Dimwitted BAS organizers re: Tejas — but visuals here

For more private phone camera recordings of the Tejas performing on previous days in Bahrain, see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CackdUGFfFg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSY72-PIiR8 — both with very clear views of the Tejas making a low pass and then going vertical Charlie. These visuals are what we have to make do with considering the BAS organizers stiff-armed the Tejas today which, incidentally, again pulled a tight 350 metre turn at 160 knots — bravura stuff!. (As soon as I get visuals of todays LCA performance, will put it up. It won’t be long!)

After being primed, ready to watch Tejas being put through its impressive paces — got on line by 4:30 PM IST, was tearing my hair out watching instead some dimwitted Bahraini (?) bimbos interview all manner of persons ranging from the UK military to mostly circus performers — magicians, rope-dancers, even as 6:10 passed and one heard Tejas taking to the skies, and the camera settled on passing shots of the Indian LCA pulling hard maneuvers — 8g turn, etc., before abruptly moving back to the bimbo on the dais for another ridiculous exchange, and then seemingly reluctantly back to cover the Tejas landing after its aerial stint.

The organizers of the Bahrain Air Show are obviously to blame and this visual neglect of the Tejas was apparently by design — there’s no other explanation. Because not long before LCA’s time slot, the camera lovingly followed every little twitch by many other aircraft, the last oh which was a French Mirage 2000! Is it too outre to infer that the French and the Pakis (and possibly the Chinese) jointly pressed the BAS organizers to truncate the live broadcasting of the full Tejas session?? Consider their stakes and the context.

Plainly nobody expected Tejas to come out so well, and prove itself beyond doubt as a low cost 4+gen fighter that developing countries (particularly in the neighbourhood, Iran, Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the extended Indian Ocean region) may easily cotton on to if the Indian govt showed even the slightest strategic sense to sell it.

Paris and the govt of Francois Hollande is biting its nails, trying desperately to somehow get Delhi to sign the contract for the 36 Rafale combat aircraft in a deal that is manifestly unaffordable for India. Would the Quay d’Orsay want the Tejas to upstage the Mirage on show in Bahrain and, by extension, its successor the Rafale, by broadcasting to a discriminating audience in India just how good India’s own, locally designed fighter aircraft really is, and begin sowing doubts in the minds of Modi, Parrikar, and company about the Rafale contract on the anvil??

Then there’s Pakistan. As mentioned in an earlier blog, it hightailed its JF-17 Thunder jointly produced with China right out of BAS for fear of being shown up in very adverse light. But this fear seems to be stalking the French as well because the Tejas has gone, as a source said, from being “an oddity” to the real thing that can upset a lot of calculations in great many vendor states peddling military hardware. And Pakistan Army personnel are the palace guard protecting the sunni emir, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, from the shia majority in Bahrain and if GHQ Rawalpindi says cut up the live videocast of Tejas at BAS, it’s a small price to pay to keep the minders of the praetorian guard happy.

And China must be aghast to find India coming up so fast with its Tejas. It has an open field with no competition. Suddenly it finds that its cut-rate combat aircraft, Soviet/Russian knockoffs mostly, may not be able to cut the mustard in the export market. Every incentive for Beijing then to concert with Islamabad and Paris to get BAS organizers to play ball.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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11 Responses to Dimwitted BAS organizers re: Tejas — but visuals here

  1. Piyush says:

    it was telecasted live…
    (tejas flight starts from 3:30)

  2. Unfortunately some really genuine people like Rajeev Srnivasan are unimpressed. They are saying it’s all hype and Tejas is an obselete fighter with 1990’s tech. This type of thing not good as it affects the gullible Masses and may even affect the decision making at the highest level.

  3. Alok Nayak says:

    a long video of LCA Tejas @BAS

  4. Even more deafening is the silence of the so called “indian Defence ANALysts” who use “Unnamed IAF officers ” to so many canards on tejas like, it’s air intake is starving the engine, It cant fly without telemetry, it cant pull more than 6G , No AOA above 20 posiible, so on and so forth.

    not a single major indian english language newspaper or Tv channel covered the tejas show in detail or got an expert to review the performance,

    I opened The HIndu, The Times of India , Deccan chronicle,The Indian Express today morning and not a single word on tejas ‘s stunning display!!!!

    Can you believe it, these major news vendors who collect billions of dollars from gullible indian public deemed it unfit to send a camera crew with a HD camera and an aviation expert to give a decent commentary of what is going on,

    These guys are ready to sell our national interest for a few dirty advertising dollars more from MMRCA competitors and vested interest plants.

    This govt atleast could have sent a decent DD Tv crew to cover it , away from Sun set back ground to give a decent visual, But we cant blame them so much, after all they took the effort to project tejas at the Bahrain show, which is commendable compare to UPA which kept it under cover in international arena.

    It is stupendous to even understand that ADA-IAF-DRDO combo is still not putting in place a slick PR team for this wonder machine tejas which can pull a vertical loop in 16 seconds & horizontal loop in 20-22 seconds!!!!

  5. quickboy says:

    From what I heard on the live commentary , The commentators were all praise for the ability of the aircraft, The only persons who does not want to do anything was the Indian media, I kept watching the TV from morning all I could here was a bunch of our useless politicians fighting on some suicide by some body thrown out of some college in Hyderabad.

    How our media missed the Historic event in Indian aviation is one to be enquired about. As we know the Pakis were better informed and pulled out their fighter to avoid comparison for sure

  6. Manoj says:

    sir, even better was its short take off. Tejas just took off before we noticed. i doubt any single engine fighter in the world is so capable. i wish f-16 comes head to head with tejas. it will prove how obsolete f-16 is

  7. Swap says:

    For 2nd days action :

  8. saleem hatoum says:

    Are you people stupid or what?

  9. Alex says:

    @saleem hatoum
    Stupid is too a strong word. Deluded perhaps.

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