India’s Tejas Debuts Abroad, Right Next To Pak JF-17s
This is cool. Two Indian LCA Tejas light fighters landed at the Sakhir Air base in Bahrain earlier today for what is the indigenous fighter type’s first foray abroad (the jets flew Bengaluru-Jamnagar-Muscat-Sakhir). What’s cooler: the LCA’s share flightline space right next two Pakistan Air Force JF-17s, a type long seen as a rival to the Tejas at many levels. Comparisons span development, technology, capability, politics, how ‘indigenous’ each aircraft really is, and what each will really bring to hostile airspace.
The comparisons span from the obvious (the JF-17 is rolling rapidly off a production lines in Pakistan, while the Tejas, well, isn’t just yet), to the speculative (the JF-17 has sparked foreign interest, while the Tejas hasn’t). The Indian Air Force hasn’t been the Tejas’s best friend, but still believes it’s a far better plane than the almost entirely Chinese JF-17. Interestingly, Pakistan’s current Prime Minister, back in 2010, actually acknowledged that the Tejas was a superior aircraft.
You know the story. Either way, the Bahrain foray allows the delectable opportunity to revisit the Tejas-JF-17 tangle. Expect more this week.