The development of the fighter Tejas started in India in 1983. Work on the project led aircraft development Agency (ADA), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the Council for scientific and industrial research (CSIR), defence research and development (DRDO), the Indian air force, as well as several other organizations. Initially the aircraft was called the LCA TD-1, but was later renamed to Tejas. The first flight of the fighter held on 4 January 2001 and the status of initial operational capability Tejas achieved in 2013. This writes the Military-industrial courier.
In July this year on arms 45 squadron Flying Daggers (“Flying daggers”), based in the city of Bangalore, did two combat and one training aircraft Tejas. At the ceremony of their adoption, India’s defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the Tejas aircraft will be equipped with the squadron, the arms of which are obsolete MiG-21.
It was originally planned that the first two squadrons (40 aircraft) will receive a basic version of a fighter (Tejas Mk-1A), after which the next 80 aircraft will be produced in a modified version of Tejas Mk-2. The estimated cost of the basic version is 2.2 to 2.5 billion rupees (3337 million USD) version of Tejas Mk.2 — from 2.75 to 3 billion rupees (4045 million U.S. dollars). The decision to purchase a version of the Tejas Mk.2 still pending, according to the portal flightglobal.com.
The length of the Tejas fighter is 13.2 m, wing span of 8.2 m, height 4.4 m, Empty plane weighs 5.5 tons, maximum takeoff weight is 15.5 so the Aircraft is armed with 23-mm double-barreled gun GSH-23, and has 8 points of suspension for bombs, rockets and ancillary equipment (radio-electronic systems, additional fuel tanks, etc.).
In addition to fighters, the Commission on defence procurement has allocated funds for the purchase of 15 helicopters LCH. Only for the purchase of 83 fighters of Tejas Mk-1A, 15 helicopters LCH and ground simulators is allocated 12.3 billion U.S. dollars.