Giving an insight into various modern technologies being developed for the military, Dr. S Christopher, delivering the first i-Talk organised by Gujarat Innovation Society (GIS), also spoke about the likely timeline for the Mark-II version of TEJAS fighter jet to fly.

Speaking of TEJAS, Christopher said HAL had already got an order to manufacture 123 aircraft. In addition to that, the air force has given in writing another 201 aircraft, which is the next version, that is called as Mark-II. ADA is working on it and by 2022 it will be flying, he further added.

TEJAS Mark-II was sanctioned in November 2009 at a cost of Rs. 2,431.55 Crore with Probable Date of Completion (PDC) of December 2018. However, because of delay in finalisation of Engine Contract, the project could start only in December 2013. As a result, maiden flight of first Prototype and Initial Operational Clearance are likely to be completed by 2022, respectively. There after the aim to clear FOC and then induction.

The TEJAS Mark-II will be powered by the General Electric F414 engine, as compared to the less powerful F404 that powers the Mark-I version, received initial operational clearance in 2013 and has been plagued with delays and problems.

The Mark-II, which is seen as having the potential to rectify the issues found with the Mark-I, and will have improvements with new systems & technologies, like Active Electrically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, On Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), Upgraded Avionics, etc. to make the fighter more contemporary. Technologies, systems engineering and experience gained during development of LCA Tejas Mark-II would benefit the development of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) indigenously.

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