Update: India sanctions Tejas Mk 2 fighter project

by Akhil Kadidal

The Tejas Mk 2, which is being designed as a medium-weight fighter, could be acquired to replace the Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 combat aircraft in service. (Janes)

The Indian government has officially approved the Tejas Mk 2 fighter aircraft. The project has been sanctioned with INR66.17 billion (USD827 million) in funding.

The government's Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the project for development, flight-testing, and certification on 1 September. The Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari told local media later that same day that the project will help reverse the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) declining squadron strength.

“The development of this indigenous aircraft is much needed. It will benefit the domestic aircraft manufacturing,” ACM Chaudhari said. “The number of squadrons in the Indian Air Force is declining − so therefore this project is necessary to fill a critical capability void.”

In July 2022 ACM Chaudhari said that the IAF would seek to equip six squadrons with the Mk 2. The IAF told Janes that it would like to induct the Mk 2s as soon as possible.

“With roughly 18 aircraft per squadron, we have an initial requirement for roughly about 108 aircraft,” an IAF source said.

Janes has learnt that the IAF is seeking to equip 10 squadrons in total with the Mk 2. However, it is unlikely that the aircraft will be made available to the air force before 2029−30.

The Mk 2 project completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) of the first prototype in November 2021. However, the project suffered from funding deficits, according to asource in the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).


The Indian government has officially approved the Tejas Mk 2 fighter aircraft. The project has been ...

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