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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has set a target to commence production of the Tejas Mk-2 fighter jet in five years. The confirmation comes from HAL’s Chief, CB Ananthakrishnan, who revealed that the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL are collaborating to roll out pre-production Tejas Mk-2 aircraft by the end of 2024. The first flight of this advanced fighter is planned for 2025.

India has allocated ?10,000 crore for the Tejas Mk-2 program, and the Indian Air Force (IAF) has committed to acquiring 120 of these jets. The objective is to replace the aging fleet of Mig-29UPG and Jaguar Darin-III Strike aircraft, with the process expected to begin in 2030-34. Additionally, the IAF plans to phase out 50 Mirage-2000H fighter jets from its fleet starting in 2035, gradually integrating the Tejas Mk-2.

The Tejas Mk-2 offers a range of advancements, including improved range, higher payload capacity, enhanced radar capability, superior avionics, advanced electronics, increased survivability, and better situational awareness for pilots. It is designed with network-centric capabilities, enabling rapid role-switching to address various mission requirements.

This 17.5-tonne fighter jet boasts a maximum speed of 1.8 Mach, a notable increase compared to the 13.5-tonne LCA Mk-1A, which has a top speed of 1.6 Mach. The Tejas Mk-2’s payload capacity is an impressive 6.5 tons, equipping it for a diverse range of missions and ensuring its effectiveness in bolstering India’s air defense capabilities. As it progresses through development and production, the Tejas Mk-2 stands as a crucial element in India’s modernization and strengthening of its air force.

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