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OneIndia Special: Tejas ready to spit fire during Iron Fist

By OneIndia Defence Bureau
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Bengaluru, Feb 26: Within a month after scripting history in Bahrain with its maiden flying display outside Indian skies, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas is ready for the next mission.

Sources confirm to OneIndia on Thursday that two Tejas variants are likely to be part of the upcoming Iron Fist, set to begin on March 18.

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A total of three Tejas variants will be made ‘hot-ready' for Iron Fist, with one being on the stand-by mode.

In an interview to OneIndia, during the IAF's 83rd anniversary celebrations in 2015, a top Aeronautical Development Agency official had said that Tejas would be demonstrating the weapon firing skills during Iron Fist-2016.

"Tejas will be demonstrating the BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile launching and stick bombing capabilities with tandem bomb carrier in swing role," the official had said.

Interestingly, Tejas had recently demonstrated firing the Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Derby at Jamnagar. It is expected to fire the Close Combat Missile Python-5 soon.

Iron Fist is IAF's largest fire power demonstration event with the network-centric warfare capabilities being exhibited to fullest. It is scheduled to begin at the Chandan Field Firing Range in Jaisalmer from March 18.

The IAF had demonstrated its day-dusk-night operational capabilities during Iron Fist-2013. Two variants of Tejas had participated during the 2013 show held in the month of February.

Over 200 aircraft demonstrated their capabilities spread across five days in 2013.

The President, the PM and a host of other top officials are expected to witness Iron Fist-2016.

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Iron Fist 2013 promo

Meanwhile, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Airport witnessed a significant event on Wednesday, February 24, with the Limited Series Production (LSP-3) variant of Tejas flying with a new quartz radome from Cobham, UK.
The flight was piloted by Group Capt Rangachari and the new radome is expected to increase the radar range to 80 km and beyond.

With Iron Fist-2016 round the corner, it's action time for HAL's Tejas Division in Bengaluru.

Year 2016 has been a busy year for the Tejas Division with Bahrain air show, weapon trials at Jamnagar and now Iron Fist.

An IAF official says that the Tejas team has been asked to report at Jaisalmer on March 2.

"The HAL detachments will be moving to Jamnagar first and then to Jaisalmer. There is no bigger and better coordinated event for IAF. Not even the air show in Bengaluru (Aero India)," says the IAF official.

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