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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully test-flown the first production variant of its Tejas Mk-1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). This marks a significant milestone in India’s indigenous fighter jet program. However, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) plans for the Tejas program continue to evolve.

While the IAF is expected to formally order an additional 97 Tejas Mk-1A jets later this year, their desire for even more advanced capabilities is driving discussions for further modifications. These proposed changes could potentially lead to the designation of a new variant – the Tejas Mk-1B.

The 97 Tejas Mk-1A jets are slated for induction within the next 3-4 years. This timeframe coincides with the commencement of trials for the more advanced Tejas Mk-II variant. The Mk-II boasts significant changes, including features designed to increase commonality between the two aircraft.

Discussions between HAL and the IAF are ongoing regarding the final specifications for the second batch of Tejas jets. Key areas of potential change include avionics upgrades and other modifications to ensure optimal performance and alignment with the evolving needs of the IAF. Finalizing these specifications is crucial before finalizing the deal for the additional 97 Tejas aircraft.

The Tejas program represents a significant achievement for India’s defence ambitions. HAL has showcased various improvements on the Tejas Mk1A that only prove that many changes will be seen.

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