NEW DELHI — India produced the first TEJAS FOC Trainer, part of the TEJAS MK-1A program. The official New Delhi confirmed the news. A photo of the TEJAS FOC Trainer leaving the hangar was circulated to the media.

The Indian Ministry of Defence plans to produce a total of 10 TEJAS FOC Trainers. They are part of a program for the production and commissioning of a total of 40 TEJAS MK-1A series fighters. According to New Delhi, 30 combat aircraft are planned for production as follows: 16 IOC-II TEJAS MK-1A and 14 FOC TEJAS MK-1A.

The 40 fighters are the first tranche of contract delivery for a total of 83 fighters of this type. Indian sources report that the first two TEJAS MK-1A fighter jets will be delivered in 2024. The rest is until 2028.

The MK-1A model is an upgraded version of the base Indian TEJAS MK-1 fighter jet. Indian sources claim that the basic design of the upgraded version will be retained. But the MK-1A will have many improvements. For example brand new avionics and EL/M-2052 AESA radar and Uttam AESA radar. New sensors, external jammers, survival systems, and an on-board oxygen system will be integrated into the modified TEJAS.

The first test flight of the MK-1A was made in 2022. The Indians managed in a year and a half to design the TEJAS MK-1A.. The combat version of the aircraft will have an expanded set of armaments. For example Astra BVRAAM and ASRAAM.

The first TEJAS FOC Trainer is numbered LT-5201. According to Indian Ministry of Defence sources, after the completion of the hull, which is already a fact, the first test flight is forthcoming. There is already interest in the TEJAS FOC Trainer as well as the combat version of the aircraft. Recently, the manufacturing plant of the Indian flagship was visited by Mohd Asghar Khan bin Ghoriman Khan. He is the commander of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

India currently operates 123 TEJAS fighter jets. This aircraft comes in two versions – single and two-seater. The aircraft has a maximum flight speed of 1,980 km/h [1,230 mph, 1,070 kn]. The range of TEJAS is 1,850 km [1,150 mi, 1,000 nmi].

TEJAS is armed with one 23 mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon. The aircraft fires laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and unguided bombs.