The made-in-India Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk2 is capable of integrating all indigenous weapon systems and a number of foreign armaments along with eight Beyond Visual Range Missiles (BVRMs). Reportedly, no other fighter aircraft of this class is capable of carrying eight BVR missiles simultaneously.
According to media reports, LCA Mk2 project director V Madhusudana Rao said that the unique features of the fighter aircraft would make it stand out among other jets manufactured by global firms. LCA Tajas Mk2’s features will also increase its potential for export.
The single-engined LCA Tejas Mk2 has an enhanced range in comparison to the Mk1 when it comes to technology. To make the fighter jet stand out from its competitors, it will be equipped with standoff weapon systems. The weaponry will also include an air-to-ground, long-range deep strike missile, SCALP.
Apart from the integration of French and Russian weapons, it is also being considered to equip the LCA Mk2 with indigenous weapons like ASTRA, a BVR air-to-air missile. The indigenous fighter aircraft will have a mission endurance of 120 minutes. Powered by a GE-414 engine from General Electric, the aircraft will be capable of carrying 6.5 tonnes of weapons payload.
The LCA Tejas Mk2 developments are taking place at a time when Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is in middle of negotiations for the sale of LCA Tejas Mk-1A with a number of foreign nations.
Recently, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) inked an MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Aeronautical Development Agency for the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme. The MoU would allow BEL and ADA to utilise their strengths and capabilities for the development of the multirole, all-weather AMCA. The LCA Tejas Mk2 and AMCA will replace the Indian Air Force’s MiG-29s, Mirage-2000s and Jaguar fighter aircraft when they retire and would add up to the air superiority of the Air Force.