The Indian Air Force (IAF) could order an additional 50 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS MK-1A fighters, Livefist has reported.
The IAF’s plan to order more MK-1As comes when the force is trying to address the depletion of its fighter aircraft squadron strength.
It has already inducted two squadrons of TEJAS MK-1, which are currently based at the Sulur Air Force Station near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
The MK-1A variant of the TEJAS will feature around 40 major and minor improvements over the MK-1, including an active electronically scanned array radar for detecting enemy aircraft at greater ranges and resistance to jamming, as well as faster turnaround times for each aircraft after sortie.
The new fighter variant will also have a much more powerful engine, greater load-carrying capability, a next-generation electronic warfare system, and an array of superior avionics.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of TEJAS, has said it will start delivering the next version of the plane, TEJAS MK-1A, in February 2024.
CB Ananthakrishnan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, stated at DefExpo 2022, “For MK-1A, we have positioned all material. The engines are available and certifications are going on simultaneously. We will be in a position to deliver the first plane on schedule in February 2024. We are even trying to advance the delivery of the first plane by a month or so.”