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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

After the Initial service requirement of 210 jets, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed the requirement of 170 Tejas Mk2 fighter jets, weeks before the first metal cutting ceremony of the first aircraft is to take place, people close to the program have informed idrw.org, that First IOC Configured Tejas Mk2 pre-production aircraft will take to air, 18 months after metal cutting ceremony, that is likely by end of 2022 or early 2023.

ADA and DRDO have planned to have a 4-year long test flight and user evaluation phase that will be required to validate all the flight controls, avionics, and other parameters before it is ready to enter production in 2026-27. While talks with HAL are still being held about the annual production run this new jet will have, Tejas Mk2 will likely use the idle Tejas Mk1A production line and has an annual capacity of 21 jets.

Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is planning to have 4 pre-production aircraft for the Tejas Mk2 program that will get a new name in due course. At least the first two aircraft will be used to validate all the wind tunnel and computer simulation data of the aircraft’s inflight performance and will be loaded with telemetry sensors to validate the same. The last two aircraft will be used as user trial aircraft plus as weapons and avionics testbed to validate the technologies for the program.

The plan is to end the production of Tejas Mk2 before, AMCA Mk2 enter production sometime in 2035. ADA is also having talks with Private sector companies to increase participation of the Private sector companies in its production and limit the role of the state-owned HAL to just being the lead integrator for the program. Tejas Mk2 is a sort of dry run before AMCA MK2 production line is set up and manufactured in a joint venture partnership with a private sector company.

83 Tejas Mk1A program will see the Private sector entering in manufacturing of the fuselage of the aircraft, Mk2 will see fuselage and partially assembled blocks of each section from the private sector thus limiting the role of HAL. AMCA program will see the Private sector moving from the Tier-II Supply chain to the Tier-I supply chain that will have its Tier-II supply chain to support the AMCA ecosystem. AMCA Mk2 a 5.5th Generation fighter jet will enter production in 2035 with some 6th Generation technologies that have been planned for its successor.

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