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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Indian Military Aviation Boo-Boo on the NDTV Tech Grandmasters Show

Take a look at this video clip from NDTV's Technology quiz, the Tech Grandmasters.

If one were even nominally aware of Indian development programme in the field of military aviation, one would have quickly noticed all that is wrong with the statement & subsequent answer.

Yet, for the sake of clarity, let us revisit the statement,

  • Tejas is India's first indigenously-designed light combat aircraft

The way this statement was framed, clearly the term 'light combat aircraft' was used to describe the weight category under which the Tejas falls. A look back in time would tell you of yet another combat aircraft designed & manufactured in India, the Hindustan Fighter [HF-24] 'Marut'. A quick comparison between their weights would have indicated that the latter is a lighter fighter aircraft.

  Empty Weight
Maximum Take-Off Weight [MTOW]
Light Combat Aircraft [LCA] Tejas 1 9500 13000
Hindustan Fighter [HF-24] Marut 2 6195 10908

If one were to consider any aircraft with offensive capability as combat aircraft, then the Hindustan Jet Trainer [HJT-16] 'Kiran' Mk. 1A, that had hardpoints to carry weapons, had an empty weight of 2560 kg3.


Using a much more liberal definition of combat aircraft, if it were to include an aircraft that prepares you for combat, then the one above would qualify to be the first "indigenously-designed light combat aircraft" - the Hindustan Fighter [HF-2], designed and built in the 19050s & had a maximum weight of 1016 kg 4. Okay, the HT-2 may be too much of a stretch to qualify as a combat aircraft. I just needed an excuse to insert an image so that it shows up as a thumbnail in the LinkWithin widget.

Thus, as one can see, the Quizmaster here gave the contestants marks for an incorrect response, that actually enabled them to come from behind and equal their tally with the leading team. Pretty unfortunate state of proceedings,in my opinion.

You can watch that whole episode here.


Related [not really. Interesting nevertheless]: Indian Aircraft Carrier - a Canadian Conspiracy!