The Tejas Mark-2 (Tejas MK2) fighting jet project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), which is chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, at a cost of more than Rs. 6,500 crore. The funding is an addition to the Rs 2,500 crore that was previously approved for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The Tejas Mark-2 (Tejas 2.0) will be an advanced version of Tejas LCA.
- The Tejas Mark-2 project will provide a number of enhancements to the flight and combat skills of the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
- The Tejas is a single-engine, multi-role supersonic fighter that is extremely agile. It is manufactured by the state-run HAL.
- Tejas Mark-2 is being designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Note: Another large-scale project for fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) with stealth features and “supercruise” capabilities will soon be announced after the above Tejas project.
Tejas Mark-2 project
i.The Tejas Mark-2 will have a longer combat range and more capacity to carry weapons with more powerful GE-414 engines in the 98 Kilonewton thrust class than the Tejas Mark-1 (GE-404 engines).
- It will have a payload capacity of 4 tonnes, up from 3 tonnes for the current variant.
ii.As the Tejas Mark-1 (13.5 tonne) was intended to replace outdated MiG-21s, the Mark-2 variant (17.5 tonne) will replace fighters such as the Mirage-2000s, Jaguars, and MiG-29s in the combat fleet of Indian Air Force (IAF).
- The lightweight Tejas Mark-1 is primarily designed for defence systems.
- The medium-weight Mark-2 fighter will be used for offensive operations into enemy areas and will have heavy standoff weapons.
- About 30 of the 123 Tejas jets that the IAF originally bought from HAL have been delivered to the IAF.
- In February 2021, the final Rs. 46,898 crore contract for 73 enhanced Mark-1A fighters and 10 trainers was signed for delivery in the 2024–2028 timeframe.
iv.In addition, a newly created Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which will be a significant improvement over the current ELTA’s EL/M-2032 multi-mode radar, would be included on the new jet.
Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA)
i.The AMCA will weigh around 25-tonne and will be a completely distinct advanced stealth fighter. The IAF will induct five to seven AMCA squadrons, with production most likely to begin in 2035.
ii.Operational fifth-generation jets at the moment: American F/A-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning-II Joint Strike Fighter; Chinese Chengdu J-20 & Russian Sukhoi-57.
Recent Related News:
In July 2022, HAL has concluded a contract with Honeywell Aerospace worth over USD 100 million for the supply and manufacture of 88 TPE331-12B engines/kits (Honeywell), as well as maintenance and support services, to power HAL’s indigenous Hindustan Turbo Trainer – 40 (HTT-40), which will be used to train Army, Navy, and IAF pilots.
- R Madhavan is the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of HAL.
About Indian Air Force(IAF):
Chief of the Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari
Established – 1932
Motto – Touch The Sky with Glory