SOURCE:IDRW NEWS NETWORK
Tender documents issued by HAL for components for development of first three LCA-Tejas MK2 aircraft suggests that MK2 program is again gaining momentum after recent flip-flops by Indian Navy and silence adopted by Indian air force over its requirement for MK2 variant.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is adamant to carry on the development of MK2 variant and is contemplating giving production rights to Joint private venture who will have exclusive rights to manufacture them in India.
Buzz around media circle is that MK1A and MK2 might enter production post-2020 and Naval MK2 too will emerge by 2020 but HAL will be tasked to produce 16 MK1A per year and another production line may be tasked to produce 8-12 MK2 per year from a new joint venture.
Parrikar sees requirement of another 83 MK2 combat jets to meet the shortfall in requirements of Indian Air force light class fighter jets after the retirement of Mig-21s and if ordered LCA-Tejas order table will be 40 MK1,83MK1A and 83MK2 which will add up to 206. Indian Navy also has a requirement for 56 carriers based fighter jets.
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