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India’s indigenously developed Tejas MkII fighter aircraft is poised to mark a significant milestone with its inaugural flight scheduled by the end of 2025. This technologically advanced aircraft, weighing 17.5 tons, represents a leap forward in India’s aerospace capabilities and is expected to play a pivotal role in the country’s defense strategy.

According to the latest media reports, Initial plans for the Tejas MkII envisioned a production run of 108 units. However, recent media reports suggest this number could be increased to 200, reflecting the IAF’s confidence in the program. Production is expected to begin in the early 2030s.

With wing assembly complete, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) anticipates commencing the jet’s assembly later in 2024, paving the way for a potential first flight by the end of 2025 or early 2026. The Tejas MkII is slated to replace aging MiG-29UPG and Mirage-2000 fighters from the IAF’s inventory, starting in 2030. This transition will ensure India has a modern and indigenous fleet of fighters at its disposal.

This 17.5-ton aircraft boasts a heavier payload capacity, allowing it to carry more weapons and equipment.