In a major boost to indigenous fighter aircraft development initiatives, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Wednesday cleared the development of TEJAS MK-2 fighter aircraft which would be a replacement for the Mirage-2000, Jaguar and MiG-29 combat aircraft in the Indian Air Force.

"TEJAS MK-2 fighter aircraft development project has been cleared by the government. This would pave the way for designers to develop an advanced 17.5-tonne single-engine aircraft. Development of new aircraft is to be completed by 2027," Aeronautical Development Agency chief Girish Deodhare told on the project.

In a telephonic conversation from Bangalore, Deodhare said the project would benefit from the progress made in the TEJAS MK-1A program and would help in the development of the 5th generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft project.

He said the government has cleared the development of prototypes of which, the first is likely to roll out in a year and the project is scheduled to be completed by the year 2027 after extensive flying trials and other related work. The DRDO feels that the aircraft would be in the category of the Rafale class aircraft in terms of avionics and capabilities but lighter in weight.

The government has also cleared that the engines to be used in the aircraft should be Made in India after the initial development phase.

The DRDO would be developing the aircraft with a GE-414 engine which is the advanced version of the GE-404s that power the existing TEJASs in service and the 83 TEJAS MK-1As which would start getting inducted into IAF in the next couple of years.

At present, 30 TEJASs are in service with the IAF and two are being used by the to develop the MK-1As.

The AMCA aircraft development proposal is also with the government and is expected to be approved in near future but with a lot of Indigenisation inputs from the government.