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India’s Tejas Mk1A, equipped with the highly anticipated Uttam AESA radar, is set to redefine the nation’s aerospace capabilities. While the developmental and testing work on the radar has already been completed on two Limited Series Production (LSP) Tejas Flying testbeds, the final rollout of the Tejas Mk1A is scheduled for the end of 2026. However, the production technology for the radar has already been transferred to a private sector company, marking a significant step towards indigenous technology development.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the developer of Tejas Mk1A, is gearing up for the commencement of deliveries of the first two aircraft from March 2024, followed by eight more deliveries in 2025, and 16 more from 2026 onwards. The inclusion of the cutting-edge Uttam AESA radar is expected to enhance the aircraft’s capabilities significantly.

While Uttam AESA radar will be the ultimate radar solution for Tejas Mk1A, HAL has decided to equip the first batches of 21 aircraft with Israeli ELTA’s ELM-2052 as an interim radar. This move ensures that the initial aircraft are equipped with advanced radar capabilities, while the Uttam AESA radar undergoes the final stages of development and integration.

The Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), which spearheaded the development of the Uttam AESA radar, claims that it surpasses ELTA’s ELM-2052 in all parameters, including search, tracking, and simultaneous weapon deliveries in combat engagements.

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