India’s Tejas Mk1A will apparently not go into production on time

NEW DELHI, INDIA — India’s hopes of getting the latest upgraded version of the Tejas Mk1A sooner rather than later are gradually evaporating. According to a report in the Times of India, the start of serial production may be delayed by several months.

India bought single-engine Tejas fighter jets totalling $4,5B
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Tejas Mk1A was expected to roll off the assembly line in February 2024. According to the Indian media report, that deadline is now being pushed back to at least the end of that year. The reasons: there are changes in the equipment. This in turn means that there will be changes in flight test schedules, which will delay certification as well.

The Tejas Mk1A modification is expected to be lighter than the base Tejas Mk1. The weight has been reduced thanks to some improvements in the design of the aircraft. The upgrade will get new radars – EL/M-2052 and Uttam AESA. It is said that the Indians will also integrate new protection, a radar warning receiver, and the possibility of installing an external ECM capsule in the future.

The first prototype of the Tejas Mk1A appeared last year in April. Later that year [2022] the second prototype appeared. Both prototypes will play a key role in the future of Indian aircraft. The first prototype is used as a flying test platform, while the second validate design changes. says that one of the reasons for the delay in serial production may be the incomplete certification tests of the redesigned systems. This also includes the EL/M-2052 radar.

Tejas trainer

Despite the delay, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] has managed to ramp up production. At the moment, for example, the Indian company reports that training models to be used by young Indian pilots have been put into production on the production line. One Tejas Trainer has already been produced and has even made its maiden flight. HAL will need to produce 17 more to fulfill the order of 18 trainer aircraft.

So, Indian sources say the delay of Tejas Mk1A may affect India’s operational capabilities but not the production cycle at the plant. To get the Tejas Mk1A on the production line, HAL will have to produce all 18 trainer aircraft. Production of the 73 ordered units of Tejas Mk1A then began.

India's first Tejas trainer left the hangar, with 10 more to come
Photo credit: Twitter

Egypt recalls that the first flight of the Tejas Mk1A took place last year, and in July HAL confirmed the news. Indian media has said that India intends to offer Egypt the purchase of the Tejas Mk1A, thus making the African country its first foreign customer. According to various media reports, India is ready to open manufacturing facilities in Egypt.


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