Why LCA Tejas only, why not any others option ?
65In 1983, Indian Air Force realised that its Fighting Fleet and the Primary First Line of Defence Fighter, Mig-21 would be approaching its Service Life by the end of 1990. Thus if not replaced by a suitable fighter aircraft, IAF will be end up loosing its 40% projected combat strength.
Thus in order to replace the Mainstay Fighter of the Indian Air Force and to achieve the projected combat strength, came the Light Combat Aircraft Programme.
The work for a second product from HAL after the success of the HAL Marut started way back in 1969, but it didn’t got the thrust or the boost until in 1983 IAF asked for replace to the ageing Mig-21 Fighter.
So lets understand why Tejas and how it is important for Indian Air Force.
The sole reason for production of the Tejas Fighter was to replace the fleet of Mig-21 which would be coming to it service life by the end of 2000. The plan was done way ahead but due to various short comes it took much than the expected time. And this is on of the sole reason that why we are still flying the upgraded Mig-21 Bisons.
Before the induction of the Su-30 MKI aircraft, Mig-21 was the frontline fighter with the Mig-29. Presntly Su-30 MKI is the frontline fighter of the Indian Air Force, following it is the Mig-29 UPG which is the Second Line of Defence or Second Frontline Fighter, and following it will be the LCA Tejas which will be the Third Line of Defence Fighter for India.
Su-30 MKI is the Air Dominance Fighter for the Indian Air Force, and so is the Mig-29 UPG which is an Air Superiority Fighter for IAF. Both of these are the best possible All Weather Heavy Category Fighter Aircraft into the arsenal of the Indian Air Force, thus here comes the LCA which is a multirole and as well as can carry out Air Interception. That means adding another sphere to the arsenal of the Indian Air Force.
India is the biggest importer of the Defence Equipment in world, with Indian Air Force being the Fourth Largest Air Force in the world. But if you see still being at this commendable position, India don’t have any good or better aircraft ecosystem comparable to that of the other countries. Though we are manufacturing Helicopters, Drones and assembling of Fighter aircraft, but still India has to go a long way to establish a well suited and well adapted Aircraft Industry. LCA Tejas is that old dream of India through which it wants to get on hold and establish the Aviation Ecosystem of the country.
After Pokhran 2, US put sanctions against India. This heavily crippled the LCA Programme. Thus LCA Tejas is not just a dream but also a befitting reply to the Super Giants that they are the no one to dictate us. There has been number of incidents when India has faced problems relating to Defence Equipment. In Kargil War in 1999, UK has denied the Spare Parts of the Jaguar Fighter. Well one can understand what can it lead to, but somehow all got well. Now if India gets the capability of its own production of the Aircraft, India don’t have to worry about these all problems.
Well why India is not so keen for buying the SAAB Gripen E and Eurofighter Typhoon. Leaving aside its Operational Capability and Shortcomings, buying these fighters would eventually kill the LCA Programme of India and so the distant dream of Indian Aviation Industry also.
LCA Tejas or LCA programme is not only a mere replacement of Mig-21 but as said also a foundation of better and well adapted industry of Aviation in India. LCA Programme led the foundation of the AMCA Programme/ HAL Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) of India and MWF/Medium Weight Fighter Programme as well.
LCA Tejas is the first homegrown Fighter with 59.7% indigenous by value and 75.5% by line-replaceable unit (LRU, lower line-replaceable unit (LLRU), line-replaceable component (LRC) and line-replaceable item (LRI). Not only about more than 10 different PSUs worked together in a chain including IITs. Which means it also gives more and extra trained work power for LCA Tejas and much more easier maintenance and problem handling and overhauling of the Tejas. Indian Air Force faces severe Maintenance
Problems with its present Russian aircraft, thus this will not only help the IAF to reduce the work hours but also will save its time and money. And since most of the companies are Indian Origin, thus delay in overhauling and maintenance would also be not a problem.
Apart than these all LCA Tejas is a very potent platform and owing to its capability and further up gradation would definitely make it a very lethal and potent platform.
LCA’s percentage employment of carbon-fibre composites is one of the highest among contemporary aircraft of its class.Apart from making the plane much lighter, there are also fewer joints or rivets, which increases the aircraft’s reliability and lowers its susceptibility to structural fatigue cracks
Tejas is unstable configuration, thus in short if to say in Layman’s language it is more manoeuvrable when compared to the other aircraft in the IAF Fleet.
LCA Tejas has night vision compatible Glass Cockpit, which is by the way unique in its own.
Apart than that it has two 76mm Liquid Crystal Multi function Displays which is manufactured by BEL and CSIO.
Tejas has a quadruplex fly-by-wire digital automatic flight control and its navigation suite includes a Sagem SIGMA 95N ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system with an integrated global positioning system.
The communications suite includes VHF to UHF radio communications with built-in counter-countermeasures, air-to-air and air-to-ground data link, as well as a HAL information friend-or-foe interrogator.
In addition, the cockpit includes an environmental control system developed by Spectrum Infotech of Bangalore. The avionics suite has an integrated utility health-monitoring system, ground proximity warning system, terrain referenced navigation system, instrument landing system, global positioning system, stores management system and three 1553B 32-bit mission computers.
Electronics Research and Development Establishment and HAL have jointly developed the aircraft’s multimode radar. The radar has multiple target search and track-while-scan and ground-mapping modes of operation. It includes pulse Doppler radar with Doppler beam shaping, moving target indication and look-up / look-down capability. The radar is mounted in a Kevlar radome.
Since it is manufactured and homegrown, thus could be integrated by various kinds of ammunition.
- Air to Air Type Missile.
- Air to Ship Type Missile.
- Air to Ground Type Missile.
- Vympel R-73 Missile.
- Derby BVR-AAM Missile
Apart than that there are number of things and potent things which is Tejas capable of. But this is the some of the reasons that why LCA Tejas or simply the LCA Programme is so important for India and Indian Air Force