Tejas Mark II prototype with F-414 engine to be rolled out by 2024-end

It has been reported that the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and the DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are planning and preparing to manufacture Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark II fighter by 2027-28 with the former ready to roll out the GE-414 powered prototype by 2024 end.

The GE-414 engine, which will be manufactured in India under 100 per cent transfer of technology (ToT) after approval from US Congress, will power not only Tejas Mark II but twin-engine advanced multi-role combat aircraft (AMCA-I) and twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF).

Meanwhile, India plans to produce at least six squadrons of Mark II fighters for the Indian Air Force after 83 F-404-powered Tejas Mark I A has been produced and handed over to the military.

Currently, eight F-414 jet engines have already been procured by the ADA, design frozen, and critical design review has already been approved by the IAF. Now the ADA said that it will roll out the Mark II prototype by 2024 end for testing and operational clearance.

Further, reports suggest that HAL Bengaluru division and even the Nashik division may be tasked to take up the job and start production in collaboration with GE. 

About Tejas Mark II

The HAL Tejas Mark II, or Medium Weight Fighter (MWF), is an Indian single-engine, canard delta wing, multirole combat aircraft designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of HAL for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

It is a further development of the HAL Tejas, with an elongated airframe, close coupled canards, new sensors, and a more powerful engine.

The fighter is being designed and developed to replace multiple strike fighters of IAF viz, the SEPECAT Jaguar, Dassault Mirage 2000, and Mikoyan MiG-29.

The indigenous content of the fighter will be 82% initially and will cross 90% after the licensed production of its engine.

To be noted that on September 1, 2022, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared Rs 10,000 crore for Tejas Mark II that includes prototype development and flight testing.

The cost of fighter jet development will take Rs 6,500 crore in addition to Rs 2,500 crore sanctioned previously through internal funding.