Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is likely to get approval to go ahead with the development, testing and certification of the TEJAS MK-2 fighter, a medium-weight variant of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS MK-1, Business Standard has reported.

The new fighter will be more capable and sophisticated than TEJAS MK-1 and its improved version, TEJAS MK-1A. Instead of the General Electric (GE) F-404 engine, which powers the MK-1 variant of the TEJAS and provides 83 KiloNewtons of peak power, the MK-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 MK-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 tons over the 14.5-tons TEJAS MK-1. This will place TEJAS MK-2 in the 17.5-tons medium-weight fighter class.

TEJAS MK-2, the report says, will be able to carry 4.5 tons of payload, adding that this is 1 ton more than the TEJAS MK-1's maximum payload of 3.5 tons.

With 40 TEJAS MK-1 fighters and 83 TEJAS MK-1A ordered to replace MiG-21s, TEJAS MK-2, which is still in the designing stage, is being billed as a replacement for the Mirage 2000 and Jaguar fighters.