Fighter Jet Current Affairs - 2020

First indigenous bio-jet fuel powered IAF aircraft lands successfully in Leh

The AN-32 aircraft of Indian Air Force powered with 10% blend of bio-jet fuel took off and landed successfully in Leh airport.

Highlights

This is the first time, bot the engines of an aircraft are powered with bio-jet fuel. Leh is located at an altitude of 10,682 feet above sea level and is one of the highest operational air field. It challenging to fly an aircraft in the region due to wind turbulence and proximity of mountainous terrain.

Fuel Technology

The technology of the fuel was produced by CSIR-IIP in 2013. However, it couldn’t be used for commercial purposes due to lack of aviation test facilities. Indian Air force in 2018, sponsored the project and channelized material resources and human resources to complete fuel testing.

The bio-jet fuel is manufactured from “Tree-Borne oils”. The raw materials for the oil is grown and procured from Chhattisgarh tribal areas. This will help in reducing India’s dependence on crude oil imports and also will assist in reducing carbon emissions.

200 fighter jets to be acquired by Indian Air Force

The Government of India will acquire around 200 aircrafts. Of these 200, 83 fighter jets are LCA Tejas Mark 1A and are to be procured from HAL. The rest are to be procured based on Request for Proposals.

Highlights

The design of the fighter jets was finalized by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). HAL will start manufacturing 8 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas Mark 1A per year and will slowly increase the count to 16 per year. The LCA Tejas recently became the first indigenously made aircraft to make arrested landing on INS Vikramaditya.

LCA Tejas

The LCA Tejas was designed by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in 1980s. It replaced India’s MiG-21. So far, LCA Tejas is operating only in India. However, Egypt and Sri Lanka have shown interests in the aircraft. This will help India achieve its Defence exports targets of Rs 35,000 crores by 2024.

India has plans exports Tejas Mark 1A and not its advanced version Tejas Mark 2.

Tejas Mark 2

Tejas Mark 2 has increased internal fuel capacity of 3.3 tonnes. Also, it is equipped with an artificial intelligence-based cock pit that is optimally manned. It has provisions for the ground stations to take control when the pilot falls unconscious or is injured. The alert signals of unconsciousness of the pilot will be generated by his helmet.