assets by its export earning & its induction has guaranteed that we longer have to depend on other countries for fighter planes of same quality but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need more modern fighter planes. More specifically, India lags behind in Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) and here the US can offer us its world-class products with cutting edge technology like Global Hawk & Reaper which can carry surveillance and precise weapon targeting without any human (operator) life risk. India is eyeing for these UAVs after now becoming member of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
On a lighter side, before induction of Tejas, priests of all major religions like Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, & Christianity performed religious ceremonies at induction site. May be organizers have neither seen the You Tube video on Ancient Aircraft of India nor attended 102nd Indian Science Congress, 2015 or else they would have considered Tejas as a peanut before our so-called intergalactic Vedic planes. Indians are funny people, aren’t we?