India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy


India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

LCA Tejas is the India’s main Multirole Fighter for medium role combat missions supporting the advancd Sukhoi Su-30Mki and inducted with  4.5 generation Dassault Rafael Multi Role Combat Aircraft.It is claimed to be indegenious aircraft made by India and it took its maiden flight in 4 January 2001.It was made with the purpose to replace the India’s old ageing Mig-21 fleet of fighters.

Whereas Jf-17 Thunder is the main fighter aircraft for multi role combat missions accompanied by their upgraded F-16s.It was jointly developed by China and Pakistan. The Joint Fighter -17 (JF-17) took its maiden flight in 2003.The aircraft is claimed to be indigenous by Pakistan.The 3rd generation Jf-17 replaced the old ageing A-5C,F-7P,Mirage 3 and Mirage 5 aircrafts in Pakistan Air force .

Both India and Pakistan claim their aircraft as indigenous, but none of the aircraft is 100% indigenous as India is using american GE 404 engine to power the fighter and Pakistan is using almost all the technology from China and engine from Russian RD 93/33 in their version of the fighter.

It is believed that if Indian uses kaveri engine in the LCA than it is proudly claimed to be indigenious aircraft.whereas the Jf-17 is the result of 50-50 partnership between China and Pakistan and there are lot of more foreign companies and organisations are involved in making it success.It is basically the technologies that are improved and LCA is completely newer one Fourth generation aircraft.

The LCA Tejas has two main variant  LCA Tejas mark 2 and Tejas mark 3 whereas the Jf-17 has three main variant namely Jf-17 Block 1,Block 2 and Block 3.

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy-Overview

The HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was named by former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.It is the fourth generation light multirole fighter fit for the 21st century. It uses a lot of new technology and innovation, such as large amounts of composite materials, its advanced avionics system and its unique aerodynamic configuration. In terms of functionality, the LCA Tejas has good potential to be expanded into variants.

Whereas  the Pakistan JF-17 is a  third-generation model. Pakistan probably feels that the use of off-the-shelf materials not only cuts costs but also reduces risks in the design process and improves the reliability of the aircraft.

Airframe and Aerodynamics Compared

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

AS considered about shape,The Jf-17 has  horizontal tail-planes and a conventional aerodynamic structure, while the Tejas has no horizontal tail-planes on its triangular structure.

The Tejas has a tailless aircraft with compound-delta wing configuration platform.This configuration allows the aircraft to minimise the requirement of control surfaces,permits carriage of wider range of external stores and confers better close-combat,high speed,high-alpha performance characteristics than other comparable aircrafts.The airframe comprised of aluminium-lithium,super-plastically formed titanium and carbon-fibre composites.The lightweight of the aircraft is due to its wing and fin are made up of lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.Tejas requires very short runway to fly.

 Where as JF-17 thunder has a trapezoid-shaped wing configuration, with a larger wing-aspect ratio and a smaller induced drag, therefore at high-altitude subsonic speed, the entire plane has a higher lift-drag ratio. The large wings that extend to the inlets on both sides of the plane’s body not only improve the aircraft’s lift during high-angle-of-attack flight but also help improve the maneuverability of the plane. The eddies created during high-angle-of-attack flight are also relatively stable, which reduces the chance of sudden drops in lift and improves the balance of the plane. It also improves the directivity of the nose of the plane in close-range combat.

India’s LCA Tejas is Far lighter than Pakistan ‘s  Jf-17

Jf-17 was developed exclusively for export so to control costs its body is mainly constructed with aluminium alloy as opposed to more popular composite material whereas the Tejas has put an emphasis on reducing weight and so it used a lot of composite material as seen from the airframe and Aerodynamic comparison.With 45% of plane is comprised of composite material that cuts the plane’s empty weight by 5.5 tones,making it almost 1 ton lighter than the Jf-17.It means India’s LCA Tejas can capable of carrying more load and fuel .

Comparing the Inlet design of the two aircrafts

Jf-17 is better over LCA Tejas as we considered about Inlet design .With the Diverterless Supersonic inlet (DSI) alongwith LERX makes the JF017 design better in terma of functionality and stealth capabilities.The use of 3-D compression surface to divert the boundary layer airflow at high subsonic  and supersonic speeds reduces the need for supplementary air inlets or air bleed doors results in lightening the structure,reducing drag and Radar return.

Whereas the India’s LCA Tejas uses V-shaped air inlets typical of light fighters, the air inlets gather together towards the rear, sheltering the blades of the engine’s axial compressor, preventing the scattering of radar, and adding to the craft’s stealth capabilities.The oval air intakes are similar to F/A-18C/D Hornet,with  a diverter structure around them.

