The Mark 2 variant of HAL’s Tejas LCA will see a transition into the Medium Weight category, from being an LCA as palnned initially, with increased take off capability and more hard points to carry sophisticated weapons like the SPCE bombs and SCALP missiles, Business Standard reports.
With the Mark 1 and Mark 1A earmarked to replace the perennially ageing, light weight MiG-21s and MiG-27s, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is now demanding futuristic enhancements and diversification of Tejas into various stages through its Mark 2 variant.
Tejas Mark 2, which is in the designing stages, is being billed as a replacement of the Mirage 2000 medium fighters. Hence the increase in the weight of the aircraft to 17.5 tons from the originally intended 14.5 tons. A bigger fuselage, and larger fuel storage are some of the add-ons sought by the IAF, apart from the increased capacity to carry up to 11 weapons at a time. A greater range and endurance are the order of the day as the Tejas Mark 2 is undergoing transitory changes from being an LCA to an MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft).
Consistent demand for changes in specifications by the Army, Navy and Air Force is said to be slowing down the flow of the enhancement programme of the LCA. According to aviation experts, the proposed modifications may go on till 2025 to come out in a conclusive shape.
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