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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tejas warms up for spitfire Iron Fist demo at Jaisalmer

A fully-loaded Tejas at a HAL facility in Bangalore. Photo: Express
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service

Bangalore: The next stop for India’s combat fighter Tejas is Jaisalmer. After completing its duties at the just-concluded air show here, the aerospace masters at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) are gearing up for the next big show – Iron Fist. Tipped as the mother of all fire power demonstration of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Iron Fist will be held from February 15 in the Pokhran and Chandan firing ranges, near Jaisalmer.
The participation of Tejas was confirmed to the media by the IAF boss Air Chief Marshal NA K Borwne during Aero India-2013. Sources now tell Express that at Iron Fist, Tejas will show the indigenous combat strength to Indian and international audiences for the first time. “This is the first time the IAF extended an invitation to HAL-ADA for Tejas’ participation,” sources said.
Three Tejas variants from its test flight-line are being readied in Bangalore for IAF’s 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,” sources said.
The HAL-ADA contingent, with a mission to prepare the aircraft, assess the flight analysis, collect the data collection and address any snags, are expected to leave Bangalore in the next couple of days. “We intent to achieve 100 per cent success during the fire power demonstration. In addition, it will also give Tejas an 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,” sources said.
President Pranab Mukherjee will be at the range to get an upclose of the prestigious exercise, which will conclude on February 23. 
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