“IAF will be pitching the Tejas Mark-1 alongside participants from across the world during the air show at the Changi International Airport from February 15 to 18. The Tejas will display low-level aerobatics exhibiting its superior handling characteristics and manoeuvrability,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said on Saturday.
Three Tejas fighters and a 44-member IAF contingent has reached Singapore for the air show, which is a biennial event that provides a platform for the global aviation industry to showcase products.
IAF has earlier participated in the Langkawi air show in Malaysia in 2019 and the Dubai air show in 2021 to exhibit indigenous aircraft and formation aerobatic teams.
IAF has ordered 123 Tejas jets so far, with the last contract for 73 Mark-1A fighters and 10 trainers at a cost of Rs 46,898 crore being inked with Hindustan Aeronautics in February last year. The 83 fighters have to be delivered in the 2024-2028 timeframe, though the slow annual production capacity of HAL has been a lingering problem.
India is trying to build a strong domestic defence-industrial base and become a major arms exporter, with the government setting an ambitious annual export target of $5 billion (Rs 36,500 crore) by 2025.
At present, India continues in the strategically-vulnerable position of being the world’s second-largest arms importer just behind Saudi Arabia. India accounted for 9.5% of the total global arms imports during 2016-2020, as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
India’s quest to export arms received a boost last month when it inked a $375 million (Rs 2,770 crore) contract with the Philippines for the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, as was then reported by TOI.