SOURCE: VINAYAK SHETTY FOR MY TAKE /IDRW.ORG
According to the sources close to idrw.org, ADA and HAL will start working on the first airframe of Tejas MK-2 by end of this year and first flight of Tejas MK-2 is expected by early 2015 and enters service with IAF by 2018.
Tejas MK-2 will be based on Tejas MK-1, But MK-2 will be larger, able to carry more fuel and weapons payload carry more powerful GE-F414-INS6 engines and technologically will be more advanced.
Tejas MK-2 was born when Indian navy wanted a carrier fighter aircraft based on Tejas MK-1 air force variant, Navy wanted more powerful engines to care out carrier take off, Navy also wanted changes in Airframe for carrier role, and IAF sensing an opportunity that a new and better variant of Tejas can be developed based on Indian navy requirements, was quick to grab this opportunity and pressed for development of new variant, even when Tejas MK-1 was able to fulfil ASR of IAF.
Tejas MK-2 will have improved avionics, Upgrade of Flight Control Computers, in flight refuelling retractable probe, On board oxygen generation system and a new Electronic Warfare Suite , to avoid delays to the program , Earlier Tejas Prototype ( PV-1) has been assigned with the MK-2 program and will act has the test bed for MK-2 program.
MK-2 will also get new improved pilot friendly all glass cockpits which will have larger and better screens to reduce pilot fatigue; India has already placed orders with General Electric (GE) for 99 F414-GE-INS6 engines which will produce more thrust than previous F404 engines which power Tejas MK-1. F414-GE-INS6 engines feature a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system.
Development of AESA radar has already begun but will be integrated with Tejas MK-2 when it is fully certified; leading to speculate that first Block of MK-2 will come with current MMR radar which is already integrated in Tejas MK-1.