India HAL Tejas Program

Marlii

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Spitfire9

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The IAF needs more fighters but not more very light, short range fighters. The Tejas Mk2 project was started around 2011 with a view to producing an aircraft about a metre longer than Tejas Mk1 with longer range and greater load carrying capacity. These were supposed to start coming off the assembly line before 2020. The Tejas Mk2 programme has just recently (according to reports) entered the pre-production building phase. It will probably not start being delivered to the IAF before 2030. An order for about 100 more Tejas Mk1A (said to incorporate 43 improvements over the original Tejas Mk1) will not be placed because Tejas Mk1A is a fighter meeting IAF needs. It will be placed because Tejas Mk2 is so many years behind schedule that IAF is desperate for more fighters to cover retiring types.
 
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Marlii

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The IAF needs more fighters but not more very light, short range fighters. The Tejas Mk2 project was started around 2011 with a view to producing an aircraft about a metre longer than Tejas Mk1 with longer range and greater load carrying capacity. These were supposed to start coming off the assembly line before 2020. The Tejas Mk2 programme has just recently (according to reports) entered the pre-production building phase. It will probably not start being delivered to the IAF before 2030. An order for about 100 more Tejas Mk1A (said to incorporate 43 improvements over the original Tejas Mk1) will not be placed because Tejas Mk1A is a fighter meeting IAF needs. It will be placed because Tejas Mk2 is so many years behind schedule that IAF is desperate for more fighters to cover retiring types.
LoL.
 

Nilgiri

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The IAF needs more fighters but not more very light, short range fighters. The Tejas Mk2 project was started around 2011 with a view to producing an aircraft about a metre longer than Tejas Mk1 with longer range and greater load carrying capacity. These were supposed to start coming off the assembly line before 2020. The Tejas Mk2 programme has just recently (according to reports) entered the pre-production building phase. It will probably not start being delivered to the IAF before 2030. An order for about 100 more Tejas Mk1A (said to incorporate 43 improvements over the original Tejas Mk1) will not be placed because Tejas Mk1A is a fighter meeting IAF needs. It will be placed because Tejas Mk2 is so many years behind schedule that IAF is desperate for more fighters to cover retiring types.

The mk1A comes equipped with the AESA Uttam radar and the arsenal at disposal will be the same as mk 2.

So its not question of "not meeting IAF needs" (as these are very much driven qualitatively by the radar and weapon arsenal) though mk2 will certainly augment range/payload on the tejas platform.
 

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew on the Indian-made Tejas multirole fighter aircraft. The flight took place during his visit to the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in Bangalore, which produces a light multi-role fighter. The Tejas fighter was developed in 2001 and is equipped with engines jointly developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and General Electric USA; Israeli specialists also took part in the development of the aircraft. All airframe elements are manufactured in India. The Indian Air Force is expected to receive a total of 123 aircraft. The rate of their production is stated at 20 aircraft per year. The Tejas aircraft costs $26 million.

 

Spitfire9

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The mk1A comes equipped with the AESA Uttam radar and the arsenal at disposal will be the same as mk 2.

So its not question of "not meeting IAF needs" (as these are very much driven qualitatively by the radar and weapon arsenal) though mk2 will certainly augment range/payload on the tejas platform.
Unless things have changed since I last looked, I think that the radar to be used on the first 20 x Tejas Mk1A is the Israeli Elta 2052 AESA since the Uttam AESA was not ready in time. With delivery scheduled to be 2 frames this financial year (ends March 31), 8 next year and 16 the year after, I don't think Utttam will be seen on Tejas until late 2025.

I hear in Indian media that Acceptance of Necessity status will probably be accorded for a circa 100 x Mk1A order November 30. I still think what IAF actually needs is medium weight fighters. I think it is because the MMRCA tender for 126 medium fighters fell through then Tejas Mk2 got way behind schedule then MRFA, the replacement tender for MMRCA, got way behind schedule that more Mk1A are probably about to be ordered. The MRFA tender for 114 medium fighter aircraft was announced in 2018. 5 years on a RFI has still not been sent to potential suppliers.
 
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Nilgiri

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Unless things have changed since I last looked, I think that the radar to be used on the first 20 x Tejas Mk1A is the Israeli Elta 2052 AESA since the Uttam AESA was not ready in time. With delivery scheduled to be 2 frames this financial year (ends March 31), 8 next year and 16 the year after, I don't think Utttam will be seen on Tejas until late 2025.

I hear in Indian media that Acceptance of Necessity status will probably be accorded for a circa 100 x Mk1A order November 30. I still think what IAF actually needs is medium weight fighters. I think it is because the MMRCA tender for 126 medium fighters fell through then Tejas Mk2 got way behind schedule then MRFA, the replacement tender for MMRCA, got way behind schedule that more Mk1A are probably about to be ordered. The MRFA tender for 114 medium fighter aircraft was announced in 2018. 5 years on a RFI has still not been sent to potential suppliers.

Fair enough. I also have earlier stated that I wish the LCA was mk2 size to begin with...the original Tejas (mk1) is a little too small IMO.

But these were all requirements driven from the IAF. They are more or less satisfied with the results and the ecosystem to be had in the 4th and 4.5 gen for this decade (i.e mk1A and mk 2) and next to backfill the requisite squadrons (along with MRFA) while the 5th gen is developed and implemented.

The delays, slow economy of scale and funding crunch (all stemming from Indian economy not performing in the 2010s as well as was originally expected) are what have mainly led to the inadequacies of squadron strength now and making do with the Tejas+uttam (for say 140 of the final 180 total) instead of say a tejas mk2 or larger rafale acquisition being implemented in more optimal way.

