HAL will deliver the first Tejas Mk1A fighter to the Indian Air Force in February 2024.

HAL will deliver the first Tejas Mk1A fighter to the Indian Air Force in February 2024.

A noteworthy advancement in India’s defense capabilities has been confirmed by CB Ananthakrishnan, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). He has stated that the initial delivery of the Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) will occur as planned in February of the upcoming year.

HAL intends to deliver a minimum of two newly produced Tejas Mk1A aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) by March 2024, highlighting the advancements made in the Tejas Mk1A program. The Tejas Mk1A, an enhanced variant of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, exemplifies India’s domestic defense capabilities and technological progress in the field of aviation. In 2021, the Indian Ministry of Defence awarded a contract for the LCA Mk-1A program with a monetary value of Rs 47,000 crore.

The Tejas Mk1A will be equipped with a range of enhancements aimed at bolstering its combat capability. The mentioned enhancements include an active electronically guided radar, a modernized electronic warfare suite, and a beyond-visual-range missile system. The integration of these sophisticated technology would enhance the operational capabilities of the Tejas Mk1A, allowing it to effectively navigate and engage in high-risk aerial scenarios. This will significantly strengthen India’s capacity to effectively address modern air challenges.

HAL highlights the ability of the Tejas Mk1A to fire weapons from greater standoff distances as one of its significant advancements. The anticipated extension of the aircraft’s range is projected to confer a tactical edge in combat situations, enabling the aircraft to effectively engage targets from a more secure distance. The integration of indigenous weaponry highlights India’s pursuit of self-sufficiency in the domains of defense manufacture and technology.

At present, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is utilizing the Tejas aircraft in operations conducted by two squadrons, namely the 45 Squadron and the 18 Squadron. These units are stationed in Sulur. More IAF squadrons are anticipated to receive these cutting-edge fighter jets thanks to the Tejas Mk1A’s swift delivery. The expansion of the Tejas fleet will enhance India’s aerial defense capabilities and facilitate the modernization of the air force.

By Mansi Arora, Roorkee