In a rare display, Tejas to thunder over Rajpath

In a rare Republic Day flypast for a single-engine aircraft, the indigenously developed light combat aircraft, Tejas, will set a record on Thursday. Three of these aircraft will take off from Bikaner and fly in victory formation over Rajpath.

“After an incident in the 1980s, as a practice, single-engine aircraft have generally been avoided in view of public safety,” a defence source said on Tuesday.

In October 1989, a Mirage-2000 fighter crashed while performing manoeuvres during the 57th anniversary celebration of the Indian Air Force at the Palam Air Force station.

Single-engine jets are believed to face a greater risk from bird hits, low-flying conditions and also in view of large public gatherings and presence of important dignitaries. However, experts say that it is not a rigid rule.

“It is not an exception as MiG-21s and Mirage-2000 jets have flown on Rajpath before. There is no rigid rule. But it is not common too,” said Air Marshal (Retd) M. Matheswaran, former Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.

He said that it was a matter of pride that an Indian-designed aircraft was leading the flypast. “Today’s reliability of single-engine fighters is as good as double engines,” he added.

In addition, the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is displaying the Dhanush artillery gun, while the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is displaying the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System.

Dhanush is a 155-mm, 45-calibre gun with a maximum effective range of 38 km, upgraded from the Swedish Bofors howitzers India procured in the mid-1980s.

The ATAGS is a 155-mm, 52-calibre towed heavy artillery gun with a maximum range of over 47 km. DRDO is developing it in collaboration with the private sector and OFB.

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Source:- The Hindu

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