Aviation

All about Tejas Mk-1A , the upcoming improved variant of HAL Tejas

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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 .

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-1A 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.

NOTE : Article can not be reproduced without written permission of thedefenstar.com in any form.

By : Vikrant Gupta ( Guest Writer )

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