SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Satheesh Reddy while speaking to media, asserted on Friday that India will become self-reliant in defence production in the next 5 years and wandered off and mentioned Mark 2 RV stealth aircraft program which he called being revolved from the previous LCA program which raised more eyebrows and questions which media in question failed to follow up with.
What is Mark 2 RV Stealth Aircraft program Dr. Reddy was talking about? Is it a new internal name for India’s 5th generation AMCA stealth program? if so why it has been called Mark 2 ! and what does ‘RV’ stands for ?. This revelation has sparked an internet debate among defense enthusiasts in India but due to lack of official confirmation or denials it also has created many rumors which have been floating around.
Aero India 2019 saw India for the first time unveiling Tejas AF Mk 2 Medium Weight Fighter. MWF has been pitched as a Medium multirole fighter which potentially will replace entire Dassault Mirage 2000H, Jaguar and Mig-29UPG fleet in IAF. Tejas AF Mk 2 MWF is an enhanced version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) which now comes with a maximum take-off weight of 17.5 tonnes and also has enhanced weapons carrying capacity of 6.5 tonnes, and it is equipped with a higher thrust General Electric GE-F414-INS6 engine and has additional features like infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor, a missile approach warning system (MAWS), and an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
Tejas AF Mk 2 MWF can’t be categorized as a Stealth aircraft nor does it have any stealth features of the typical 5th generation fighter aircraft. at best it can be defined as 4.5++ Generation aircraft but as Soon as Aero India 2019 was over they were unconfirmed reports in the media about the possible development of single-engined stealth aircraft alongside Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project.
I had previously reported (Why Media is saying that India is working on Single-engined LCA-5th Generation?) on how India might be using Tejas AF Mk 2 MWF as a baseline design to develop stealth aircraft. IAF Chief initially had said that requirement in IAF for Tejas AF Mk 2 MWF class fighter aircraft is around 200 in number but quickly revised his numbers to around 108 units. Tejas AF Mk 2 MWF program already has Mk2 in its designation and it has been speculated that RV stands for ‘Revised Version’ for the Mark 2 program which will involve the integration of the Stealth features discussed in above-mentioned link to the previous report.
While we are yet to get an official confirmation on Mark 2 RV Stealth Aircraft program yet, we can only hope that more information is made available to the public shortly soon.
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