US Chief of Air Force Flies India’s Tejas Fighter
(Source: The Asian Age; published Feb 4, 2018)
NEW DELHI --- In a symbolic gesture of the increasingly closer cooperation between the Indian and US militaries, the visiting Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General David L. Goldfein, on Saturday flew India’s indigenous light combat aircraft at the Air Force station in Jodhpur.

“General David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, is on an official visit to India. He flew a sortie in ‘#MadeinIndia’ LCA Tejas aircraft at AF Stn Jodhpur today,” the IAF said on Twitter.

Gen. Goldfein, who arrived in the Rajasthan city on Friday, was accompanied by IAF Air Vice-Marshal A.P. Singh as co-pilot during the sortie.

Inducted into the Flying Daggers 45 Squadron on July 1, 2016, the Tejas is a supersonic, light-weight, all-weather, multi-role fighter designed for air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea combat roles. It plugs a vital gap in IAF’s might that is suffering from a critical shortage of fighter squadrons.

Conceptualised in 1970s to replace the aging MiG-21 fleet, the LCA is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The Tejas uses a GE F404-IN 20 engine. CFC materials make up for up to 45% of its airframe by weight, including in the fuselage (doors and skins), wings, tailfin, rudder, airbrakes, and landing gears.

Presently, about 70 per cent of the LCA components are manufactured in India. The LCA is made of carbon fibre composites (CFC) (45 per cent), aluminium-lithium alloys (43 per cent), titanium alloys 5 per cent, steels 4.5 per cent and others 2.5 per cent.


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