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Tejas Fighter Jets: Mark-1A Upgrades & Mark-2 Development Explained

The Mark-1A will be more advanced and effective than the Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1. When development work on the Tejas Mark-1 began in 1993, the Bengaluru-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) — the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory established to oversee the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) project — accepted the challenge of making the new fighter highly manoeuvrable and safe.

These opposing characteristics were achieved using world-class avionics that blended an unstable design (which consistently threw the aircraft out of the sky) with a quadruple fly-by-wire flying computer that continuously maintained the fighter.

The abilities used in this advanced design had been developed since the early 1960s, when Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) designed and manufactured the HF-24 Marut fighter bomber.

On February 19, this avionics design capability was expanded.

In a significant step forward for the Tejas Mark-1A development, ADA integrated and tested a new ‘Digital Fly by Wire Flight Control Computer’ (DFCC) on a Tejas LCA prototype.

On February 20, the defence ministry stated that the ‘DFCC has been indigenously created by ADA for the Tejas Mark-1A.’

The Indian Air Force will buy no more than 40 Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1.

Following that, it plans to purchase 83 Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1A fighters from HAL, with a contract signed in 2021.

The Mark-1A will be more advanced and capable than the Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1.

The former is outfitted with a powerful active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an electronic warfare suite with an onboard jammer, a Combined Interrogator and Transponder, and a digital map generator that has the entire digital map data of South Asia. 

The Mark-1A will also carry the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM).

With a range of 60-70 km, the IAF purchased the ASRAAM from MBDA UK to upgrade its Jaguar aircraft.

Each Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1A will now have two ASRAAMs installed on its outboard stations.

To integrate these weapons and avionics onto the Tejas Fighter Jets Mark-1A, a more powerful and capable mission computer is required, as well as interfaces that can connect the new digital world to the analogue ports and cabling of the earlier Tejas fighter.Ā 

This will be the responsibility of the DFCC. According to the defence ministry, the new DFCC will be equipped with a Quadraplex Power PC-based CPU, a high-speed autonomous state machine-based I/O controller, increased computational throughput, and complicated onboard software that meets DO178C level-A safety standards.

India’s Development in Tejas Fighter Jets Mark 2

Tejas Fighter Jets Mark 2, India’s indigenous fighter jet program, is expected to significantly improve the country’s defense capabilities. Here are some major points based on the search results:

  1. Operational Availability: Tejas Mark 2 is projected to be operational by 2028, with commitments for around 110-120 aircraft in six squadrons.
  2. Collaboration with the US: A recent collaboration with GE Aerospace in the United States seeks to equip the Tejas Mark 2 with an American engine, potentially allowing it to fly for the first time in 2025. This collaboration represents a shift towards increasing indigenization, as 90% of components are indigenous.
  3. Increased Capabilities: Tejas Mark 2 has improved capabilities over its predecessor, including a greater size (20% larger than Mk1), cutting-edge avionics, expanded range, and increased weapons carrying capacity. The design differs from Mk1 and features upgraded radar systems and weaponry.
  4. Global Interest and Consultancy: The Tejas Mark 2 has attracted interest from several countries, suggesting its potential as an advanced fighter jet. India may seek advice from European firms on this project.

India’s Tejas Mark 2 represents a significant step forward in the country’s defense capabilities, demonstrating technological improvements, indigenization efforts, and foreign collaborations to strengthen the aerospace industry.

Conclusion

The development of the Tejas Mark-1A marks a significant step forward in India’s indigenous fighter aircraft capability. With innovative avionics and a digital fly-by-wire flight control computer, the Mark-1A claims to be faster, safer, and moreĀ effective than its predecessor, the Tejas Mark-1. The integration of advanced equipment such as the AESA radar, electronic warfare suite, and ASRAAM missiles would improve the Mark-1A‘s combat capabilities, making itĀ a powerful asset for the Indian Air Force. The successful integration and testing of the Digital Fly by Wire Flight Control Computer represents a significant milestone in the advancement of indigenous avionics technology. Moving forward, the Tejas platform’s continued development and enhancement shows India’s commitment to developing its aerospace capabilities and reaching self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing.

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Abhishek Parmar

Thakur Abhishek Yuvraj Parmar crafts captivating content on India, celebrating its diverse culture and heritage, creating stories that resonate with the heart of every Indian.

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