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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK

HAL chairman and managing director R. Madhavan recently confirmed that the Tejas Mk1A will take to air by March 2022, idrw.org has been told one of the FOC Tejas Mk1 aircraft that has been designed to be used as FTB (Flying Testbed ) for the Mk1A program is presently under undergoing fitment of the Israeli supplied ELTA-ELM-2052 AESA Fire Control Radar (FCR) and the ELL-8222WB self-protection jammer (SPJ) mounted on an external pod.

Mk1A FTB Rollout will happen at the end of this year and plans are to demonstrate most of the technologies next year after the completion of initial flights planned in March 2022. HAL plans to use Mk1A FTB for the next 18 months from the day of its first flight to validate most of the upgrades and changes that have taken place in the aircraft before it is cleared for production by mid of 2023.

HAL plans to deliver the first 2 Tejas Mk1A jets by March 2024 and 8 more by March 2025 and complete deliveries by end of 2029. HAL plans to utilize production line from 2022 onwards to manufacture 18 Twin-seater Trainer variant that was ordered by IAF. idrw.org has been told that most of the backlog of the single-seater Tejas Mk1 is planned to be handed over by March 2022 while some will be retained and used in enabling integration of indigenous Astra Mk1 and SAAW weapons system that is currently underway.

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