Academic journal article Air Power History

The Tejas Story: The Light Combat Aircraft Project

Academic journal article Air Power History

The Tejas Story: The Light Combat Aircraft Project

Article excerpt

The Tejas Story: The Light Combat Aircraft Project. By Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar, Indian Air Force (Ret). New Delhi, India: Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 2008. Photographs. Index. Pp. i, 174, Rs. 525 ISBN: 81-7304-764-2

This book captures Air Marshal Rajkumar's experience as he worked in the "technology demonstration phase of the LCA {Light Combat Aircraft} programme." He details a close and personal association with the LCA program over a nine-year period starting in 1994 at the Indian Aeronautical Development Agency and ending with his retirement from government service in 2003.

It is written in the first person as a narrative and thus must be treated with some concern over the potential lack of balance as problems and issues are discussed. Nonetheless, Rajkumar makes an exemplary effort to fully discuss the points of view of the various stakeholders when issues arise. Of interest to me was his candid explanation of the aims of the program: "... bridging the technology gap in aeronautics [between India and the west], indigenization and delivery of a ready-to-go-to-war machine to the IAF [Indian Air Force] at a reasonable cost and time-frame ..."

In the Air Marshal's view these aims were largely achieved with the most notable exception of the Kaveri engine. …

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