For a long time, India was heavily reliant on foreign defence equipment to defend itself from its enemies. But now, the changed attitude of the Indian government has set the ground for indigenous manufacturing of defence requirements. Currently, India is not only making its own equipment but also exporting them. In between all this defence prosperity, a new milestone has been achieved by the HAL made Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
Naval Tejas takes charge
In a historic moment, the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) landed on INS Vikrant. This was a first of its kind landing. This is the first time that a fixed wing aircraft has finished a complete cycle within the flattop.
It is to be noted here that INS Vikrant too is an indigenous aircraft carrier which began trails in August 2021 and was commissioned by the Indian Navy in September 2022.
According to Indian Navy officials, “It demonstrates India’s capability to design, develop, construct, and operate an indigenous aircraft carrier with an indigenous fighter aircraft.”
Previously, it was anticipated that these trials will be concluded till mid 2023. Till now, only the Indian Air Force was using Tejas. It will be interesting to see how Navy is going to use it, as back in 2016, Indian Navy had rejected Tejas for operations on INS Vikrant. The reason being its heavy weight in contrast to its single engine. According to the navy, the weight and thrust ratio of the aircraft was less than required to be used on the aircraft carrier. So, the Indian Navy began looking for foreign fighter aircraft.
However, Tejas achieved various milestones in its trials. In 2017, it took off from INS Vikramaditya. And in 2020, on the same carrier, Tejas landed smoothly, with the arrested hook precisely connected with the arrester wire.
LCA Tejas has received remarkable appraisal across the globe and is in a very high demand in the global defence market due to its capabilities. Tejas is also ready to be exported to different countries. Argentina, Australia, Egypt, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines are some of the countries that have shown interest in purchasing Tejas from India.