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The Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft, designated LA5033, has been spotted sporting several modifications compared to its predecessor, the Mk1. These changes, as compiled by, provide insights into the improvements being made for this upgraded variant.

Enhanced Situational Awareness:

  • Missing RWR Sensors: The vertical tail appears to lack the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) sensors present on earlier Mk1 models. This might indicate an alternate placement for these sensors or an entirely new RWR system altogether, potentially enhancing threat detection capabilities.

Communication and Navigation Tweaks:

  • New APU Air Intake Antenna: The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) air intake seems to house a previously unseen antenna. This could be related to improved communication systems or identification friend-or-foe (IFF) functionalities.
  • SDR Antenna Repositioning: The position of the Forward V/UHF antenna has been shifted slightly. Additionally, the Mk1A might retain the B-NET Software Defined Radio (SDR) earlier seen on the Mk1, likely procured from Israel and known for its secure communication capabilities.

Engine and Performance Improvements:

  • Possible 3-Door Auxiliary Air Intake: The most intriguing modification is the apparent new design for the auxiliary air intake door. A speculated 3-door configuration could optimize airflow for the engine, particularly at high altitudes, potentially boosting power and performance.

As previously confirmed, the Tejas Mk1A will incorporate the ELM-2052 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar from Israel. This advanced radar offers superior range, tracking, and detection capabilities compared to traditional radars.

It’s important to note that the 3-door auxiliary air intake design remains unconfirmed. Official pronouncements from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be necessary to solidify these speculations.

The modifications observed on the Tejas Mk1A LA5033 highlight the ongoing development efforts to enhance the aircraft’s capabilities. These changes address various aspects, including improved situational awareness, communication, navigation, engine performance, and advanced avionics integration.

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