Tejas,India,Fighter Aircraft,

Pic credit goes to Venkat Mangudi (Flickr)

 Recently, the Indian fighter aircraft Tejas has generated lots of buzz in the media because of its excellent performance and the interest of many nations in buying it. At one stage, Tejas's aircraft program was almost considered dead because of long delays and little success after the colossal spending but the present government kept its trust in Indian scientists and today, we are witnessing a huge success. In the world, there are still very few nations that have achieved the milestone of creating a perfect fighter aircraft. So far, India has remained dependent on foreign weapons for its armed forces and due to this reason India remained one of the top arms importer countries in the world for many years. But the present government realized that It is not to the benefit of India to remain dependent on foreign arms because buying arms from other countries involves spending billions or trillions of rupees. On the other hand, if India develops its own weapons then it can first save this huge spending plus it can also earn money by selling these weapons. 

Tejas fighter plane is one such milestone of the Indian government which offers dual benefits of increasing the security of the country plus providing an opportunity to earn money. The decision to make Indian light combat aircraft was taken back in 1983 and the first prototype of Tejas took its first flight on 04 January 2001. But it took 10 years after the first flight of Tejas to get Initial operational clearance (IOC) and further 8 years to get Final Operational clearance. Currently, India operates 20 Tejas planes of IOC standard and 20 planes of (FOC) standard. The first squadron of Tejas planes become operational in 2016 and it was named flying daggers. India has further developed the Tejas aircraft and introduced a more advanced version of it known as Tejas Mark 1 A. This version of Tejas has superior instruments, avionics and software over the Tejas Mark 1 version. 

Tejas also comes in a trainer version and is believed to be one of the best trainer aircraft in the world because it can mimic the cockpit of all major aircrafts present in the world, therefore, even American and Australian airforce showed interest in Tejas trainer aircraft. Presently, India has given orders for 123 Tejas fighter aircraft, out of which 83 aircraft will be of Mark 1 A and 10 will be trainer aircraft. In its, category Tejas is one of the most potent and powerful fighter aircraft with all the latest facilities. Integration of beyond visual range missiles like Astra has given considerable powers to this fighter plane. 

We all know India is struggling with its ageing fleet of aircraft like Mig 21 known as flying coffins. So, Tejas is likely to replace all Mig 21 aircraft by 2025 by making it safer for Indian pilots. Currently, India uses general electrics 404 engine for its Tejas planes and it is also developing its own engine to reduce its dependence on foreign countries. Many countries don't want that India should progress in its fighter plane program because they want India to remain dependent on them for fighter planes. 

India has decided to take Tejas to next level by developing Tejas Mark 2 fighter plane which will be a further enhancement to Tejas Mark 1 A. It is believed that Tejas mark 2 will be so advanced and superior that it can replace India's fleet of Mirage and Jaguar aeroplanes. As per the news, the work on the Tejas Mark 2 is moving forward at a very fast speed and the first prototype will be ready by end of this year or by the start of next year and it will come into production as early as 2025. Every Indian feels proud of the Indian fighter plane program because it gives huge strength to our nation. 

India is also working on AMCA (Advance medium combat aircraft) program to develop a fight generation fighter aircraft. In future, we can hope that Indian scientists will make us proud with more such achievements. 

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