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  • Writer's pictureBrahmastra Aerospace

The HAL Tejas | an Indian marvel in the sky

The HAL Tejas, an Indian marvel in the sky, is a testament to the nation’s journey towards self-reliance in defense technology. The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which gave birth to the Tejas, began in the early 1980s with the aim of replacing India’s aging fleet of MiG-21 fighters. This ambitious project was not just about creating a new aircraft but also about fostering an ecosystem of indigenous research, development, and production capabilities.


The Genesis of Tejas the LCA program was officially initiated in August 1983 by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), supported by the Indian government with an initial sanction of Rs. 560 crore1. The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) was established to oversee the program, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was tasked with the aircraft’s production.


Key Personalities The Tejas project saw contributions from numerous scientists, engineers, and test pilots. Among the important personalities were the teams at ADA and HAL, who worked tirelessly to bring the vision of an indigenous fighter to life. The project also benefited from the guidance and leadership of various DRDO chiefs and Defence Ministers who supported the program through its developmental phases.

Cost Per Aircraft As of recent reports, the cost of the Tejas Mk-1A variant is approximately Rs. 309 crore ($41.5 million), while the trainer version is priced at Rs. 288 crore ($38.6 million)4. These figures reflect the significant investment in technology and resources required to develop a modern fighter aircraft.

Current Status and Future Today, the Tejas stands as a symbol of India’s growing prowess in defense technology. With multiple variants, including the Mark 1, Mark 1A, and a trainer version, the IAF has placed orders for a substantial number of these aircraft. The Tejas Mark 2 is also under development and is expected to be ready for series production by 20263.

The Tejas is not just an aircraft; it represents the collective aspirations of a nation and its commitment to safeguarding its skies with homegrown solutions. As the Tejas continues to evolve, it carries with it the hopes and dreams of a billion Indians, soaring high as a beacon of national pride and technological achievement.

 

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