A decade after it first took to the skies, the indigenously designed and built Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) will feature for the first time at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Tuesday — but only as a replica.
“A model of Tejas will be on display for the public. Though there are seven LCA aircraft in flying condition, they will not be a part of the fly-past at the R-Day parade this time,” an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that is displaying the Tejas on its tableau, told IANS.
Designed and developed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Establishment Agency (ADA) and built by state—run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Tejas is a compact, lightweight, supersonic, multi—role combat aircraft.
Test pilots of HAL and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have so far flown about 1,200 sorties of the prototypes, including a trainer variant, over the last few years.
DRDO will also for the first time showcase the Shaurya strategic missile , along with the Rohini radar, at the parade.
Mounted on Tatra vehicle, the 500-kg surface-to-surface Shaurya has 700-km range and can be launched from fixed as well as mobile launchers. Boosted by a solid propellant rocket motor, the warhead moves at hypersonic speeds.
The ground-based Rohini is three-dimension radar for airspace surveillance, with 180-km range and high-altitude coverage.
“The radar is capable of detection and tracking hundreds of air targets, even in a hostile environment,” the official noted.
The radar has been inducted into service.
Also on display will be the indigenously developed Agni-III intermediate range ballistic missile mounted atop an armoured vehicle. With a 3,500-km range, the missile provides vital deterrence capabilities to the Indian defence forces.
In addition, the Indian Army contingent at the parade will showcase the DRDO designed Arjun main battle tank, the Samyukta integrated electronic warfare system, the Sarvatra multi-span mobile bridging system and an armoured engineering recee vehicle.