The next stop for India’s combat fighter Tejas is Jaisalmer, where the aerospace masters at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) are gearing up for the next big show, Iron Fist.
Billed as the mother of IAF’s fire power demos, Iron Fist will be held from February 15 in the Pokhran and Chandan firing ranges, near Jaisalmer.
The participation of Tejas was confirmed by the IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne during Aero India 2013.
At Iron Fist, Tejas will show the indigenous combat strength to the Indian and international audience for the first time.
“This is the first time the IAF has extended an invitation to HAL-ADA for Tejas’ participation,” a source said.
Three Tejas variants from its test flight-line are being readied in Bangalore for the spitfire show. Tejas is also expected to fire a Russian R-73 missile in addition to dropping a LGB (laser-guided bomb).
“Only one aircraft will eventually take off for the fire display and the remaining two will be on a hot stand-by,” the source added.
The HAL-ADA contingent, with a mission to prepare the aircraft, assess the flight analysis, collect the data and address any snags, is expected to leave for Jaisalmer in a couple of days.
“We intent to achieve 100 per cent success during the fire power demonstration. In addition, it will also give Tejas international recognition.
For the first time it will be a day and night exercise, gauging the readiness and technological capabilities of IAF assets, of which many have undergone upgrades,” the source said.
President Pranab Mukherjee will visit the range to get a close view of the prestigious exercise which will conclude on February 23.