Induction of 10 Squadrons of TEJAS Mk1A / MK-2 in 2028 still possible by 2030
As clarified by Chairman of DRDO, induction of Tejas Mk1A is going to commence by Mar 2024 and by 2028 all four Squadrons should be operational. Thereafter Shri Samir Kamat also gave timeline for the induction of TEJAS MK-2 as well. He said that the TEJAS MK-2 should be ready for induction by 2028.
Now if a new assembly line is built for Tejas Mk2 to produce 20 aircrafts and the Tejas Mk1A is also switched to produce 16 Mk2 per year, then it is possible to produce Six Squadron of Mk2 by 2030-31. This will enable the IAF to deploy 12 Squadrons of Tejas (all types) on the forward airfields covering Bhuj to Leh.
This means that apart from three Squadrons of Mirage 2000, four Squadrons of MiG29 ( one additional coming from Russia ), we need to have six more Rafale Squadrons before 2030. Then only other air bases from Leh to Teju will be secured. Also till arrival of AMCA the five Squadrons of Jaguars will have to shoulder on the deep strike missions along with the formidable Super Sukhois.
The chairman also said that the first flight of the AMCA Phase-1 may take seven years and the induction can be done in ten years from now that is starting 2033. Defence Research and Development Organisation is also working on an engine deal to enable co-development with manufacturers, as perShri Samir Kamat. This move will help in the indigenisation of Light Combat Aircraft TEJAS manufacturing,
DRDO chief’s remark affirms the statement made by Shri Rajnath Singh of starting the production of TEJAS engines in India soon.
The Tapas drones had flown at the ongoing Aero India show in Bangalore. In addition to that, DRDO also showcased UAV Archer, which could also be weaponised. DRDO also has developed a set of new missiles, including the Akash NG, VSHORADS, and MPATGM, said the DRDO chairman.
“I can say that our weapon systems are on par with the best and indigenous,” he added.
Apart from the manufacturing of TEJAS engines, the DRDO is also planning to begin the manufacturing of engines for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) MK-2 with three defence firms in three countries.
” We cannot predict the timeline of the AMCA MK-2 with a new engine until we sign an engine deal for co-development with another OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). We have been holding discussions with Safran France, GE from the US, and Rolls Royce from the UK,” he added.
The new TEJAS MK-2 will use American GE-414 engines. The government is working for a collaboration with GE and they are keen on the deal, said Samir Kamat. After the receiving the US clearance, the engines would be manufactured indigenously by India.
The matter of the indigenous manufacturing of the TEJAS was discussed during NSA Ajit Doval’s US visit. During the visit, the US government assured of opening the indigenous manufacturing of the engines. Manufacturing in India will begin soon after the transfer of technology, which is expected to take place in the next 3-6 months.
In addition to fighter planes, India’s air defence system is expected to get a boost as DRDO is planning to develop India’s first tripod-fired very short-range air defence system. As of now, a shoulder-fired version of the defence system has already been cleared by the Indian Army.