Tejas while scheduled to be front stage and centre at the Bahrain Air Show at 1810 hrs (6:10 PM) Indian Standard Time on the last day of the Bahrain International Air Show, the Indian fighter may actually go up 10-15 minutes earlier, as the flight displays have been faster paced than the programme had planned.Catch Tejas live at http://www.bna.bh/portal/tv/ch55!! Get on line by 1745 hrs (5:45 PM) IST.
Several things have become apparent about the Tejas:
(1) The buzz about Tejas is in the form of general wonderment among the community of aviation experts and professionals present at the Sakhir air base hosting BAS: How come no one has heard of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft ere now and, considering what a great aircraft it is proving to be, whose idea has it been to keep this gem under cover, far from the gaze of international aerospace circles???
And three technical/performance aspects relating to the Indian LCA’s display have really impressed everybody in Bahrain:
(2) The turning radius of roughly 350 meters compared say to the US F-16’s 426-428 meters and the F-16, mind you, is virtually the gold standard for agility in combat aircraft. This means that in a dogfight Tejas could get inside of F-16’s loop and get on its tail more effectively than the US aircraft could do anything to avoid getting blown out of the skies.
(3) The low-speed handling characteristics of the LCA (necessary for effective prosecution of air-to-ground missions) has been a standout attribute, courtesy its compound delta wing (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LlEJRqVMYpY). This is what the
experts are talking in hushed tones about, especially as it is manifestly better than those in the same mission profile of the French Mirage 2000 in the IAF fleet, and comparable to the French Rafale IAF is pining for and which Prime Minister Modi, with little forethought, has committed himself to buying at an exorbitant price of some Rs. 63,000 crores for 36 aircraft with weapon load, i.e., Rs 1,750 crores per aircraft with NO technology transfer whatsoever!! In other words, the country could buy 14 Tejas Mk-1 for the cost of JUST ONE Rafale!! So, what are IAF’s reasons again for hitching a good part of India’s defence acquisitions budget to this buy? Go figure!!!