Navy says no to Tejas variant
- The indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas does not meet requirements of the Navy.
- This effectively means the end of the road for the fighter’s Naval variant as the service is looking at the global market for its needs.
- The Naval LCA made its maiden flight in April 2012 and two prototypes are currently undergoing flying as part of the development.
- The Navy currently operates Russian MiG-29K fighters from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and which will also fly from the first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) Vikrant once it enters service.
- A second IAC weighing 65,000 tonnes is currently in the design phase and would soon approach the government for approval.
- The Navy is looking for an alternative to the Mig-29.
- The current weight of the Naval LCA with the underpowered engine does not allow it to fly from a carrier. The Navy needs a carrier-based aircraft in the timeline of the induction of the aircraft carrier.
- The twin-engine Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft which the DRDO is planning to build could be considered if it developed a naval variant.
- China has deployed a nuclear attack submarine (SSN) in the IOR which recently did a port call at Karachi harbour.