Tejas India's indigenous fighter is a huge success for India but due to some misconceptions it is not considered or celebrated as an achievement with which it really deserves to be celebrated .These misconceptions are partially because of delays and partially because of ill informed media which has repeatedly flanked the jet without understanding the real facts .
In this blog we will try to discuss about some of those misconceptions and will try to explain what media and those so called experts missed while they were busy criticizing the project.
1)Tejas is first jet that India has developed- Often it is believed to be India's first indigenous jet
Reality- Tejas is not the first jet which is developed in India. The first jet which was developed in India was HAL_HF-24_Marut.
2) Long development time - haters often target Tejas programme saying its a failure because it took nearly 40 years to develop Tejas .They criticize that the project was plagued by delays and that it was supposed to be tested by 1995 to 2000 .
Reality- Although the project LCA started in 1980's but in reality its funding began in 1993 , also testing and maiden flight of tejas started in 2001 . So basically making of tejas just took nearly a decade and not 40 years. Tejas since 2001 has gone under heavy technical upgrades and this is essential for developing any jet in country which has not got much experience in developing any world class fighter.
3) Cost overrun- it was reported that development of Tejas has costed 15000 crore rupees and the cost has multiplied 25 times to the original 560 crore rupees.Also TOI stated that it will cost 55000 crore Rs to develop tejas and these are all wrong facts.
Reality-development of tejas has just costed 14050 crores till 2015 and this includes and IAF ( MARK 1 ,MARK1A AND MARK 2) and naval variants of the jet .Also this includes building nearly 17 prototypes.The IAF version has costed nearly 8500 crores out of sanctioned 10,500 crores and not only this money has helped in developing tejas but it includes building development facilities , testing centers etc .
560 crore allotted was only for designing tejas not for developing.
4) Indigenous content %age -According to CAG report Tejas was not 70 % indigenous as claimed and was merely 35 % indigenous .
Reality - CAG does not differentiate between essential design-related and high technology aspects of the LCA and readily available products. let me explain it by a chart.
by 2010 almost 70% parts were manufactured indigenous.
CAG has not considered that some minor components of systems were imported and not the entire system. In making report if the system has even some components which were imported CAG has considered it as imported system and declared it non indigenous.
Developing all components within India is not only not feasible but also stupid . Most imported parts can be easily developed in India but setting up industries for readily available components will cost billions of dollar worth investment to begin with and a lot of time.Yes slowly production of these will start when tejas will be in full scale production.
5) Tejas is loaded with obsolete technology and is not useful now -As it is and old programme which started in 80's many critics have said that till now that technology is most probably obsolete.
Reality - From the get go tejas was developed as the plane of 21 st century with modern design and configuration of a 4rth gen jet (mk1) .It is equipped with state of the art technology and modern avionics and is a 4++ gen interceptor which can compete with any modern jet.Considering that even today only few nations are operating 4 + gen planes in no way tejas is obsolete and it still has a lot of potential to develop .
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