India’s home grown light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark 2 has achieved a milestone with the Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS) accepting its comprehensive design review (CDR).
DCAS air marshal Narmdeshwar Tiwari accepted the CDR for Tejas Mark 2 last month, reported Business Standard.
Considered an essential step in designing an aircraft, CDR involves evaluation of the air frame design so that the aircraft gets all set for fabrication and testing processes.
With this CDR acceptance, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) can start releasing drawings for fabricating the first prototype of LCA Tejas Mark 2.
Meanwhile, HAL and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) agency Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) need to fix a few existing issues in the Mark 1 fighter jet.
HAL is also reportedly integrating the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), onto the Mark 1A jet.
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This missile has a range of 60-70km.
The ASRAAM was procured by the IAF from MBDA UK for upgrading its Jaguar fighter jets.
Another modification for the Mark 1A jet includes reshaping the cockpit floor to allow pilots to comfortably fly the jet.
HAL chairman R Madhavan was quoted by the media outlet as stating: “The IAF has allotted HAL a Tejas Mark 1, numbered SP-25 (series production aircraft number 25), for integrating these modifications.
“We are almost through and will start flight testing in December. It will take about two years to complete flight testing, i.e., by end-2023.”
HAL and ADA have to close the order of 40 Mark 1 (two squadrons) and 83 Tejas Mark 1A variant jets (four squadrons) to the IAF.
The $5.2bn order for 83 Tejas LCAs includes 73 fighter jets and ten two-seat trainer aircraft.
In May, IAF operationalised the second squadron of the Tejas LCA at Sulur airbase. The Number 18 Squadron was code-named Flying Bullets.