Berhampur: Induction of India’s first home-grown fighter jet ‘Tejas’ into the Air Force has brought special cheers to the people of Odisha as its leading designer hails from Berhampur town.
Kota Harinarayan, who had a huge contribution in designing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), is jubilant following the induction of the aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday.
“We worked for over two decades for designing the Tejas. Hard work finally paid off as the aircraft was inducted into the IAF. I will be really happy, when it is fully utilised by the Air Force,” Harinarayan said over phone from Bengaluru.
“The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles and anti-ship missiles. It can also track the enemy s craft Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and support the army operation across the border,” he said.
“Tejas is superior to any other fighter aircraft of other countries like China and Pakistan. It is designed with the latest technology,” he added.
“Though we started the work for development of the LCA in 1980s when the government decided to develop indigenous aircraft for the air force with establishment of Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the actual work started when government sanctioned funds in 1993,” Harinarayan said, who was the then director of the project.
He said around 20 educational institutions like IITs of Kanpur, Kharagapur and Bombay, 40 Research and Development (R&D) labrotaries and over 500 engineers toiled hard for years to develop the indigenous aircraft in the country. While a few components of this jet were imported, most parts of it are made in India.
Though he is settled in Bengaluru now, Harinarayan visits his home town frequently.
Tejas, India’s first home-grown fighter jet, was finally inducted into the IAF on Friday after a tortuous saga spread over 33 long years with the launch of the first squadron of two Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) Tejas in Bengaluru.