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LCA Tejas 'missed' target during Iron Fist 2016: IAF official

The Air Force Today Said The Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) Fired By Indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Had “missed' The Target During The Exercise Iron Fist 2016 But Refused To Call It A “failure'.

PTI | Updated on: 21 Mar 2016, 07:56:03 PM

New Delhi:

The Air Force today said the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) fired by indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas had “missed” the target during the Exercise Iron Fist 2016 but refused to call it a “failure”.

On Friday, in an impressive show of firepower, the IAF had put up a dazzling display of its military prowess and a senior official then had said that Tejas “hit the target”.

Another Mirage assault aircraft also could not fire at the target during the triennial exercise due to bad weather, he said.

“The LGB fired from the LCA (Tejas) missed the target and we are looking at it as to why it occurred. There was a malfunction of the bomb,” a senior air force official said, adding, there was “no fault” of the pilot or with the aircraft itself.

The official declined to call it a “failure”, saying it is “extremely ordinary (routine) for a missile to hit the target”.

The accuracy of the weapons to hit a target varies and the overall accuracy rate of the weapon is generally in 90-93 per cent range, he said.

“It had gone very close to the target,” he added. The IAF demonstrated its might using a series of assault platforms, including the indigenously-built surface-to-air missile Akash, which was fired for the first time in any exercise.

Varied range of fighter and transporter jets and helicopters also featured in the exercise which the IAF carries out every three years.

The event also saw LCA Tejas and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) firing Missile 73E. It could not be seen with the naked eye whether the missile fired by Tejas had hit the target.

IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Rochelle D’silva had then said, “the target was hit”.

The Mirage also did not fire owing to the bad weather.

“The weather was not conducive and then seconds before the missile could be fired, the pilot did not see the target. We did not want to take any chance as the VVIPs were there, so we told the pilot not to fire,” the official said. 

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First Published : 21 Mar 2016, 07:54:00 PM