India arms its Tejas fighter with a supersonic missile
NEW DELHI, (BM) – Indian Air Force fighter Tejas could launch a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, said Alexander Maksichev, co-director of the Russian-Indian company BrahMos Aerospace, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
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The head of the company stressed that the missile has already adapted well to the Su-30 fighter. That is why the developers are considering the possibility of equipping an Indian aircraft with a supersonic weapon.
The Tejas fighter has become a symbol of the international exhibition Aero India 2021, held in the Indian city of Bangalore. Earlier, the Indian government approved another 83 upgraded aircraft for the country’s air force. Defense Minister Rajnat Singh announced opening a new Tejas assembly line at aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
In 2020, Tejas was put into operation
The Indian Air Force on May 27 at the Sulur airbase [Tamil Nadu] held an official ceremony to commission the first LCA Tejas Mk.1 light combat aircraft in full combat readiness standard [FOC].
According to The Hindu, at the same time, the ceremony of launching the operation of the Tejas LCA aircraft took place in the second unit – the 18th air squadron of the 3rd air wing.
Recall that the development of the LCA aircraft to replace the MiG-21 fighters began in 1983. Work on the project carried out by the ADA [Aeronautical Development Agency], Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Development [CSIR], the Defense Research and Development Organization of the Indian Defense Ministry (DRDO), the Indian Air Force, as well as several other organizations.
The first flight lasted 18 minutes on January 4, 2001. The first supersonic flight took place in August 2003. For various reasons, the project lagged significantly behind the initially agreed schedule.
The LCA Tejas Mk.1 light combat aircraft reached initial operational readiness (IOC) in 2013. Aircraft of this configuration became part of the 45th Indian Air Force squadron in July 2016.
Tejas Mk2 could be the future of the Indian Air Force
A General Electric F414 engine will power the Mk2. This decision means that the aircraft will have 13,000 dry thrusts, almost twice as much as the Mk1. General Electric has already allowed India to test engine capabilities. In 2017, this happened, and it seems that New Delhi is happy with the engine. If the deal is finalizing, General Electric will have to supply nearly 100 engines to the Indian forces, a deal worth about half a billion dollars. This engine will make the Mk2 more viable and increase load capacity by 25 percent compared to the Tejas Mk1.
General Electric can become a crucial player in the development of the local industry. According to India’s requirement, at least 60% of the engines should be produced in India. General Electric has no problem with that. In this way, Indian military engineers can access vital technology to support the local Kaveri engine’s development. The engine expects to be the main driving force of the next generations of Indian fighters in the future.
New avionics, new AESA radar, a new glass cockpit, a wide multifunction display, and a built-in oxygen system are just some of the fighter’s expected improvements. All these improvements and innovations will extend the fighter by one meter more than the size of the Mk1, and Tejas Mk2 will be 14.2 meters long.
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