Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is likely to get approval to go ahead with the development, testing and certification of the Tejas Mark 2 fighter, a medium-weight variant of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark-1, Business Standard has reported.
The new fighter will be more capable and sophisticated than Tejas Mark-1 and its improved version, Tejas Mark-1A. Instead of the General Electric (GE) F-404 engine, which powers the Mark-1 variant of the LAC and provides 83 KiloNewtons of peak power, the Mark-2 version will be equipped with GE's F-414 engine, that is capable of providing 98 kN of peak power.
Among other things, the new fighter will also be equipped with an indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an upgrade over the ELTA EL/M-2032 multi-mode radar that equips Tejas Mark-1. The fighter will also have canards just ahead of the wings for improved agility.
The additional capabilities will increase the weight of the new fighter by around three tonne over the 14.5-tonne Tejas Mark 1. This will place Tejas Mark-2 in the 17.5-tonne medium-weight fighter class.
Tejas Mark-2, the report says, will be able to carry 4.5 tonnes of payload, adding that this is 1 tonne more than the Tejas Mark 1's maximum payload of 3.5 tonnes.
With 40 Tejas Mark 1 fighters and 83 Tejas Mark 1A ordered to replace MiG-21s, Tejas Mark 2, which is still in the designing stage, is being billed as a replacement for the Mirage 2000 and Jaguar fighters.
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