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Tejas, India’s indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), performed admirably at the Exercise Desert Flag, a multilateral air exercise in which air forces from the UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the United States took part.

While IAF is tightlipped about the performance of the 5 aircraft that took part in Exercise Desert Flag, has learned that it met all operational flight requirements while flying for the first time outside India and participated in diverse fighter engagements.

Tejas Mk1A jets will replace the Mig-21Bis interceptor aircraft, which will be phased out by 2025. Tejas Mk1A jets are designed specifically for a defensive interception against an attacking enemy aircraft.

Exercise Cobra Warrior was supposed to be the Tejas fleet’s first outing last year, but it was cancelled due to the Ukraine war, so the IAF sent Mirage-2000s instead of the LCA-Tejas fleet this year.

LCA-Tejas will also take part in this year’s Cope India exercise with F-15E and will be a regular feature at all planned air exercises in the country in the future. International exposure for the aircraft’s crew is also being considered, as fleet size will increase gradually as updated Tejas Mk1As are introduced.

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