Here is Flight Intl/'s take on Tejas,pros and cons.Interesting analysis in comparison with "BRitons"!http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... rvice.html
Nayak's comments hint at the weight issues that plague the Mk I. The aircraft's official weight has yet to be published. Nayak says the Mk II will bring a complete reconfiguration of internal equipment to create a more agile aircraft. "The Mk II is only on the drawing board," he adds.
Despite its critics, who generally condemn Tejas as being behind schedule, overweight and inferior to similar light fighters produced elsewhere, the programme is arguably not so much about producing a world-beating light fighter aircraft, but building a foundation of learning for future projects. This suggests Tejas is just a single step on a decades-long journey to a globally competitive Indian defence aerospace industry.
The milestones achieved in the past 12 months come after two decades of frustration and failure for the Tejas. The fighter's powerplant was originally supposed to be the Kaveri engine developed by the government-run Gas Turbine Research Establishment. As of 2009, the GTRE had spent Rs20 billion ($455 million) over the 20-year programme, only to produce an overweight engine unable to provide the 21,000-22,500lb thrust (93-100kN) required.
When presented with this idea, one critic likens it to "making a virtue out of a necessity". Another points to the sobering fact that, ultimately, combat aircraft are for fighting in wars. If the Tejas is, as many suspect, an inferior combat platform, the fact that the project has helped India's aircraft industry will be cold comfort to Tejas pilots.
One expert suggests that, in the event of war, the Indian air force would probably hold the Tejas back from high-threat situations and let aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Sepecat Jaguar, Dassault Mirage, and the eventual winner of India's medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contest, deal with high-intensity combat.
"Tejas is a prime example of the dispute between the guys in lab coats and guys in flight suits," says Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia, referring to the heavy government involvement in the project.
Nonetheless, India is determined to press on with development of its indigenous fighter industry. It has committed to 40 Tejas Mk Is, and is likely to buy 40 more, says Nayak. These first aircraft will all be powered by the F404, and will be followed by 80 F414-powered Mk IIs.
HOW THE CRITICS SEE TEJAS
TEAL Group analyst Richard Aboulafia questions the viability of both the Tejas Mk I and Mk II. "Allowing for some residual face-saving, dreams of an indigenous engine are over," he says. "In fact, dreams of using a 19,000lb [85kN] engine have ended too, as speed and weight concerns became all to clear."
Aboulafia also questions how indigenous the aircraft really is, noting that the engine, radar, weapons and other key components are produced overseas. "This renders the national security/weapons autonomy rationale for the Tejas utterly false," he says.
An executive involved in India's medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition is equally dubious. "If they had got the Tejas right, they wouldn't need to do the MMRCA," he says.