India has unveiled its indigenous light combat aircraft, Tejas, for the first time at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.

The aircraft recently received initial operational clearance to be fully airworthy and is likely to be deployed by the air force by December 2012.

The Rs172.69bn ($3.7bn) single-engine, multirole fighter aircraft is powered by GE’s GE-F-404-IN-20 engines and will replace the aging MiG-21 fighters.

The IAF has placed an order for 40 air force version aircraft and is expected to acquire 100 additional aircraft, which would be powered by GE-F414 engines.

The first two Tejas squadrons are likely to be based at Sulur Air Force Station near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India, according to IANS.