SOURCE: AARAV SHARMA/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Earlier this year , In the largest military Air- Exercise ” Gagan Shakti 2018 ” in last three decades. Indian Air Force fielded all 8 LCA-Tejas Mk1 fighter jets in the air exercise which also saw the participation of 160 Su-30 aircraft and several other fighter aircraft like Jaguars and Mirage-2000s.
In 14-day high-intensity combat Air Exercise, LCA performed remarkably well and emerged with best range scores in terms of best weapon delivery by any aircraft fielded in the Gagan Shakti 2018 disclosed Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar in an article he wrote for ” SALUTE ” which is a Defence magazine covering Indian Armed forces.
The superior performance of LCA-Tejas Mk1 in Air-to-Ground Missions over established Strike aircraft like Jaguar fighter-bomber really worked wonders for the indigenous program according to Nambiar and he also went on to add that ” It gave me the confidence to state that the LCA will see us through the next 20 years, if not more, in technological capability terms.”
No. 45 Squadron Indian Air Force (Flying Daggers) which operates first LCA-Tejas Squadron are now operating in a more operational scenario and are being put through the full spectrum of air operations as envisaged by the IAF.
IAF impressed with performance is keen to acquire 83 Mark 1A which is an improved version of the LCA Mark I and has a new radar and advanced EW capabilities.