IAF chief asked to compare India’s Tejas with China-Pak JF-17 jets. He responds
Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Thursday said that the soon-to-be ordered LCA (light combat aircraft) Mk-1A jets would be way ahead of the JF-17 fighter planes operated by the Pakistan Air Force.
The JF-17 has been jointly developed by China and Pakistan.
With its advanced weapons and sensors, the LCA Mk-1A jets will have good strike capability, he told news channels a day after India’s Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a ₹48,000-crore proposal to buy 83 advanced jets to bolster the IAF’s combat potential.
“There is no comparison with the JF-17,” he said.
The air chief added that even the existing final operational clearance (FOC) variant of the LCA was superior to the JF-17. He said the LCA Mk-1 jets would be equipped with the indigenous Astra beyond visual range missiles.
Also Watch | ‘LCA Tejas well ahead of Pakistan-China’s JF-17 aircraft’: IAF chief Bhadauria
The CCS approval came 10 months after the ministry gave a green light to the purchase of 83 Mk-1A jets from state-owned plane maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The aircraft to be ordered include 73 Mk-1A fighter jets and 10 LCA Mk-1 trainer aircraft. HAL is expected to deliver the first Mk-1A jet to the IAF three years after the deal is signed, with all the aircraft likely to be delivered by 2028-29. The Mk-1A programme is expected to generate thousands of jobs and will involve the participation of more than 500 Indian companies.
The deal for the 83 Mk-1A jets will take the total number of Tejas variants ordered to 123. The 40 LCAs already ordered by the IAF are in the initial operational clearance (IOC) and the more advanced FOC configurations.
The LCA Mk-1A will come with additional improvements over the FOC aircraft, making it the most advanced Tejas variant so far, as previously reported by Hindustan Times.
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