TRIVENDRUM: Indigenously developed TEJAS fighter jets, the Air Force's lethal weapon, flew down for training and made a thunderous appearance the capital city. This is the first time that the TEJAS, which flies at the speed of sound, reached Kerala and flew so low in populated areas. At around 9 am yesterday, two fighter jets from the Sulur Air Force Base in Coimbatore circled over the capital for more than half an hour before returning. The roar of warplanes made the people of the capital anxious.

The TEJAS fighter jets are part of the Southern Air Command, based in Thiruvananthapuram, but cannot land near the Thiruvananthapuram airport due to the threat of birds. TEJAS' powerful engines can pull birds and collide with them. The warplanes are kept at Thanjavur and Sulur. The TEJAS flew the No. 18 Squadron (Flying Bullets) from Sulur to Trivendrum. Designed by DRDO, the TEJAS is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics.

In addition, the growing Chinese and Pakistani presence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives is a matter of concern. Sri Lanka is located at a distance of 380.19 km from Thiruvananthapuram. National Security Adviser Ajith Doval arrived in Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari after discovering that the ISI was supplying large quantities of arms with Chinese aid through the Kodiyakkarai port between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The Southern Air Force has set up an integrated air command-and-control system for air defence control of the Indian subcontinent to counter the threat of air strikes.

Air Fighter

# The lightest supersonic fighter. Land, air and sea can be attacked with missiles, rockets and laser bombs
# Has the ability to turn around quickly. Can carry up to three tons of weapons. Can be refuelled during flight. Radar with greater visibility and accuracy
# The new TEJAS has long-range and short-range missiles. Possible review with digital 2D and 3D maps of the area travelled
# TEJAS can land on an aircraft carrier. Can do arrested landing

Speed-2205 km (per hour)
Weight-8.5 tons
Price-Rs 309 crore