Tejas Mk-1A is the further improved version of the HAL Tejas Mk-1 light combat aircraft ( LCA) currently in service with Indian Air Force No.45 squadron ‘Flying Daggers’.
Indian Air Force will acquire Total 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters after the initial block of 40 Mk-1 Tejas ( 20 IOC-2 version + 20 FOC version). Media reports suggest that HAL is aiming to convert 20 FOC Tejas Mk-1 production aircrafts into Mk-1A so that the IAF can get 103 Mk-1A instead of 83. While Tejas Mk-1A includes some major improvements over the Mk-1 version , the BVR & WVR combat capability is present in the Mk-1 version as well.
Main Features of the Mk-1A variant are :
1- Powerful AESA radar ( Indigenous ‘Uttam’ radar or French RBE2 or Israeli El/m 2052 ). AESA radars have low probability of being intercepted by Radar warning receivers of enemy aircrafts or ships . AESA also provides High jamming resistance in Intense Electronic warfare environment .AESAs are also much more reliable than either a PESA or older designs.
2- Air-to-Air Refueling Probe (A2A) to increase range & endurance of Tejas . ( Current Mk-1 version also has Aerial refueling probe )
3- Dual-Rack Pylons to carry two Close Combat Missiles (CCM) in a single weapon station ( can be fitted for pure Air-to-Air Missions with Air-to-Air missiles or Mix of Air-to-Surface and Air-to-Air missile ) . This increases firepower of Tejas by allowing it to carry more no. of missiles for Air-to-Air or Air-to-surface missions .
4- Advanced Electro-optic Electronic Warfare (EW) suite with powerful self-protection jammer ( available for Tejas-Mk-1 on a detachable Pod which is attachable to the under-wing of the aircraft ).
5- Further weight reduction which will improve maneuverability , Thrust-to-weight ratio and speed of Tejas.
6- Easier service maintainability which will reduce maintenance time .
7- Quick turn around capability due to methods like Hot-refueling .
8- On Board Oxygen Generator , useful for longer duration flights .
9- Within Visual Range (WVR) Combat Weapons like Russian R-73 missile for early blocks ( may be replaced by MBDA ASRAAM in future ).
10- Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Combat weapons like Indian Astra Mk-1 missile & newly developed Israeli I-Derby missile.
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By : Vikrant Gupta ( Guest Writer )