India-US Current Affairs

US Air Force chief General David L. Goldfein flies Tejas aircraft

The Chief of US Air Force, General David L Goldfein flew a sortie in indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. With this he became first foreign military chief to fly Tejas aircraft. He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal AP Singh as a co-pilot during the short flight.

General Goldfein was on an official visit to India to boost defence ties between the two nations. Earlier in November 2017, Defence Minister of Singapore Ng Eng Hen was flown in a Tejas fighter jet.

LCA Tejas

The indigenous LCA is a single-seat, single-jet engine, multirole light fighter. It is fourth generation aircraft that can fly at 1,350 km per hour, with a payload capacity of 4,000 kg. It has been indigenously developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency, and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

It has been pegged as world’s smallest and lightest supersonic fighter. It is tailless and has compound delta wing design. It is mounted with inbuilt MultiMode Radar (MMR), Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) systems. The first squadron of LCA Tejas named as ‘Flying Daggers’ based in Sulur, Tamil Nadu was inducted in July 2016.

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Vajra Prahar: Indo-US joint military exercise to be held in Seattle

The Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’ will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Seattle in third week of January in line with the increasing military cooperation between both countries.

In this edition of bilateral exercise, Indian Army team from the Pune-headquartered Southern Command will participate. The exercise will mainly focus on special operations in urban areas.

Key Facts

The aim of the Vajra Prahar exercise is to promote military relations between two countries by enhancing interoperability and mutual exchange of tactics between Special Forces. Its objectives are to

  • Share best practices between two armies.
  • Develop joint strategies by sharing expertise of conducting operations in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment.
  • Capitalise on rich repository of experiences of each other armies.

Background

‘Vajra Prahar’ is Indo-US Special Forces joint training exercise conducted alternately in India and the US started in 2010. It is conducted annually, but there was a gap of three years between 2012 and 2015. The last edition was held in Jodhpur in March 2017.

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