Tejas LCA

Tejas LCA

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is an indigenously developed multirole fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy (IN).

The Tejas is a single-engine, lightweight fighter aircraft that can be used for a variety of missions, including air-to-air combat, air-to-ground attack, and reconnaissance. It is designed to be a cost-effective and versatile aircraft that can meet the needs of the Indian Armed Forces.

Development

The development of the Tejas began in the early 1980s as part of the Indian government’s indigenous aerospace program. The project was initially called the National Combat Aircraft (NCA), but it was later renamed the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas.

The Tejas design was chosen in 1990 after a competition between several Indian and foreign designs. The first prototype Tejas made its maiden flight on January 4, 2001.

The Tejas has undergone a number of upgrades since its first flight, including the addition of new avionics, radar, and weapons systems.

Variants

There are currently three variants of the Tejas in production:

  • LCA Tejas Mk 1: The initial production variant of the Tejas. It is powered by a single GE F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine and can carry a variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.
  • LCA Tejas Mk 1A: An upgraded version of the Tejas Mk 1. It has a more powerful engine, improved avionics, and a wider range of weapons.
  • LCA Tejas Mk 2: A proposed advanced version of the Tejas. It will have a larger wingspan, a more powerful engine, and a wider range of weapons.

Specifications

  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 13.2 meters (43.3 feet)
    • Height: 4.4 meters (14.4 feet)
    • Wingspan: 8.2 meters (27 feet)
  • Weight:
    • Empty: 5.2 tons (11,500 pounds)
    • Maximum take-off weight: 12.5 tons (27,552 pounds)
  • Engine: One GE F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine.
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.6 (1,911 kilometres per hour, 1,185 miles per hour)
  • Range: 360 kilometres (224 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 15,850 meters (51,972 feet)
  • Armament: A variety of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, bombs, and rockets

UPSC Perspective

The Tejas LCA is an important symbol of India’s technological prowess and its ability to develop and manufacture advanced military aircraft. It is also a key part of the Indian Air Force’s modernization plans.

The Tejas is likely to be a topic of interest in the UPSC exams, particularly for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Naval Academy (INA). Candidates may be asked questions about the development, specifications, and role of the Tejas in the Indian Air Force.

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