SOURCE: NARAYAN APTE/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria who was part of the LCA-Tejas Test team was the biggest backer of the locally developed fighter jet and in his term is when IAF went ahead and placed orders for the 83 upgraded Tejas Mk1A Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari has taken over the big seat in the IAF at a crucial junction when the country is more focused in the development and procurement of the new jets that to large extended will come from within the country itself.
Bhadauria has laid out a plan to procure 350+ jets in the next 15-20 years that will be of Indian origin and it becomes crucial for his successor chiefs to stick to the plan especially for the next two chiefs who will see two new fighter jets program that will take off in next 4-5 years and it will require utmost support from the Top heads in the IAF so this program remains on track.
Tejas MkII is and will remain one of the most critical projects for the new air chief since the rollout and the first flight of the new jet will likely take place under his leadership. MkII will fill in the void that will be left by the Jaguar fleet in the initial stage and later also be given to Mig-29 and Mirage-2000 Squadrons thus will have a long production run that will surpass the order placed of any other jet that was developed in India by a mile.
AMCA TD will be next to be tested from 2024 onwards that will define what will come next for the IAF and Phase-I will define if AMCA Prototype rollout in the second phase comes on time for it to enter production by 2030 and later in 2035 for the Mk2 variant.
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