But doctrine wise there is solid requirement in IAF for what mk1A provides (range and payload wise) given the combat spaces in close proximity forseen for its role...i.e what the Mig 21 did. Its better to have a mk2 or rafale for sure, but a mk1A production run meets pressing requirements within the budget available.
 

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Interesting. I hope you are right and the IAF can put 100 more Mk1A to good use - without reducing future Tejas Mk2 numbers.
 
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It is reported in the Indian press and online media that approval for the acquisition of a further 97 x Tejas Mk1A was given today by the Defence Acquisition Council. I am not certain what happens next in the labyrinthine Indian procurement process but I take it that providing a price agreeable to GOI and HAL can be agreed, an order will be forthcoming. I imagine that assembly capacity will be raised to 24 per annum once an order is placed.

 

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The IAF needs more fighters but not more very light, short range fighters. The Tejas Mk2 project was started around 2011 with a view to producing an aircraft about a metre longer than Tejas Mk1 with longer range and greater load carrying capacity. These were supposed to start coming off the assembly line before 2020. The Tejas Mk2 programme has just recently (according to reports) entered the pre-production building phase. It will probably not start being delivered to the IAF before 2030. An order for about 100 more Tejas Mk1A (said to incorporate 43 improvements over the original Tejas Mk1) will not be placed because Tejas Mk1A is a fighter meeting IAF needs. It will be placed because Tejas Mk2 is so many years behind schedule that IAF is desperate for more fighters to cover retiring types.

India has quite a few forward air bases that need to be populated with point interceptors. Should be capable and as cheap as possible. Tejas Mk1A fits the bill.
 

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India has quite a few forward air bases that need to be populated with point interceptors. Should be capable and as cheap as possible. Tejas Mk1A fits the bill.
What I have heard from Indians is that Mk1A is well suited for use on the western border but that a longer range type is needed with regard to the border with China.
 

KamBhakth

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What I have heard from Indians is that Mk1A is well suited for use on the western border but that a longer range type is needed with regard to the border with China.
The other side of the border with China is a desert plateau. Not a whole lot to blow up there. Most of what has to be blown up is static and we should have the coordinates in our database for the missiles to do the job. Also going deep in there with planes will be too risky for the job that missiles can do.

The border at the north east of India is a bigger problem. That is where we need the long range.

The above scenario changes if we decide to go offensive into China. But that is not feasible.
 

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I cite a post I read on an Indian forum which questions India's ability to produce Indian fighters:

'in FY 23-24 it was expected that HAL will produce 11 Lca aircraft. 1 NLCA, 7 LCA twin seaters, 1Lca mk 2, 2 LCA MKIA as their annual capability is allegedly 16 aircraft per annum

actual production probability is only 3. That is 1NLCA and 2 trainers. Thereafter targets will be pushed back to FY 24-25.

All this export possibility nonsense is just to get foreign trips at the expense of tax payers and there is no prospect of any achievement. HAL has no capability to even meet the domestic demand for which orders have already been placed at least next five years. in spite of lot of propaganda, it seems that assembly line for 16 aircraft is not complete and the production capability is still only eight aircraft per annum. Even this capability is unlikely to be achieved at least in FY 23,24. Therefore the capability of 8 aircraft will be achieved only in 24,25, while 16 aircraft per annum is a distant dream.'

While HAL is contracted to produce 83 Tejas Mk1A (plus another 97 are expected to be ordered), does India not need to order ASAP sufficient Rafale to equip another 2-4 squadrons? It is rumoured on Indian site idrw that Tejas Mk2 is subject to a further, multi-year delay.

The way things have gone, the way things are going shows that India cannot yet rely on the Indian MIC to supply the IAF with the fighters it needs. Is anything being done to change things?
 

Marlii

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I cite a post I read on an Indian forum which questions India's ability to produce Indian fighters:

'in FY 23-24 it was expected that HAL will produce 11 Lca aircraft. 1 NLCA, 7 LCA twin seaters, 1Lca mk 2, 2 LCA MKIA as their annual capability is allegedly 16 aircraft per annum

actual production probability is only 3. That is 1NLCA and 2 trainers. Thereafter targets will be pushed back to FY 24-25.

All this export possibility nonsense is just to get foreign trips at the expense of tax payers and there is no prospect of any achievement. HAL has no capability to even meet the domestic demand for which orders have already been placed at least next five years. in spite of lot of propaganda, it seems that assembly line for 16 aircraft is not complete and the production capability is still only eight aircraft per annum. Even this capability is unlikely to be achieved at least in FY 23,24. Therefore the capability of 8 aircraft will be achieved only in 24,25, while 16 aircraft per annum is a distant dream.'

While HAL is contracted to produce 83 Tejas Mk1A (plus another 97 are expected to be ordered), does India not need to order ASAP sufficient Rafale to equip another 2-4 squadrons? It is rumoured on Indian site idrw that Tejas Mk2 is subject to a further, multi-year delay.

The way things have gone, the way things are going shows that India cannot yet rely on the Indian MIC to supply the IAF with the fighters it needs. Is anything being done to change things?
Tejas mk1a was always planned to be delivered from 2024 onwards. From the rate of 16 aircraft at the beginning and 24 after some time. HAL has already completed the delivery of mark 1 aircraft and naval LCA is a dead project that is now being used as a stepping stone for TEDBF i believe. The delay on tejas mk2 aircraft has been due to the engine. But alas shitting on the indian MIC which produces Nuke subs, carriers and BMD is a worthwhile for some "indians" and that then get magnified by everyone 🙃
 

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