India is redesignating the Mark-2 upgrade of the homegrown Tejas aircraft as a medium weight fighter due to its increased weight and weapon carrying capacity. It is also designing the plane to replace the Mirage-2000 fleet of the Indian Air Force.
Aeronautical Development Agency, the design agency of the indigenous fighter aircraft programme, has finalised the systems and is looking to freeze the design of the medium weight fighter in a couple of months, a top scientist told ET. It is expected to have a maximum take off weight of 17.5 tonnes with an improvement of over 85% in weapons and payload carrying capacity to that of Tejas, light combat aircraft (LCA).
Tejas, powered by a single GE-404 engine, is a fly-by-wire fighter that has delta wings and no tail. Fly-bywire technology enables a pilot to control the plane electronically through computers. It has a a maximum take off weight of 13.5 tonnes.
“The LCA was designed to replace the MiG-21aircraft, whereas the Mk-2 is being designed to replace the Mirage 2000,” Dr Girish Deodhar, programme director of ADA told ET. “It is being redesignated as a medium weight fighter.” Read More…