February, 8

    Tejas MkII to get Weapons Integrated in Multiple Phases

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    India’s future Tejas MkII fighter plane will enter production and IAF Squadron, with at least five armament systems initially approved for the aircraft programme, according to information released just before the prestigious Aero India 2023.

    Wing-tip Close Combat Missiles (CCM), which are likely to be ASRAAM, and Two Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missiles, which are likely to be Astra Mk1 and Mk2, coupled with Smart bombs such as SAAW and Lizard laser-guided bombs, will be the aircraft’s initial weapons when it enters IAF.

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    IAF and ADA have determined that other weapons will be introduced at the squadron level and cleared for operational use in different phases over the next five years following the start of induction in 2028-29.

    ADA expects to conduct the first flight of Tejas MkII by the end of 2024, and the remaining two years (2026-2027) will be utilised to clear this 4-5 weapon system so that it may enter production with a basic armament package and be combat-ready.

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