New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a big push to make India's defence sector 'Atmanirbhar', the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved a Rs 48,000 crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to procure 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force.

Following the deal, Indian Air Force Chief Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria said that the Tejas fighter jet is far "better and advanced" than the Chinese and Pakistan joint venture JF-17 Thunders.

"Order of 83 aircraft is huge. When this kind of order takes shape in the next 8 to 9 years, the entire ecosystem will get set up. For military aviation, it will be a big step. It will make a big base for fighter aircraft production, maintenance and support," he said while speaking to news agency ANI.

So as India seals a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, here's a detailed comparison of Tejas with JF-17 Thunders:

A look at the history of the two fighter jets:

The Tejas is a multi-role light fighter jet that will replace the ageing MiG-21s in the Indian Air Force. Jointly designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Aeronautical Development Agency, Tejas was first introduced in January 2001. 14 years later, it was inducted in the Indian Air Force which currently holds 34 units of Tejas.

Speaking about JF-17 Thunder, it is multi-role fighter jet that has been jointly designed by Pakistan's Aeronautical Complex and China's Chengdu Aircraft Corporation. It will replace the A-5C, F-7P/PG, Mirage III, and Mirage V combat aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force. Currently, the Pakistan Air Force has 123 JF-17 Thunders.

What about the specifications of Tejas and JF-17 Thunder?

The LCA Tejas is a single-seat multi-role fighter jet that is powered by a single General Electric engine rated at 53.9 kN thrust dry and 90 kN with afterburner. The Tejas can reach a maximum speed of Mach 1.8 and has a service life of 9,000 flying hours. It has a unit cost of Rs 162 crore for Mark I and Rs 299.45 crore for Mark II

Speaking about its weapons, the Tejas, which has a length of 13.2 metres and a wingspan of 8.2 metres, can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs. The Indian Air Force can also use Israel's Elta EL/M2032 multi-mode fire control radar in Tejas to mark targets more accurately.

Also Read -- From Agni Missiles to Tejas fighter jets; these indigenous weapon systems prove Indian defence can be 'self-reliant'

The plane weighs 6500 kg (dry) and has a total takeoff weight of 13000 kg with a Sustained Turn Rate (STR) of 16 degrees per second. It also has an Instantaneous Turn Rate (ITR) of 30 degrees per second. Media reports suggest that the Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) is developing aircraft health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) to integrate various sensors onboard Tejas.

On the other hand, JF-17 Thunder is available in both single-seat and double-seat variant. The per-unit cost of the multirole fighter jet is USD 25-32 million and it has a length of 14.93 metres and a wingspan of 9.48 metre.

Powered by a Guizhou WS-13 or Klimov RD-93 afterburning turbofan, the JF-17 can reach a speed of Mach 1.6. It has a Sustained Turn Rate (STR) and Instantaneous Turn Rate (ITR) of 14.4 degrees per second and 24.4 degrees per second respectively.

Speaking about its weapons, the JF-17 Thunder can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel autocannon and laser-guided bombs. It can also use the Airborne Pulse-Doppler Fire-Control Radar on-board which has been developed by China.

Can Tejas compete with JF-17 Thunder?

Though this depends on a lot of factors, including support from the airbase and in what kind of terrain the two jets are fighting, experts suggest that Tejas can manoeuvre more aggressively than JF-17 Thunder because of its weight ratio. They also feel that Tejas will be able to detect JF-17 Thunder more easily and comparatively lighter and faster than it.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma