SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
According to a report presented in Parliament last month, an Indian Air Force (IAF) representative stated that the IAF intends to fully support the development of indigenous fighter jets. The Tejas Mk1 program has allowed India to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of 4.5Gen technology, and the IAF is confident that India will be among the few countries relying on its indigenous fighter jets to replace its current combat fleet.
The IAF plans to induct 73 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets in the first phase, followed by approximately 108 Tejas MkII and 140 AMCA fighter jets by 2040. Likely, follow-up orders for 50 Tejas Mk1A and another 50 Tejas MkII will bring these figures to the 50% mark by early 2040.
The AMCA MkII will begin production in late 2035, with around 20-30 units expected to be delivered initially. It may take a few more years to deliver the 100 units that have been committed, which will push indigenous fighter jets above the 50% mark by 2045.
idrw.org has that the IAF and DRDO’s ADA may activate India’s 6th gen fighter program by the mid-2035-2040 timeframe when the AMCA MkII program is nearing completion. This development will further enhance the composure of indigenous fighter jets from the late 2040s onwards.
The tender for the procurement of 114 jets under the MRFA program is expected to be the final instance in which India seeks to acquire fighter jets from foreign aerospace firms. This decision is aimed at reducing pressure on the country’s indigenous fighter jet programs.
Under the Tejas MkII program, which already has committed requirements for 108 aircraft (unlike the Tejas Mk1 program), there will be greater participation of Indian private sector companies in the aircraft’s production. This move is expected to create an ecosystem for the aircraft within the country.
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