What is LCA Tejas Mark 2 project? [Fully Explained]

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the Tejas Mk2 project, an indigenous light combat aircraft, on September 1, 2022. For the design and construction of Tejas Mk2 fighter jet prototypes, test flights, and certification, the CCS has approved Rs 6,500 crore.

All About LCA Tejas Mark 2 Aircraft

The Tejas Mk2, which is referred to as a 4.5-generation fighter aircraft, will be classified as middleweight rather than lightweight. More modern Indian-made technologies will be on board, and it will be 70% more indigenous than the Mark IA was. Hindustan Aeronautics, a state-owned company, produced this single-engine, multipurpose, supersonic combat aircraft (HAL).

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The early design studies for Mk 2 were completed in 2014, and in 2015, the detailed design stage began. At the Aero India air show in 2019, the updated fighter made its debut. It belonged to the 17.5-ton class and had integrated IRST and close-coupled canards. Beginning in February 2021, the Tejas Mark 2’s metal cutting process. The original “roll out” date for the first prototype was set for August 2022, however, it has since been postponed until the end of 2022. In late 2023, the first launch is anticipated. Four prototypes are initially anticipated.

Specifications & Features of LCA Tejas Mk 2 Aircraft

According to Girish Linganna, an aerospace and defence analyst, “The improved Tejas LCA will include a number of additional features to boost its capacity to fly and battle. Tejas 2.0 will contain GE-414 engines that are more powerful than the present model, with 98 Kilonewton of thrust. In comparison to the present version, this will enable it to fly farther and carry more weaponry and cargo. The new plane will also be equipped with an Indian-made Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Compared to the current ELTA EL/M-2032 multi-mode radar, this will be a significant improvement.

Which IAF Aircraft LCA Tejas Mk 2 Aircraft is going to replace?

The Indian Air Force intends to replace aircraft like the Mirage-2000, Jaguar, and MiG-29 with Tejas Mk2, as Financial Express Online has reported. These new fighters for the IAF will be used to defend against air attacks, and the Mk2 version will also be able to be utilised in both offensive and defensive missions. The GE-404 engines on the present Tejas Mk1 are being introduced to replace the outdated MiG-21s.

Which weapons LCA Tejas Mk 2 Aircraft can carry?

Air Chief Marshal VR Choudhary said in July that six squadrons of Tejas Mk2—a total of 108 aircraft—would be ordered. The BrahMos missile will be included with the latest version of the aircraft. Like the Mirage-2000, it will also be able to launch laser-guided bombs.

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Without refuelling, it can continue longer. Also included for the first time is an onboard oxygen generation system. It will be able to transport powerful stand-off weaponry like the BrahMos, Scalp, Crystal Maze, Spice-2000, and Spice. The Mk2 can carry 6,500 kg more than the LCA, which can only carry 3,500 kg, and is 1350 mm longer, has canards.

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He claimed that “near the wings of the plane, a canard has been fitted. Such canards are found on contemporary fighters as the Sukhoi-30MKI, Eurofighter, and Rafale. Elevons are located both inboard and outboard on the wing’s trailing edge. The Tejas Mk2’s cockpit will be rebuilt for ergonomics and maintenance, in addition to the armaments and engine. Steel, titanium, carbon composites, and aluminium alloys are used in the manufacture of fly-by-wire aircraft.

More information on LCA Tejas Mk 2 Aircraft

It will include network-centric warfare capabilities supported by the IAF’s AFNet digital information grid, a software-defined radio-based tactical data link for secure communication, and a potent electronic warfare system.

“A touch-sensitive large area display and a wide-angle holographic head-up display system that can be employed with night vision goggles will be the focal points of the glass cockpit. To make the task of the pilot easier, the Mk2 will have a hand-on throttle-and-stick combination, with the right hand on the stick and the left hand on the throttle.

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When will the LCA Tejas Mk 2 Aircraft be Inducted into IAF?

The LCA Mk2 should be ready by 2024, and testing should be over by 2027, according to a top IAF officer. This is in line with earlier information that HAL will begin developing a small batch of high-speed taxis in 2025 and begin testing them in 2023. By 2027, the entire development process will be finished, and in 2030, full-scale mass production will begin. In 2028, Tejas Mk2 will be ready for use. HAL anticipates an additional order of 210 aircraft in addition to the six squadrons.

This will aid in the Indian Air Force’s fighter fleets, which now number 30 whereas 45 squadrons are needed.

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Total Cost of LCA Tejas Mark 2 project

A total development budget of Rs 9000 crore, including the Rs 2500 crore that has already been spent, has been approved by the CCS. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established a target date of 2027 to complete the flight testing based on information that is already in the public domain.

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