Building on the success of the Tejas light combat aircraft, Government of India has approved the development of a much more capable and powerful version of the indigenous jet. The Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the project to develop Tejas Mark-2 with prototypes, flight testing and certification.
- The Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the project to develop Tejas Mark-2 at a cost of over Rs 6,500 crore, in addition to the Rs 2,500 crore earlier sanctioned for it.
- The cabinet clearance to build fifth-generation advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), with stealth features will follow within the next few months.
- While the Tejas Mark-1 (13.5 tonne weight) has been designed to replace obsolete MiG-21s, the Mark-2 variant (17.5 tonne) will succeed fighters like Mirage-2000s, Jaguars and MiG-29s in the Indian Air Force’s combat fleet.
- Lightweight Tejas Mark-1 is primarily meant for air defence. Medium-weight Mark-2 fighter, with its heavy standoff weapons, will be for offensive operations into enemy territory.
About Tejas –
- The HAL Tejas is an Indian, single engine, delta wing, light multirole fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
- Historical Background —
- It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
- It later became part of the general fleet modernisation programme.
- In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas“.
- It is India’s first self-made fighter jet and received the final operational clearance for induction into the air force as a fully-weaponised fighter jet in February 2019.
- It is the second supersonic fighter jet that has been developed by HAL (the first one being HAL HF-24 Marut).
- Specifications —
- Tejas has a maximum payload capacity of 4000 kg.
- It is a single pilot single-engine aircraft that has a maximum take-off weight of 13,300 kg. It is a fourth-generation fighter aircraft with the capability of air-to-air refuelling.
- It can attend the maximum speed of Mach 1.8.
- The Mach number describes the aircraft’s speed compared with the speed of sound in air, with Mach 1 equating to the speed of sound.
- It has a general range of 850 km and a combat range of 500 km.
About the ‘Cabinet Committee on Security’ –
- Major decisions with respect to the significant appointments, issues of national security, defence expenditure of India, are taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in India.
- The Prime Minister chairs the CCS which comprises of —
- Minister of External Affairs,
- Minister of Home Affairs,
- Minister of Finance, and
- Defence Minister
- Functions —
- To deal with all defence related issues.
- To deal with issues relating to law and order and internal security.
- To deal with policy matters concerning foreign affairs that have internal or external security implications.
- To consider all cases involving capital expenditure of more than Rs. 1000 crore in respect of Department of Defence Production & Department of Defence Research and Development.
- All matters relating to atomic energy.