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A recent Indian Air Force (IAF) Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) crash has brought renewed focus to the safety records of the Tejas and its competitor, the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder. On March 12th, 2024, an IAF Tejas LCA unfortunately crashed while returning from the “Bharat Shakti” military exercise. This marks the first such accident for the Tejas in its 23-year history.

In contrast, the JF-17 Thunder has a history of accidents. According to The Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network, the JF-17 has been involved in four crashes since 2011, with at least one fatality. These incidents occurred in:

  • November 2011 (Attock District, Pakistan)
  • September 2016 (Arabian Sea)
  • September 2020 (Attock District, Pakistan)
  • August 2021 (Near Attock District, Pakistan)

The IAF is undoubtedly conducting a thorough investigation into the Tejas crash to determine the cause and implement necessary safety measures. This incident, however, shouldn’t overshadow the Tejas’ overall positive safety record when compared to the JF-17.