All you need to know about India’s light combat aircraft Tejas

Reuters

The term Tejas means ‘radiance’. Developed as a joint venture between Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas is a lightweight aircraft technically described as multi-role, singing-engine tactical fighter.

Specially manufactured for induction into the Indian Navy and Indian Air force, Tejas comes with two variations.

Tejas is an indigenously manufactured Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Notably this is among the world’s smallest and lightest multi-role fighter aircraft belonging to the Supersonic class. The highlights of this tailless Aircraft include single-engine and a compound delta wing. In the mission of its development, we see ADA and HAL partner also making use of the expertise of DRDO, CSIR, BEL, DGAQA, IAF and IN. Upon its deployment, Tejas will meet the diverse requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN).

Specifications and performance

Tejas is known for its high degree of agility and maneuverability. These characteristics are achieved by virtue of its tailless compound wing delta configuration that is said to be aerodynamically unstable. Tejas is designed to satisfy the demands of the modernized air force. This multi-role aircraft is capable of challenging air defense roles and all-round air superiority. In the aerodynamic designing of this aircraft, a deep study and experimentation with the principles of computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel studies have gone into.

The most amazing aero-dynamic features of Tejas makes it stand for an excellent performance across a broader fighter envelope. The highly optimized wing of the aircraft shows up the right variation of thickness, twist and camber though its span. The designers have ably adjusted the cross-sectional area distribution for achieving remarkable high speed characteristics. The leading edge slats are particularly suitable for promising aerodynamic performance. In order to prevent buzz and to bring down distortion throughout the flight envelope, the makers have incorporated wing-shielded and bifurcated air intake duct fitted with diverts. These aspects harmoniously match with the engine design.

Dimensions

Length: 13.20 meters; Height: 4.40 meters; and Wing Span: 8.20 meters

Weights

Empty: 9800 Kilograms; Take Off clean: 6500 kilograms; and External Stores: 3500 kilograms

Aircraft Performance

Altitude: 50,000 feet; Max Speed at all altitudes: Supersonic; and ‘g’ limits: +8/-3.5

Power plant

F404-GE-IN20

Size: Diameter 890 mm, Length 3.9 m

Weight: Max Weight 1,035 kg (2,282 lb)

Engines capability: Thrust 9,163 kg (20,200 lb)

Weapons

The efficiency and worth of any modern fighter aircraft depends on the weapons it is capable of delivering on the target. Tejas can carry a veritable plethora of air to surface, air to air, standoff and precision guided weaponry. In the air-to-air arena, Tejas can carry long range and beyond visual range weapons. It can also tackle any kind of close combat threat by handling highly agile and high off-boresight missiles.

A broad range of air to ground munitions and a highly accurate navigation and attack system makes it possible for the aircraft to prosecute the surface targets both over the land or at the sea with the mission accomplished with high degree of accuracy. These features bestow the multi-swing role capabilities to this highly touted fighter jet aircraft Tejas.
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