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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

IMAGE COURTESY KUNTAL BISWAS

Within days away from starting the metal cutting exercise that commences the start of the program officially, Aero India 2021 will be showing Full Scale Cockpit and scaled models of the Tejas Mk2 in its Final Frozen Design that will sport not only new design refinements but also some further enchantments of its present features said informed sources close to the idrw.org.

Tejas Mk2 which earlier showed a fixed in-flight refueling system for aircraft will be getting a retractable probe that has been added to the final design and also sees some minor changes to the air intakes.

Tejas Mk2 will now feature an improved variant of the GTSU-127 Jet fuel starter that itself was a derivate of the GTSU-110 Jet fuel starter that was designed for the Tejas Mk1 program. GTSU-127 was specifically designed for the Original Tejas Mk2 (14 ton) that was to be powered by an F-414 engine but looking at further changes of power requirements and the possibility of engine swap of higher (110Kn) thrust engine in later stages of the aircraft’s life, HAL is working on developing an improved derivate of the GTSU-127 Jet fuel starter that will have higher output power. It is still not clear if it will be the GTSU-135 that HAL was working on for a few years now or it will be a new system.

Tejas Mk2 Program won’t be having any TD or PV Phase, so the very first aircraft coming out in 2022 or early 2023 will be of Limited Serial Production standard with IOC-2 Configurations. Tejas Mk2 will have interchangeable parts for ease of maintenance from the very start, to avoid previous mistakes that have delayed deliveries of FOC Tejas Mk1.

HAL will remain the lead integrator and manufacture of the Tejas Mk2 Program but HAL is willing to further expand its Nashik Production line that will be able to cater to more than 5 aircraft per annum, plus 16 coming from the Bangalore line. Nashik Production line after Sukhoi-30MKI Production line is closed, it can expand to 12 per annum if required by the Air force. HAL is presently preparing the Nashik Production line to cater to the manufacturing of 5 Tejas Mk1A per annum, So technically in 2027-28, HAL will be able to produce 28 jets per annum if required by the airforce since the final Tejas Mk2 order will be around 170 units.

Tejas Mk2 will have a Tier-1 supply line made of Private Sector companies but the Production line will remain with HAL and they are no plans in place to transfer it to the Private sector due to lack of interest from the Private sector companies. AMCA will have a Public and Private sector owned Production line. AMCA Production line will be coming up in Coimbatore under Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor at the same time that might be used to produce TEDBF in initial stages or it might be manufactured in the Production line where MMRCA winner might be manufactured, a final decision is yet to be taken.

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