SOURCE: Vinayak Shetty / FOR MY TAKE /IDRW.ORG
While MK-2 might be still called Tejas borrowing its name from its older siblings LCA-Tejas MK1/MK1-A, but now, reports are emerging that MK-2 will now be classified as Medium Weight Category aircraft and will be associated with MCA (Medium Combat Aircraft ) acronomn instead of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) which has been synonymous with India’s indigenous fighter jet program .
MK-2 being dubbed MCA (Medium Combat Aircraft ) makes more sense now since its Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) will be just below Mirage-2000K and just above SEPECAT Jaguar aircraft in service with Indian Air Force.
It is estimated that Tejas MK-2 will now have MTOW range between 16 to 16.5 tonnes, which is not be confused with 25 tonnes 5th Generation Stealth Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) combat jet which India is developing as a separate program.
Original MCA stretches
The initial concept of MCA, as shown above, was a 4++ Generation, Twin engine, tailless delta design fighter aircraft which borrowed heavily from LCA-Tejas only had MTOW of just 12 tonnes. so a 16+ tonne aircraft dubbed as MCA again makes sense.
IAF which intends to procure 201 units of Tejas MK-2 when it is ready, has asked for an aircraft which can fill in the shoe of now retiring Mig-27 and Jaguar fighter aircraft. Tejas MK-2 will have considerable improvement in its fiery range and external load carrying capacity which allows it to be classified as a Medium Weight Category aircraft and also may improve it export chances in future.