Comparing the Propulsion System and performance

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

Although the Tejas’ F414 engine is superior in terms of functionality, durability and life span to the JF-17’s RD93 engine, it is also more expensive.

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

Aircraft LCA Tejas JF-17
Empty weight 6560 kg 6411 kg
Loaded Weight 10,500kg 9,100 kg
Maximum Takeoff weight 13,300 kg 12,700 kg
Powerplant 1x General Elctric F404-GE-IN20 turbofan 1xKlimov RD-93 or WS-13 Turbofan
Dry Thrust 53.9 kn 49.9kn
Thrust with Afterburner 85 kn 84.4 kn
G-Limit 9 to (neg)3.5g (positive)8.5g
Internal Fuel Capacity 2458 kg 2300 kg
External Fuel Capacity 2x 1200 litre drop tank at inboard,1×725 litre drop tank under fuselage 3xexternal fuel tanks (ix under fuselage 800 litres,2x nder wing 800/1100 litres each)
Crew 1 1
Maximum Speed Mach 1.8 Mach 1.8
Ferry Range 3000 km 3480 km
Service Ceiling 15,250 m 16,920 m20 m111
Thrust/Weight 1.07 0. 0.95

Armaments Compared

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

The LCA Tejas is mounted with 1x 23 mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon gun that has 220 rounds of ammunition.The aircraft has total number of 8 hardpoints with 1 under port-side intake trunk,6 under wing and 1 under fuselage.Air-to-Air missile include-Astra,Derby,Python-5,R-77and R-73 missile.Air-to-Surface missile include TV guided Kh-59ME and laser guided Kh-59MK missiles.The aircraft is also equipped with Anti-ship Kh-35 and Kh-31 missiles.It is also integrated with S-8 rocket pods. The LCA Tejas can capable off intercepting the target in between 0.2 km and 20km with the target speed of 2500km/h.

Where as JF-17 is intended for air defense and ground attack missions. It is armed with a single 23-mm GSh-23 or 30-mm GSh-30 twin-barrel cannon. Maximum weapon payload is about 3.7 t. There are five hardpoints and two wingtips for missiles and fuel tanks. The JF-17 has beyond visual range attack capability. It’s primary weapon are Chinese PL-12/SD-10 medium-range air-to-air missiles with active radar-homing. Aircraft also carries short-range Chinese PL-7, PL-8, PL-9 or US AIM-9P, mounted on wingtip rails. The JF-17 multi-role fighter can also carry general purpose of laser-guided bombs. Aircraft has no in-flight refueling capability.

India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy-Avionics Comparison

The LCA Tejas’ avionics system has a top-down design and has made use of line-replaceable unit technology, ensuring smooth coordination and the minimum degree of interdependence. The Tejas’ avionics system was designed by France, with three 1553B serial buses and two centralized 32-bit, high-throughput mission computers, including a communications subsystem, a mission subsystem, a self-defense system and a guidance and flight system. It uses ELTA’s EL/M2032 radar system, which works in the X-band range, designed for both air-to-air and ground strike missions. It is effective within a range of 37-75 km.

Whereas the JF-17 avionics also have a top-down design, with an onboard computer and a 1553B serial bus at the center, integrating several systems, including the cockpit display and control system, task management systems and fire control systems. It is equipped with autonomous navigation technology and can attack land, air and sea targets, tracking while scanning. It can be equipped with the KLJ-7 X-band fire and control radar.


Both the Aircrafts are good at their own place.One should always understand their roles in their respective Air Force before comparing any two aircrafts .No doubt  LCA Tejas is better over Jf-17 as it is Fourth generation aircraft but JF-17 is not less than LCA tejas as it uses the advanced technologies from different areas.

Unlike Tejas JF-17 is not all weather  capable and also not fully developed by Pakistan. Where as Tejas is fully developed in India although some vital parts like Engine are imported. When it comes to Radar detection JF-17 will have larger radar foot print where as Tejas will have less because of the carbon composites body structures!!

Tejas have modern glass cockpit and continuously evolving according to air force needs. The FOC standard Tejas will have in-flight refueling,BVRs,capability to carry standoff missiles,all kind of conventional and smart bombs which IAF posses.

Tejas MK 1 is better than JF 17, Even after almost 8 – 10 years of in service of JF 17 its not clear it ever got FOC, While Tejas got IOC in 2013 and FOC by end of 2015.Tejas MK 1 will get EW with jammer. Tejas Mk II will be another beast with AESA radars and much powerful Engine.

Check this Video of India’s LCA TEJAS vs Pakistan’s Jf-17,Indegineous Fighters Compared|Controversy

  1. This news article says that the range of Tejas is just 400 kms– Can you clarify?

    And why is Tejas unable to strike deep into enemy territory or work like Su 30 or Rafales?

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