The government of India has sealed a deal worth Rs 48,000 crore to procure additional 83 India-made Tejas light combat aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. The deal is the biggest ever in the indigenous military aviation sector. Earlier, an order of 40 Tejas aircrafts was floated, completing the initial order of 123 HAL made fighter jets. Tejas is a single engine multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft that will replace the ageing Soviet-era MiG-21 Bison jets and boost IAF’s combat prowess.
On the other hand, the JF-17 Thunder has been a source of pride for the Pakistan Air Force who considers them a home-made fighter jet, even though its co-developed with China. Pakistan recently updated its JF-17 Thunder to add more firepower to the jet that competes against the Indian Air Force’s HAL-Tejas LCA. Here’s how the Indian Air Force’s Tejas LCA and Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder stack against each other:
Tejas LCA: India has long bought its fighter jets from countries like Russia, France and Britain under a license agreement to manufacture it locally by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. However, back in the 1980s, HAL started the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme to replace the ageing Soviet sourced MiG-21. With India’s former Prime Minister giving the LCA its name – Tejas – the indigenously built fighter aircraft was inducted in the Indian Air Force with the IAF placing a 20 jet order initially and the first Tejas Squadron was formed in 2016 called the Flying Daggers. Till now IAF has placed an order of 40 Tejas Mk 1, including 32 single-seat aircraft and eight twin-seat trainers. IAF has also formalized procurement of a further 83 fighters in Mk 1A configuration.
JF-17 Thunder: Pakistan has long been dependent on China, United States and Russia for their air firepower. In 1995, Pakistan and China signed a MoU for joint design and development of a new fighter. The same year. USSR’s Mikoyan (known for MIG series of planes) had joined the project to provide “design support”. The result was the JF-17 Thunder or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong that was primarily developed to meet the Pakistan Air Force’s requirement for an affordable, modern, multi-role combat aircraft. The development of JF-17 was headed by Yang Wei, China’s “ace designer” who has also designed China’s Chengdu J-20. The fighter jet is made using 58% of the airframe from Pakistan and 42% from Chinese/Russian-origin. As of 2017 Pakistan Aeronautical Complex has manufactured 70 Block 1 type jets and 33 jets of the Block 2 type in the country for use by the Pakistan Air Force.