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Tejas: A Star is Born

Tejas, the Indian Light Combat Aircraft, is going to be the star attraction amongst the products displayed as part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) contingent at the Republic Day parade.

DRDO’s products for the parade include Arjun Mk-II (a new version of Indian battle tank), a tableau displaying ‘Astra’ and ‘Helina’ missiles and another tableau displaying a wide range of unmanned systems.

The products are aimed at exemplifying DRDO’s strength in the area of defence technology – design and development, leading to the production of state of the art weapon systems for India’s armed forces.

Tejas, India’s first indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is a 4th plus generation supersonic, manoeuvrable and contemporary combat aircraft. A fighter pilot’s dream, Tejas is the smallest combat aircraft in its class and can deliver air-to-air, air-to-ground conventional bombs as well as laser guided bombs. To extend its range of operation, Tejas can also carry external fuel tanks.

Tejas has received the initial operational clearance certificate and cleared for induction to the Indian Air Force. It is currently under-production at the Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL).

While ‘Astra’ - the first beyond-visual range air-to-air missile developed in India - is a hi-tech weapon system comparable with the best, ‘Helina’ is a third generation air launched anti-tank missile, that can be fired in direct and top attack mode with capability to defeat futuristic armours.

Since its establishment in 1958, DRDO’s research, design and development efforts have led to the production of hundreds of products that include weapons, platforms, equipments and life support systems for the Indian armed forces. Currently, the production value of systems already approved for induction exceeds Rs 1.6 lakh crore, DRDO said in a statement.

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