Ten facts about the Tejas LCA: you probably didn’t know

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Ten facts about the Tejas LCA

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* It was in 1984 that the government of India first moved decisively to kick-start the process to build an indigenous aircraft. Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) was set up by the government to develop the programme.

* In 1986, Rs 575 crores were allocated by the then government towards funding the programme.

* On January 4th, 2001, the light combat aircraft made its first flight, a milestone in the Indian aviation industry. Then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee named the aircraft ‘Tejas’ – which means ‘radiance’ in Sanskrit.

* The induction of Tejas comes at an important time when the IAF has wanted to desperately replace it with the ageing fleet of MiG-21, responsible for so many crashes.

* The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, bombs and rockets.

* The aircraft’s structure is composed of 42% carbon fibre composites, 43% aluminium alloy and the remainder titanium alloy.

* The aircraft is being developed in single-seat fighter and twin-seat trainer variants for the IAF and the Navy.

* Earlier this year, the aircraft participated in its first foreign show at the Bahrain International Air Show 2016 where aircraft enthusiasts compared it to Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder, that was produced with the help of China.

* It is considered to be the lightest multi-role supersonic aircraft of its class.

* The aircraft can travel at a maximum speed of 2,205 km/hr for FOC version and 2,000 km/hr for IOC version.

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