Friday, January 15, 2021

IAF chief RKS Bhadauria says made in India Tejas aircraft 'far better' than China-Pak JF-17 fighters

New Delhi: A day after India approved a deal worth Rs 48,000 crore to procure 83 indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief RKS Bhadauria asserted that the made in India aircraft is far better and advanced than the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 fighter jets.

In a major decision aimed at boosting the domestic aerospace industry, India on Wednesday approved a much-awaited deal worth Rs 48,000 crore to procure 83 indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force.

The procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircrafts at the cost of Rs. 45,696 crore along with Design and Development of Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs.1,202 crore has been approved by the Cabinet under the PM Modi.

The decision to procure the fleet was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by PM Modi.

Air Chief RKS Bhadauria on Thursday said the 83 indigenous fighter jets to be inducted into the force would also be equipped with homegrown weapons such as the Astra beyond visual range air to air missiles and other standoff weapons, news agency ANI reported.

"Indian aircraft Tejas is far better and advanced than the Chinese and Pakistan joint venture JF-17 fighter," Bhadauria said when asked to compare the Indian fighter with the JF-17.

On whether the Tejas would be able to carry out Balakot-type airstrikes, the Air Chief said, "In terms of strike capability, it will have the capability of a standoff weapon which will be even beyond the capability we used that time."

Air Chief Bhadauria said that the deal -- the largest indigenous defence procurement deal -- is a huge step for IAF capability building, adding that the current strength of the two squadron plan of LCA will now increase to six.

"Order of 83 aircraft is huge. When this kind of order takes shape in the next 8-9 years, the entire ecosystem will get set up. For military aviation, it will be a big step. It will make a big base for fighter aircraft production, maintenance and support," ANI quoted the IAF chief as saying.

"It is a huge step for IAF capability building. It is also a big boost to our indigenous industry. It is also a big recognition of our designers. It is a huge step for Indian Air Force and for the country," he added.

14/01/21 India Today

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