Comparing Pakistan’s fighter jet JF-17 with India’s Tejas aircraft, Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa described the former as an aircraft of present while terming the latter as one that belongs to the future.
JF-17, jointly developed by Pakistan and China, is a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft.
Quoting the author of an article in one of the aviation journals, Dhanoa said that the JF-17 is not as technologically advanced as Tejas.
“So, he said JF-17 aircraft is of today because they have fielded much more squadrons than us, and Tejas is the aircraft of the future. It has much better systems,” Dhanoa said.
“It depends on how we equip it. I am sure we can come up with a better plane,” Dhanoa said on Thursday while responding to a question on which one is a better aircraft.
Tejas, India’s indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft, was inducted into the Indian Air Force in July 2016.
Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Tejas was also pressed into service during the Air Force drill “Gaganshakti 2018” held earlier this month.
The IAF chief, however, responded in affirmative when he was asked if there were issues regarding Tejas during the “Gaganshakti 2018” exercise.
Dhanoa pointed out that this could be because of moving the jets from Bengaluru, which has a temperate climate, to hot desert during the operation.
“But HAL got it up in less than six hours and thereafter, Tejas matched with other aircraft detail for detail,” he said.
Responding to a question on whether Tejas can be compared to Rafale, the IAF Chief said that every fighter jet has different capability.
“If all the fighter (jets) of the Indian Air Force were high-end fighters then we have to be very rich. You got to have fighter jets which are high end and medium capability and low-end. So, Tejas comes in the medium capability aircraft (category),” he said.
Answering a question on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, the IAF Chief said that the Air Force has not evinced any interest, nor has it talked to anyone that is keen on this aircraft.
(With agency inputs)