Tejas is an INDIAN fighter which is developed by HAL ( HINDUSTAN AERONAUTICS LIMITED ) .It is a single engine modern fighter/interceptor with 4+ gen configuration . It came from a LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT PROGRAM (LCA) which started in 1980's to replace the old aging fleet of MIG-21's fighters used by the IAF.
Tejas is often called first Indian supersonic fighter aircraft which is not actually true ,the first supersonic fighter which was developed in India was HAL HF-24 MARUT.
LCA program was started in 80's but the name tejas which means " RADIANT" was officially given to it in 2003 by former Prime Minister of India SHRI ATAL BIHARI VAJAPYEE.
Even though the program was started in 1980's the funding started in 1993 so the program basically started pretty late than it is actually believed . It is often claimed that it took India 40 years to develop it's own fighter but this is not true.
The program suffered many delays both due to technical reasons as well as political reasons .Due to the nuclear test conducted by India many sanctions were imposed on the nation due to which many key components which were to be imported had to be developed within the nation , also the KAVERI ENGINE project which was supposed to power the indigenous fighter failed and it was abandoned by DRDO later due to which the engine had to be imported from US .
PIC - KAVERI ENGINE
MK1 tejas uses GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE ) General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 engine while MK2 & navy variant will house a more powerful General Electric F414-GE-INS6 .
The projected requirement for IAF is 200 single-seat fighters and 20 twin-seat trainers, while the IN expects to operate 40 single-seat fighters. The first Tejas IAF unit, No. 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers was formed on 1 July 2016 with two aircraft. Initially being stationed at Banglore.
The IAF has ordered 123 Tejas planes ( 40 mk1( 20 IOC AND 20 IN FOC)+ 83 mk1a) and navy wants to acquire at least 40 naval version fighters.
Currently HAL is capable of producing 6 to 8 tejas fighters per year but with the work being done on establishing another production line its capability will increase to 16 fighters per year in following years.
Currently HAL is producing tejas mk1 variant and production of mk1a will start as soon as IAF's order of 40 mk1 variant is completed .
WITH THE CAPABILITY OF PRODUCING AN INDIGENOUS FIGHTER INDIA HAS NOW JOINED AN EXCLUSIVE CLUB OF NATIONS WHICH CAN PRODUCE WORLD CLASS FIGHTERS.IT IS NOT JUST A MATTER OF PRIDE FOR HAL AND DRDO BUT ALSO FOR EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN OF OUR GREAT NATION.