india-news

When an elated Antony departed from prepared speech (Sidelights)

By Prashant Sood, Bangalore, Dec 20 : Defence Minister A.K. Antony was visibly elated at Light Combat Aircraft Tejas getting initial operational clearance (IOC-II) and departed from his prepared speech several times to convey his feelings.


The minister, who has taken interest in steering the project, said the sky was the limit for India's defence market and Tejas could be exported after India meets its needs. He also asked the private industry to invest more in research.

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IAF chief N.A.K. Browne, who is retiring later this month, gave a personal touch to the ceremony by recounting his own association with the Tejas project since 2007 when he was deputy air chief.

Air Chief Marshal Browne said he would have "gone home a sad person" if Initial Operational Clearance IOC-II of Tejas had not been achieved.

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The test pilots who flew LCA seemed very satisfied with its performance. They said it was pilot-friendly and was capable of firing an array of weapons including laser guided bombs and infra-red seeking missiles.

Tejas can carry out missions both during day as well as night. It will also have naval and trainer versions.

--IANS (Posted on 20-12-2013)

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