For the first time in history, India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, ‘Tejas ‘, participated in an international show, in the Bahrain International Air show, at Sakhir Airbase.
An air-show event was witnessed by country’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, who is on a two-day visit to attend the first ministerial meeting of the India-Arab League Cooperation Forum, which will be held on Sunday 24th January.
Sushma Swaraj was accompanied by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Sushma, along with the king, also witnessed the Sarang helicopter team of the Indian Air Force in action at the event.
Swaraj also attended the India pavilion at the air show event , where the scientists and scholars gave the minister a briefing on ‘Tejas’ aircraft.
The Tejas first flight at an international event was hailed by the whole nation and country’s officials regarded this proud moment as a “historic event” as the country hopes to explore potential export opportunities.
Tejas is an Indian single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter developed by DRDO and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. The Indian aircraft enchanted the audience at the event as it roared through the skies.
Tejas, which had been in the making for over 3 decades, is a 4.5 generation aircraft with supersonic capability at all altitudes. The aircraft is tailless and has a compound delta wing design powered by a single engine.
It was named “Tejas” meaning “radiant” by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee .
On January 17, 2015, the first Tejas was officially inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF), that plans to acquire 120 Tejas aircraft, with 100 of them having some major modifications. It wants better radar, new electronic warfare suit, refuelling capacity and improved missiles.