The Tejas, or ‘radiance’, is an indigenous fighter aircraft jointly developed by Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is the smallest lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft in the world and is being developed in single-seat fighter and twin seat trainer variants for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
The complex geo-political nature of South Asia and its surroundings has resulted in major conflicts in the region in the past. From the very beginning after the birth of the nation, India has faced serious military threats. History has taught us that there is a compulsion to achieve self-reliance in design, development and production of critical weapon systems to guard the sovereignty of our country.
In the early eighties, it was realised that no organisation existed which had the total capability to develop such an aircraft all on its own. The last time an indigenous fighter aircraft, the HF 24 flew was in 1961. Since then, the HF 24 assembly line had been shut down and the design team had been wound up. The only way left was to develop an aircraft from scratch.
To better accomplish these goals, the government of India in 1984 decided to establish the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, (HAL) was to be the principal partner with participation of various DRDO & CSIR Laboratories, Public & private sector industries and academic institutions.
Particulars & Performance:
Tejas is an aerodynamically unstable tailless compound delta-wing configuration, optimised primarily for manoeuvrability and agility. Designed to meet the tactical requirements of a modern air force, Tejas is a multi-role aircraft capable of comprehensive air superiority and air defence roles. The aerodynamic design is a culmination of an intense design process involving extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics and Wind Tunnel studies.
Tejas incorporates a highly reliable quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System. The new generation glass cockpit comprises Multi Function Displays (MFD), Head Up Display (HUD) and Stand by Instrumentation System driven by Open Architecture Mission and Display Computer. This provides effective Human Machine Interface (HMI). The advanced utility and health management system provides system health and warnings to the pilot through a Open Architecture Computer (OAC).
Specific aerodynamic features provide excellent aircraft performance in a wider flight envelope:
• Highly optimised wing, with appropriate variation of thickness, camber and twist along the span.
• Cross-sectional area distribution along the length, adjusted for good high speed characteristics.
• Leading Edge slats, scheduled for favourable aerodynamic behaviour.
• Wing-shielded bifurcated air intake duct, with diverters, suitably matched with engine to avoid buzz and to minimise distortion throughout the flight envelope.
The Tejas is designed to carry a veritable plethora of air to air, air to surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry. In the air to air arena, the Tejas carries long range beyond visual range weapons, with highly agile high off-boresight missiles to tackle any close combat threat. A wide variety of air to ground munitions and an extremely accurate navigation and attack system allow it to prosecute surface targets over land or at sea with unparalleled accuracy, giving the Tejas true multi/swing role capability.
This single engine, Compound-Delta-Wing, Tailless Aircraft is designed and developed by ADA with HAL as the principal partner along with DRDO, CSIR, BEL, DGAQA, IAF & IN to meet diverse needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy (IN).
Pic Courtesy : Praveen Sundaram & Deb Rana.
Photo Copyright: Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).