Shortly after two Tejases roared into the sky for a quick flight display, Naik went on to describe the Tejas as a “MiG-21++” fighter, and went on to say, “At present it is not a fourth generation aircraft. It will come up, but at present it is not.” He also indicated that the Tejas Mk-II would not only be powered by the F414 engine, but would incorporate airframe design changes and newer avionics. A statement issued today by ADA today said that the IAF had projected a need for 83 Tejas Mk-II aircraft (which would give the IAF a fleet of 123 aircraft in total — far less than projected). The first flight of the Mk-II is scheduled for December 2014. Indigenous content on the Mk-II will be 75 per cent according to the HAL chief.
HAL chairman Ashok Nayak said that the company’s capacity to churn out ten Tejas fighters a year could be ramped up if the need arose — current capacity jointly shared by the Hawk and Tejas lines could be made into a dedicated Tejas line, he said. The unit cost of a Tejas will be between Rs 180-200 crore.
ADA said in a statement that the following would bridge the gap between initial and final operational clearance: integration of beyond visual range weapons, gun, rockets, guided and unguided bombs, and the further expansion of its flight envelope to -3.5 to 8G (-2 to 6G for IOC) and 24-degrees angle of attack (22 for IOC).
Photo by Shiv Aroor