A Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) of the Indian Airforce (IAF) crashed near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

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This is the first crash of the indigenous jet since it first flew 23 years ago on January 4, 2001.

The incident took place as the tri-service fire power demonstration exercise Bharat Shakti was underway at Pokhran.

  • The ‘Bharat Shakti’ exercise displays indigenous weapon systems and platforms as a demonstration of the prowess of the country, based on the nation’s Aatmanir Bharat initiative.

A Court of Inquiry has been constituted to find out the cause of the accident.

Tejas Aircraft

Tejas is the smallest and lightest Multi-Role Supersonic Fighter Aircraft of its class. It is a single-seater fighter aircraft with a single engine. 

It has been designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and developed by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to meet the diverse needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF). 

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program was started in the 1980s, with the Government of India (GoI) establishing the project in 1983 to replace Mig-21 fighters. 

  • The objective of the programme was to enhance and develop India’s indigenous aerospace capabilities. 

The LCA’s maiden flight was successfully completed on January 4, 2001 and was named Tejas in 2003. It was inducted into the force in 2016. 

The IAF currently operates two LCA squadrons with the first LCA squadron No. 45 “Flying Daggers” in the IAF was formed in July 2016. The second LCA squadron N0. 18 “Flying Bullets” was operationalised in May 2020. 

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