Indian Navy Chief Explains Why Tejas Was Rejected By The Navy

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LCA Tejas is an ambitious project of India for developing its own fighter aircraft. Tejas is 4th generation aircraft with pure delta wing configuration. It is a multi-role aircraft and can do several jobs at the same time. It is supported by various sophisticated equipment, integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system, composite material structures, and a flat rated engine.

Even, ADA didn’t disappoint the nation as well, they have developed the smallest, lightest and most advance aircraft in it’s class.

Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas
Light Combat Aircraft – Tejas

Indian Navy was one of the biggest contributors in the indigenisation of weapon systems, ignoring the western offers Indian Navy chosen the Indian made vessels. Indian companies and organizations didn’t disappoint the navy as well. They served brilliant machinery with cutting edge technology to support nations security in the ocean.

Tejas preparing for takeoff on the runway.
Tejas preparing for takeoff on the runway.

Recently, Indian Navy had contributed about 25% funds in the development of LCA which it can operate from the carrier decks, Naval variant NP-1 was rolled out in 2010. Indian Navy started its trial and successfully conducted ski-jump trials at SBTF Goa. It has a special flight control low mode which allows hands-free- take off relieving the pilot workload, as the aircraft leaps from the ramp and automatically puts the aircraft in ascending trajectory.

Light combat aircraft - Tejas
Light combat aircraft – Tejas

Indian Navy has rejected the naval variant of LCA. The chief of the Naval staff, Adm Sunil Lanba clarifies the move to The Hindu that the Navy has only taken a purely technical decision, Tejas didn’t fit in our bill. The Navy wanted a deck-based fighter, but LCA Navy Mk1 didn’t meet that requirement. Its power-to-weight ratio, the thrust the engine generates(are insufficient) and it’s under-powered for the airframe. Unfortunately, even the Mk2 variant doesn’t qualify.

Tejas doing ski-jump at SBTF, Goa
Tejas doing ski-jump at SBTF, Goa

Navy has justified its move by referring the delay of ADA in developing the fighter. They were expecting Tejas for INS Vikrant which would be sailing in 2019 and they will need a deck-based fighter now. ADA has delayed the project by a decade that’s why with due permission of the ministry, Navy has issued a Request For Information (RFI) to look for a fighter that meets our requirements.

Naval LCA
Naval LCA

Currently, Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale-M and Mikoyan’s Mig-29K is in the competition along with SAAB’s Griphen-M, these companies are expected to fill the tender by May 2017.

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