IMAGE COURTESY  Dr Anantha Krishnan M

Weapons Package for India’s Upcoming 17.5 Tons Tejas Mk2 fighter jet has been frozen that will make use of maximum standoff weapons that are already in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) equipped on different types of jets in the fleet. Tejas Mk2 will also focus more on the indigenously made weapons that will feature in Tejas Mk1A and Tejas Mk2 will include some of the standoff weapons that came with the recently inducted Dassault Rafale fighter jets.

Storm Shadow / SCALP a long-range, air-launched, stand-off attack missile designed and developed by France-based MBDA System is one of the main weapon systems that has been cleared for Tejas Mk2. Sub-sonic 1.3 ton cruise missile with a range of over 500kms and with low-observable characters was inducted with the Dassault Rafale and has been selected also for the Tejas Mk2 fighter fleet According to ADA, studies have been conducted on the technical flexibility of integrating French missile and it has been cleared after due data collection and computer simulations.

Crystal Maze missiles air-to-surface missiles developed and in use by Israel and often seen on India’s Mirage-2000 fleet has been selected after conducting the technical flexibility for integration. Another Israeli stand-off weapon, SPICE-2000 bomb that were used to strike Balakot Terror camps are also been cleared for the Tejas Mk2.

Russian Kh-31 anti-ship missile variant and Indo-Russian BrahMos-NG Air-launched Cruise missile seem to be only two Russian Standoff weapons systems had might see service with the Tejas Mk2 fleet. It is not clear if more Russian weapons systems like R-73 Close Combat Missile will also be integrated with Tejas Mk2.

Indian standoff weapons systems like Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW), RudraM 1 Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) along with RudraM 2 and RudraM 3 ARM Family that are still under development also has been cleared for the Tejas Mk2 fleet. Coming to the Air-to-Air missiles, Tejas Mk2 will stick to the Indigenously developed Astra Mk1 (110km) and Astra Mk2 (160km) BVR-AAMs along with Astra-IIR (60km) for Short to Medium Range engagements. Astra Mk3 (340km) a Very long-range BVR-AAM that is still under development will also see service in the Tejas Mk2 fleet when it is available.

ADA confirmed more locally developed Weapons systems will be added whenever IAF demands so. Present weapons package selected for the Tejas Mk2 Program was reached after consultation with the Indian Air force and more weapons will make it to the fleet after many of the weapons enter production.

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