India’s Much-Fancied LCA Tejas Fighter Jets Arrive For Dubai Air Show; Globemaster, Super Hercules Join The IAF Gang

One of the most awaited Airshows of the year is approaching and it will be particularly significant for fighter jet lovers as Indian Air Force will display its indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas at the biennial Dubai Air Show

The Indian Air Force’s indigenously built fighter aircraft HAL Tejas will demonstrate its spectacular aerial acts at the five-day Dubai Air Show, which begins from November 14 at Al Maktoum International Airport.

The IAF had earlier received an invitation from the UAE government to participate in the air show. The UAE Armed Forces’ Staff Maj Gen Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Mohammed al-Balushi and other officers of the UAE Air Force warmly welcomed the IAF contingent upon their arrival.

The Indian aerial aerobatics team called Suryakiran will also make its debut at this international air show. While the Sarang Team has participated in the Al Ain Grand Prix in the UAE in 2005, the Dubai Air Show will be the first opportunity for the Suryakirans and the Tejas to show off their aerial maneuvers here, the statement added.

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“The induction of five Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruvs of the Sarang Team, 10 BAE Hawk 132s of the Suryakiran Team and the three LCA Tejas was completed by November 09. The induction was supported by the IAF’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft,” the IAF stated.

Three LCA Tejas from Indian Air Force’s 18 Squadron land at Dubai to take part in Dubai Air Show-2021: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

This will be the Tejas aircraft’s fourth flight outside of the country, having previously performed at the Air Show in Sri Lanka in 2021, the Bahrain International Air Show in 2016, and the Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) in Malaysia.

Indian Tejas Aircraft 

The HAL Tejas is a single-engine multirole light fighter developed for the Indian Air Force by the Aeronautical Development Agency in collaboration with the Aircraft Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

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Earlier this year, the Hindustan Aerospace Limited (HAL) inked a $6.58 billion deal to produce 73 new Tejas Mark 1A Light Combat Aircraft jets and 10 Tejas Mark 1 two-seat training jets to the Indian Air Force during a ceremony at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore.

LCA Tejas

The order, which obtained preliminary clearance from the government in January, falls short of the projected request for 83 Mark 1As and 18 trainers.

It adds to the Indian Air Force’s initial purchase for 40 base Mark 1 models (including eight trainers), which is about halfway completed. Mark1 type is managed and operated by one squadron, the No. 45 Flying Daggers.

HAL has struggled to boost annual Tejas jet deliveries, but due to outsourcing and the development of a second production line, this is expected to grow to 16 per year in 2021. The Mark 1A is scheduled to fly for the first time in late 2022 or early 2023.

File:HAL Tejas1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
File:HAL Tejas – Wikimedia Commons

India is also working on the MK2 version of the Tejas jet. The aircraft had recently grabbed global eyeballs when the Indian Air Force chief stated that seven squadrons of the Tejas Mk-2 are projected for induction into the service in the coming years. 

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Currently, the Tejas Mk-2 fighter jet is in the Critical Design Review (CDR) phase, which involves multi-disciplinary technical review to ensure that a system can proceed to fabrication, demonstration, and testing to meet desired performance standards while keeping up with the schedule and cost restrictions.

Earlier, HAL chairman R Madhavan had said the MK-2 variant would be much superior to Tejas Mark-IA, 73 of which are being procured by the Indian Air Force from the HAL under Rs 48,000 crore deal that was approved by the government on January 13, 2021, according to PTI.

Dubai Air Show

The Dubai Airshow will be open to aerospace and defense exhibitors as well as for spectators from November 14 to 18. Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East is hosting the expo, which will feature more than 20 country pavilions, 160 aircraft displays, and over 1,200 exhibitors.


The event will promote the UAE’s ‘Make It In The Emirates’ program by demonstrating UAE entities’ services to worldwide professionals and industry leaders, as well as fostering collaboration between different parties.

Israel, the Czech Republic, Australia, and Belgium all reserved pavilions for the first time. Israel’s participation in the Airshow comes after the signing of the Abraham Accords, which is attempting to improve diplomatic relations with all its neighbors.

The inclusion of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (RADS) and Elbit Systems, Singapore’s Kelley Aerospace, American firms Accenture and M4 Engineering, European firm Eurosam, and Emirati firms NAFFCO and G42 is also noteworthy this year.

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As per Organizers, this year will debut the brand-new conference platform TechXplore, which will demonstrate how technology is assisting to reboot aviation and transform the overall flying experience.

The dedicated startup event VISTA, co-hosted by Boeing and AE Industrial Partners, is another new addition. VISTA, according to show organizers, is the “ultimate venue for innovators, creators, and market disruptors to showcase the latest technology and play a significant role in pushing the future of the aerospace and defense industries.”

Product pitching contests will also be hosted under this initiative in collaboration with government and industry partners such as Etihad Airways, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Amazon Web Services, and Boeing’s applied innovation team.