Tejas Up-gradation – Private Players to Join the Race

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HAL Tejas MK1A Up gradation

The participation of private players in almost all public entities is on a hike. And the same scenario seems to affect the armed forces as well. With the focus on modernizing and accelerating the weapons manufacturing, the government authorities are now heading to the private firms for production of defense equipment and machines. The private firms are opted in order to get the weapon in stipulated time and supporting make in India program.

About TEJAS Light Combat Aircraft

Tejas is the indigenous aircraft made by India and is also a ray of hope for the aircraft needy Indian Air Force. The aircraft has been developed to give India its own aircraft and reduce dependence on other nations. But it has gone through several ups and downs, like late delivery of aircraft on time, not matching the requirements of navy etc. To overcome these shortcomings and laxities, HAL is considering involving private firms for the production of the aircraft. It is expected that with the involvement of private firms, per year manufacturing capacity of aircraft would increase to 24.

Currently, 83 Tejas-MK1A and 40 Tejas MK1 are to be manufactured totaling to 123 aircraft. For 83 MK1A aircraft, HAL is planning to link up with L&T for making wings of the aircraft; for the front fuselage, Dynamic Technologies Ltd; VEM technologies center fuselage and Alpha Deca rear fuselage. Similarly, HAL is planning to join with private firms for making the components of Tejas-MK1 and would also follow the plan for manufacturing of Tejas-MK2. The IAF wants to induct around 200 MK 2 aircraft which would have a better feature than previous versions.

Tejas LSP-2 and 83 Tejas-MK1A are reported to get AESA Uttam radar installed in it, which is made by DRDO’s LRDE. But it would not be used for next batch of Tejas MK 1A. For that, the authorities are considering Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd developed EL/M-2052 Active Electronically Scanning Array (AESA) and Thales developed RBE2 radar, whichever proved to the requirements would be opted. DRDO has reported that almost all the up gradation of Tejas Mk1A has been done except the radars. Advance electronic warfare suite, which is developed by Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) has been tested over LCA PV-1 and will be installed in Tejas-MK1A, and Tejas MK2 will have EVM suite onboard.

Some Important Facts About Tejas Aircraft

  • They were inducted in IAF as “Flying Daggers 45”.
  • In 1984, the government started working over the indigenous aircraft and established Aeronautical Development Agency
  • It was initially named LCA, but Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee named it Tejas.
  • It is a single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role lightweight supersonic fighter jet
  • It uses General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 turbofan engines.
  • It can attain a speed of 2,205 km/hr for FOC version and 2,000 km/hr for IOC version at a maximum altitude of 15,200m
  • The aircraft is equipped to handle air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, bombs, and rockets.

The aircraft is still in need a lot of up-gradations to meet the requirements of the armed forces. The project was started to reduce the dependence of India over the MiG family. But the issues and delays in the manufacturing are making the forces to opt an alternate option. The deal of Rafale with France is also under process and IAF is pointing it as a better option. The up-gradations in Tejas is expected to make it a good option and holding private firms for this will be a good decision from the manufacturing authorities.

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