With the assembly of the first Tejas Mk-II to begin later in April this year, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) will be asking Defence Ministry for more funds as the amount sanctioned 2431.55 crores in 2009 won’t be enough to build 3rd and 4th pre-production Tejas Mk-II that will be required to carry out developmental trials of the program before it enters production in 2028-29.

Informed sources close to have confirmed that ADA plans to build 4 Pre-production Tejas Mk-II that will be used extensively for the flight and developmental trials for the program and with previous funds allocated it can manufacture the first two Pre-production Tejas Mk-II and could require fresh funds for the development of the last two that will be near-production models that will be equipped with all components and systems that IAF had sought from the project.

The rollout of the first Tejas Mk-II is planned later this year in December and the first flight is planned within one year of its rollout. the second aircraft will be ready in 2024 followed by 2 more aircraft in 2025 and 2026. Since the last two aircraft will be in FOC configuration and critical to the Tejas Mk-II program, ADA wants MoD to sanction the funds at the earliest.

ADA already has taken deliveries of 8 GE-414 to the program and later in the year, General Electric (GE) officials and engineers will be in India to monitor the integration of the engine to the first aircraft and also validate it before ADA can commence Low-speed taxi trials of the aircraft from mid-2023 followed by High-speed taxi trials and first flight.

ADA has asked for 15000 crores for the AMCA program and 13000 crores for the TEDBF program for the Navy. Tejas Mk-II program has received 2431.55 crores till now but the final estimated figure might be over 5000 crores before all trials are concluded. ADA/HAL are also making efforts to get IAF on board and commit to procuring 100-120 jets before Phase-II commences that will see the manufacturing of 2 FOC Configuration Tejas MkII jets.

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