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The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) next-generation fighter, the Tejas MkII, is taking a significant step forward with the assembly jigs and fixtures expected to be ready by late 2024. This paves the way for assembly to begin by the end of this year, with component orders already placed since late 2023.

To optimize the assembly process, the program prioritizes components based on delivery times. Longer lead-time components are already secured, while orders for faster-to-manufacture parts will be issued soon. This ensures a steady flow of materials and avoids delays.

The current plan aims for a Tejas MkII rollout by the end of 2025, followed by its maiden flight in 2026. HAL-ADA, the program’s developers, have two years to clear the aircraft for basic weapon integration, enabling limited-scale production by 2028. The IAF has taken charge of clearing advanced weaponry in separate phases.

The Tejas MkII will first replace the IAF’s aging Jaguar squadrons, followed by the MiG-29 and Mirage-2000 fleets. The ambitious plan aims to procure nearly 200 units by 2040, bolstering the IAF’s capabilities significantly.

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