Why in News:
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) expects to deliver all Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) variant to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2022 while the LCA MK-1A, with specific enhancements, will take flight by middle of 2022.
What is new
- The aircraft features enhanced range and endurance including an onboard oxygen generation system, which is being integrated for the first time.
- Heavy weapons of the class of Scalp, Crystal Maze and Spice-2000 will also be integrated on the Mk2.
- The Crystal Maze missile, manufactured by Israel’s Rafael, is based on the standoff air-to-surface missile (ASM) family
- SPICE-2000 laser guided bomb, manufactured by the Israeli defence technology company Rafael, is short for ‘Smart, Precise-Impact and Cost-Effective’.
- The Scalp missile, manufactured by European defence giant MBDA, is designed to hit high value, strongly protected targets deep inside enemy territory. The Scalp is a stealth missile and is designed to escape radar detection and fly at a very low level.
- The LCA-Mk2 will be a heavier and much more capable aircraft than the current LCA variants.
- The Mk2 is 1,350 mm longer featuring canards and can carry a payload of 6,500 kg compared to 3,500 kg the LCA can carry.
- The Mk2 will be powered by a more powerful GE-414 engine.
About LCA- Tejas
- The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) was founded by the Government of India to supervise the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in 1984.
- It was designed to replace the Mig 21 fighter jets, which were getting old.
- The Aeronautical Development Agency, which is part of the Department of Defence Research and Development, designed it.
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a government-owned company, produced the plane .
- Tejas is India’s first light fighter aircraft designed and manufactured in the country. It’s a single-seat, single-engine supersonic multirole light fighter aircraft.
- Tejas is a fourth-generation light combat aircraft (LCA). Its configuration is largely geared on mobility and agility.
- To make handling easier, the plane has a computerised fly-by-wire flight control system. This allows the pilot to focus on other tasks (especially mission-critical tasks) without having to worry about the plane deviating from its flying route.
- It can travel at a top speed of Mach 1.8
- Mach is used as a unit of measurement in stating the speed of a moving object in relation to the speed of sound.
- The aircraft has a range of 3,000 kilometres.
- In its class, it is the lightest, smallest, multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft.
- Designed to carry a variety of precision-guided air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry.
- Capability for air-to-air refuelling.