The indigenously manufactured light combat aircraft ‘Tejas’, which was inducted into the Indian Air Force earlier this year, is as good as the French-made Rafale fighter jet and comparable with other top LCAs across the world, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.
“This is a plane which is completely indigenously manufactured and can compete with any other fighter plane in the world. It is as capable as the Rafale. Only this is a light combat aircraft (LCA),” Parrikar said.
“Only a 3.5 ton missile can be carried on it, Rafale on the other hand can carry a nine ton (missile). This plane can fly at the rate of 450 kms, Rafale can run 900 kms because it has twin engines,” he added.
The defence minister also said that the Tejas, which was stalled for 33 years, was expedited because of his explicit directions to those in-charge of the project.
“I told them that all shortcomings should be fulfilled and the plane should be ready in a year,” Parrikar said, adding that some days ago an order had been placed for 83 more planes.