Source : Indian Defence Analysis
HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon
During the HAL meet with Analyst, answering to the question of delay related LCA Mark 2, the HAL Director (Operations) Jayadeva E.P. has said that the design of all the parts of LCA Mark2 is almost complete, and HAL will shortly commence the production of prototype.
HAL’s engine division in Bengaluru has been identified as the production agency for GE F414 engine. The firm has reinforced its willingness as a production agency to ADA.
ADA is working with GE and US government to get the 100% ToT for the engine, after which the contract for engine manufacture will be concluded between HAL and GE. HAL has also assured that there are no challenges in signing in the ToT. HAL has told clearly that for all the firms who want to do business in India have to do production in India itself. So, HAL will be able to negotiate for the full ToT for production of engine in India.
The fighter jet is expected to roll out in 2024 after completion of air intake test certification in France by June 2023. Since the air intake of Mark II is similar to Mark I, the DRDO is confident about bagging the certification and rolling out the first prototype by 2024. The first flight may take one year after the rollout of the prototype. The fighter jet is expected to enter into production by 2028 if there are no delays. Now, let’s talk about the features and capabilities of LCA Mark 2 in detail
LCA Mark 2: a more capable fighter jet
LCA Mark 2 is going to be a state-of-the-art multi role, all weather supersonic fighter aircraft. It will be 4.5+ generation aircraft with long range and endurance & equipped with contemporary systems, sensors and smart glass cockpit. It has network centric capability providing competitive advantage through networking of geographically dispersed forces along with multi sensor data fusion presenting a unified Warfield scenario with advanced sensors like AESA Radar, IRST, UEWS, and MAWS.
The LCA Mark2 is going to much more capable with LCA Mark-1 and other single engine fighter jets in its category.
LCA Mark-2 will have maximum take-off weight of 17.5t with 11 hard points where it will be able to carry 6.5 tons of payload. Internal fuel capacity of 3.3t.
The Mirage 2000 under operation in IAF has maximum take-off weight of 17t with 9 hard points where it can carry 6.2 tons of payload. Internal fuel capacity of 3.1t.
At the same time SAAB Gripen E has maximum take-off weight of 16.5t with 10 hard points where it can carry 7.2 tons of payload. Internal fuel capacity of 3.4t.
LCA Mark2 has length of 14.65m, span of 8.5m & height of 4.87m. The LCA Mark-2’s wings have been widened and it can carry Scalp bomb which weighs around 1350kg. However, both Mk1 and Mk1A don’t have the capability /capacity to carry Scalp bombs.
Powered by single GE F414 engine, the fighter jet will be capable of reaching maximum speed pf Mach 1.8, service ceiling of 50,000ft and ‘g’ limit of +9/-3.2.
Distinctive features of LCA Mark 2
LCA Mark2 will be integrated with advanced GaN based AESA radar with 912 T/R modules. DRDO’s lab IRDE has been working on next generation Infrared Search and Tracking system for Tejas MK2 which is also called FSO or Front Sector Optronics IRST. It will provide coverage of +/- 80 in azimuth and +/-40 in elevation. The sensor will use short and medium wave Infra-red waves for tracking target. It can track a target not using after burner from a range of 50 KM facing the target’s front hemisphere and from 100km facing the target from rear hemisphere. It will have a laser range finder with range in excess of 10 KM. The integration of the FSO IRST is going to provide the Tejas Mark-2 capability to hunt the adversaries fighter aircraft in silent mode or passively which is much needed edge in the modern aerial combat scenario in Within Visual Range dog fight and it’s also effective against the stealth fighter jets.
LCA Mark2 will have unified electronic warfare suite with Radar warning receiver and jammers and Dual Colour Missile Approach Warning System (DCMAWS). It will have multi sensor data fusion & net centric warfare capabilities.
The aircraft will have an onboard oxygen generating system (OBOGS) and pilots will not have to carry oxygen bottle like they have to do in Mark1 variant, which has a limited endurance of 1-2 hours. The OBOGS system on Mark2 can supply oxygen for almost eight hours compensating the rapid decrease in oxygen levels at high altitude.
Some of the other distinct features of LCA Mark2 is going to be advance avionics with large area display, smart heads-up display, fly-by-wire flight controls with upgraded Digital Flight Control Computers and indigenous actuators. HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon HAL to commence production of LCA Tejas Mark 2 prototype soon IgMp