The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) official has confirmed that Medium Weight Fighter or (MWF) won’t be having Technology demonstrator aircraft nor PV (Prototype Vehicle) aircraft in its initial development stage and instead the first aircraft for which metal cutting will start from next year to be ready for first flight by 2024 will be Limited Series Production (LSP) standard aircraft with Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) configuration.

LCA-Tejas Mk1 program had Two TD aircraft which demonstrated basic technologies like flight characters and controls and later the program moved to PV stage under which 5 aircraft were produced to fast track developmental phase where aircraft came with some of the technologies required for a combat aircraft the last phase saw the construction of 8 LSP standard aircraft where pre-production aircraft had almost all the technologies requested by the user for final production model.

It took LCA-Tejas Mk1 program nearly 13 years to move from the first flight of TD-1 to the first flight of SP-1 but ADA says that MWF-Mk2 program benefits from its long experience with the development of the Mk1 program due to which it can skip TD and PV Stage to cut development phase to just 5-6 years before aircraft is ready for production by 2028-29.

For ADA, Upgraded Tejas Mk1A entirely an Internal project of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) program and its job and developmental phase of the LCA-Tejas program is officially over so that it can concentrate on the development of MWF-Mk2 program and a separate teams are already working on TEDBF and AMCA program.

MWF-Mk2 will have a maximum all-up weight of 17,500kg and will have a longer 1.35m fuselage which allows it to carry more fuel due to changes in the base design of the LCA, ADA has introduced canards to help with maneuverability and improve forward lifting surface area. MWF-Mk2 will be powered by General Electric F414-INS6 engines which already have arrived in India some time back and GE Team will be in India for its integration work.

MWF-Mk2 will have 6.5t of external stores and will feature a wingtip hard-point added for short-range air-to-air missiles. MWF-Mk2 also receives an internally mounted infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, a missile approach warning system (MAWS) along with On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS) Life Support System to provide enhanced physiology protection to aircrew of high altitude.

MWF-Mk2 will feature Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar developed by India’s Electronic Research Development Establishment (LRDE) which according to DRDO which is already flying onboard LSP-2 in its developmental trials and will be ready for production in next one year so MWF-Mk2 will get AESA Radar from the very first aircraft itself.


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