Tejas Mk2 Fighters Going The Rafale Way; Numerous Countries Interested, But A Debut Deal Elusive

About 16 nations have contacted India to get information on the newest Tejas Mk2 fighter aircraft. At the Defense Expo 2022, the aircraft model was on display.

The article also stated that the government was looking into additional private organisations to help it meet the increased demand for combat aircraft. The LCA Mk2 combat aircraft received approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is chaired by the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister, last month.

LCA Mk2 Project Director at Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Dr. V Madhusudana Rao told News18 on the sidelines of the DefExpo-2022 that there is a significant push from the central government to increase the production rate of the aircraft and that India has already received inquiries about the aircraft from 16 different countries.

According to the official, in order to increase the fighter’s export potential, the government has pushed for speedy manufacturing and aircraft cost reduction. India has been trying to sell its locally produced LCA Tejas, but despite extensive negotiations with nations like Malaysia, it has not been successful thus far.

Also lately, the ADA Chief informed News 18 that “HAL can match the requirement of the Indian Armed Forces. HAL may serve as the lead integrator, assembling all significant components and systems, performing flight testing, and handling delivery.

Beyond that, though, a private cooperation will be necessary. The commercial cooperation might provide HAL’s aircraft manufacturing efforts the much-needed boost they need.

Government projections state that the first fighter prototype will fly in 2024, a year after the plane is ready for roll-out at the end of December 2023. Three other prototypes will be created after the initial flight is a success.

Additionally, the wing tip missile and two to four Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles will be fitted into the aircraft by design before the whole flight testing is finished.

The long lead component manufacture for the aircraft has started, the ADA chief added. We will have finished the design and development of the LCA Mark 2 by December 2027, with all four prototypes having successfully completed flight testing, and we will be starting manufacturing of the LCA Mark 2 for the IAF.

The Indian Air Force has already committed to acquiring six squadrons of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2, according to Air Chief Vivek Ram Chaudhari, who made the statement on July 18. (LCA M2). The IAF chief provided a detailed explanation earlier this month of how different fleets of the IAF will be phased down once their operational cycle is complete by 2035.

Over the course of the next ten years, the Mk2 model will replace the Indian Air Force’s fleet of outdated MiG-29, Mirage-2000, and Jaguar aircraft.

LCA Tejas Mk2 – Coming Soon!

A multi-role fighter plane developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for India has yet to leave the HAL hangar. It is known as the Tejas Mark 2A.

The comprehensive design review (CDR) of the aircraft was authorised by the IAF last year. With an overall length of 14.6 metres, a condensed wingspan, and heights of 8.5 metres and 4.86 metres, the Tejas Mk2 model is a medium-weight aircraft.

Image credit : via Twitter

The Tejas Mk-2’s GE-F414 INS6 engine will have a thrust of approximately 98 kN. Although it was designed to be a light combat aircraft, as depicted in the mock-up picture, its powerful engine changed its design to make it more like a medium-weight fighter jet.

The Tejas Mk2 is expected to sail at a speed of 1.8 Mach and have a lengthy ferry range of 3,500 kilometres. The Mark 2 could lift off with a maximum total weight of 16.5 tonnes, which included the fighter’s 10-ton bulk plus 6.5 tonnes of external payload, thanks to a powerful engine.

Scalp, Crystal Maze, and Spice-2000 munitions will be available for the Tejas Mk2 model. It will be equipped with indigenous Astra Mark 1 and Mark 2 missiles for air-to-air warfare.

The Defence R&D Laboratory (DRDL) of the DRDO in Hyderabad, which tested the Rudram anti-radiation missiles, will also be included.

The “Made in India” Uttam AESA radar will direct the Tejas Mk-2. This indigenous radar, according to reports, is sufficiently advanced to provide it a competitive advantage over the Israeli-made radars that were previously mounted on earlier Tejas models. According to reports, the Uttam radar can also identify and foil hostile electronic warfare (EW) attempts.

Canards for the Mk2 will be able to hoist 6,500 kilogrammes of goods. The Tejas Mark 2 will have 11 hardpoints, including an ASRAAM air-to-air missile hard point on each wingtip, to carry this payload.

Tejas’ Mk2 model was created with the idea that Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles will be crucial in future conflicts. The improved model has a carrying capacity of around 8–10 BVR missiles.

The Mk2 version of the aircraft will also contain more than 80% domestic components, which could reduce the export restrictions created by the aircraft’s foreign components.

According to a defence analyst who asked to remain anonymous, Tejas seems to be following the Rafale route. Everyone used to adore and admire Rafale fighters, but in the beginning, there weren’t many buyers.

Rafale shed its reputation as a “curse aircraft” after demonstrating their mettle and winning political concessions. They thereafter rose to become one of the world’s best-selling aircraft. Even though Tejas moves slowly, it has all the necessary components to be a perfect light combat aircraft for nations like Malaysia, Argentina, etc.

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