IAF has become the proud recipient of first indigenous 4th generation fighter; the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) dubbed Tejas. This marks, not just an historic landmark, but a significant step forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in weapon systems and fits neatly into PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. Not more than a handful of countries can claim the competence to bring a project of such complexity to fruition. It would therefore be appropriate to acknowledge the achievement of our aircraft designers, scientists and production engineers
It will be a few years before Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd can deliver the squadron’s full outfit of aircraft, but the time would be gainfully employed to acquire flying experience and achieve the mandatory Final Operational Clearance for this sophisticated machine. The DRDO, India’s powerful defence research monolith, usually in the news for its shortcomings, deserves the nation’s compliments on this occasion. However, this is also a good juncture to draw lessons for the future, without yielding, either to euphoria or to negative skepticism.