Despite several months of Lockdown due to the Chinese Virus situation in the country, the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) which is the nodal design agency for the Tejas Mk2 program is confident that the first rollout of the Tejas Mk2 LSP-1 will happen in June 2022 and it will conclude its first flight by Early 2023.

The first Metal cutting for the first aircraft is scheduled for February 2021, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) already has begun procurement of tooling and assembly jigs for the same and the final design freeze will happen in the next few weeks. ADE and HAL are planning to complete flight testing and Developmental trials by 2028 so that aircraft enters into full-scale production by then.

Unlike the Tejas Mk1 program, the Tejas MK2 program will be build using technologies and components which are already developed, and nothing much needs to be developed which can delay the program due to which Schedule has remained the same.

Tejas Mk2 will feature Side Stick Controller, Next Generation Wide Area Display (WAD) to boost situational awareness, accuracy, safety. Electronic warfare suite (EW suite) onboard and On-board Oxygen (OBOX) generating system which is already developed and tested. HAL is also developing Two Full Mission Simulator (FMS) for the program so that Pilots can practice and fly it even before the first Mk2 LSP-1 is ready for its first flight. ADE already has received dozen F-414 engines from GE, a New powerful digital flight control computer (DFCC) already has been developed which will also be used for the Tejas Mk1A program. Most of the Major system like Line Replacement Unit (LRU) and Avionics is already developed and what is now required is to put them in one place and that will happen when the assembly of the first aircraft begins from mid of 2022 onwards.

LSP-1 Tejas Mk2 will be an Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard built and in by 2026 first Final Operational Clearance (IOC) standard built LSP-3 will be ready for further flight testing so that by 2028 it is ready to enter production. 17.5 ton Tejas Mark II will be powered by a heavier GE 414 engine and will be equipped with state-of-the-art AESA radar with the indigenously developed Weapons systems like RudraM, BrahMos-NG, Astra Mk1, Mk1A, Mk2 BVRAAM, SAAW, etc.

Tejas Mk2 will share 80% of its Avionics, Radar, and other major systems with the Navy’s TEDBF program also. Tejas Mk2 program was sanctioned in 2009 but the majority of the systems required for the aircraft were developed first even though aircraft moved from 15-tonne aircraft to 17.5-tonne aircraft in the last 5 years in the design stage itself due to growing confidence due to the Tejas Mk1 program.

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