Tejas Mark-2 Project

Recently the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the project to develop a more capable and powerful version of the indigenous aircraft LCA Mark 2 multirole fighter jet.

Key Points

  • The Tejas Mark-2 is described as a 4.5-generation machine, which will not only have 70 per cent indigenization (as opposed to the Mark IA’s 62 per cent), but will incorporate more advanced technologies to be manufactured in India. Tejas is a single-engine and highly maneuverable multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft manufactured by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The jet will be fitted with the more powerful GE-414 engine, which will give it a longer combat range and more weapon-carrying capability than the existing Tejas Mark-1 (GE-404 engine).
  • Also, the look of Tejas Mark-2 is of the 21st century. Next to the wings, a canard resembling those of contemporary fighters such as the Rafale, Eurofighter or Sukhoi-30MKI has been added.
  • Apart from the weapon payload and engine, the interiors of the Tejas Mark-2 will be rearranged, to make it more accessible and maintenance-friendly.
  • The fighter jet will be developed at a cost of over Rs 6,500 crore, in addition to the Rs 2,500 crore approved earlier.

Why is Tejas Mark-2 important?

The approval of Tejas Mark-2 is a big relief for the Indian Air Force. The IAF currently has 30 fighter squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42, which is insufficient at a time when the country is facing threats from both China and Pakistan.

The LCA Mark-2 fighter jets will replace the Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fighters when they are phased out after 10 years. The new Tejas is a very formidable aircraft which will surely add more strength to the IAF list.

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