Top 10 Achievements of Indian Defence Research in 2019

1. Tejas LCA

Tejas LCA
Tejas LCA

The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) – an autonomous body under DRDO, took its first test flight in 2001. The single-engine, single-seater, delta wing multirole fighter was originally designed to replace the ageing fleet of the Russian-designed Mig-21 fighters of the Indian Air Force.

On 20 February 2019, Tejas Mark 1 was granted Final Operational Clearance (FOC), which includes Beyond Visual Range Missile (air-to-air), Air-to-Ground weapons, and Air-to-Air Refueling capability, among other combat features.

The IAF has ordered 40 Tejas Mark 1 fighters, of which, 16 Tejas fighters with Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) have been delivered. Another batch of 16 Tejas Mark 1 fighters with FOC clearance will be delivered to the IAF, followed by 8 more fighters in training configuration. The Naval version of the Tejas is currently under test and development.

The IAF has ordered 83 fighters of the Tejas Mark IA version. The IAF plans to operate 123 of the Mark 1 category fighters and will induct Mark 2 fighters as they are developed and approved starting 2025-26.

The Tejas Mark 2 will be a twin-engine, medium-weight fighter and will come in two versions – for IAF and the Indian Navy, respectively.