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India to showcase Tejas light combat aircraft at Singapore airshow

NEW DELHI (PTI):  India will showcase its Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) at the four-day Singapore Air Show next week with an eye on the possible export potential of the indigenously-developed jet to friendly countries in years to come.

Three Tejas fighter jets and a 44-member contingent of the Indian Air Force (IAF) reached Singapore on Saturday to participate in the air show to be held from February 15 to 18.

"The IAF will be pitching the indigenous Tejas MK-I aircraft alongside participants from across the world," the defence ministry said.

The Tejas aircraft will be enthralling the audience with its display of low-level aerobatics displaying its superior handling characteristics and manoeuvrability," it said in a statement.

Manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the Tejas aircraft is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support missions while reconnaissance and anti-ship operations are its secondary roles.

Singapore Air Show is a biennial event that provides a platform for the global aviation industry to showcase their products.

"The participation of Indian Air Force in the air show provides India with the opportunity to showcase the Tejas aircraft and to interact with counterparts from Royal Singapore Air Force and other participating contingents," the ministry said.

In the past, the IAF participated in similar air shows like LIMA-2019 in Malaysia and Dubai air show last year to exhibit indigenous aircraft and formation aerobatic teams.

India is going to display the Tejas jets in Singapore over two weeks after the Philippines sealed a USD 375 million deal with it to buy three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile.

In the last few years, India has been ramping up efforts to increase the export of military platforms to friendly countries.

The defence ministry has set a goal of a turnover of USD 25 billion (Rs 1.75 lakh crore) in defence manufacturing by 2025 that included an export target of USD 5 billion (Rs 35,000 crore) worth of military hardware.

The government has also been focusing on reducing dependence on imported military platforms and has decided to support domestic defence manufacturing.

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