With near-incident-free Test flights so far, the safety standards of Tejas can be compared to the best in the business. India’s own fighter aircraft has come off age. Time to cross the final hurdle and begin induction!
Organisers of Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS-2016) should be thanking India for all the attention they are getting from plane devotees across the world in the last one week. The fourth edition of BIAS-2016 beings at the Sakhir Airbase today and two Tejas platforms – LSP-4 & LSP-7 – have already grabbed headlines with their stunning performances during practice sorties.
Flying demonstrations at BIAS-2016 might not clear the doubts some still have on the fighter, but it certainly springs hope that the hurdles will all be soon over. After all, if you are inspired and motivated, you perform differently.
With the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) expected sometime this year and another set of crucial weapon firing pending, Tejas project is surely heading in the right direction. And, the ballet in Bahrain has surely come as a major opportunity for Team Tejas to silence the critics.
The pulling out of Pakistan’s JF-17s Thunder has taken some sheen out of the show, but Tejas practice sessions have been hailed as the best by international aviation experts, who have been tweeting non-stop.
Aeronautical Development Agency officials say that it has been a massive effort that went for months together to take the two platforms to Bahrain. Over 150 technicians, engineers, scientists and ground crew are stationed at different bases to support Tejas’ Bahrain outing.
Commodore Jaideep Maolonkar, Chief Test Pilot at National Flight Test Centre (NFTC) and Group Capt Madhav Rangachari, a Test Pilot of NFTC had pulled 8 ‘g’ and beyond a couple of times during test flights in December ahead of BIAS-2016. These two pilots will be performing the sky party on behalf of 1.3-billion plus Indians at BIAS-2016 in the next three days.
Fifteen variants logged around 3061 flights (1955 hours) in the last 15 years since the first Technology Demonstrator (TD-1) flew in January 2001. With near-incident-free Test flights so far, the safety standards of Tejas can be compared to the best in the business, including some developmental projects.
Tejas critics will be ready with next set of ammunitions. But, this time they are sure to be encountered by many who believe in the capabilities of an inspiring idea called India.
And, Tejas is just one example!