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The HAL Tejas (Hindi pronunciation: t̪eːdʒəs) is a multirole light fighter developed by India. It is a tailless, compound delta-wing design powered by a single engine. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters. Later, the LCA was officially named "Tejas", meaning "Radiance" by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Tejas has a pure delta wing configuration, with no tailplanes or foreplanes, and a single dorsal fin. It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system, composite material structures, and a flat rated engine.
The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited after the HAL Marut. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is reported to have a requirement for 200 single-seat and 20 two-seat conversion trainers, while the Indian Navy may order up to 40 single-seaters to replace its Sea Harrier FRS.51 and Harrier T.60. The Tejas was cleared in January 2011 for use by Indian Air Force pilots. It is to reach final operational clearance in 2013.
The Tejas is single-engined multirole fighter which features a tailless, compound delta planform and is designed with "relaxed static stability" for enhanced manoeuvrability. Originally intended to serve as an air superiority aircraft with a secondary "dumb bomb" ground-attack role, the flexibility of this design approach has permitted a variety of guided air-to-surface and anti-shipping weapons to be integrated for more well-rounded multirole and multimission capabilities.
The tailless, compound-delta planform is designed to keep the Tejas small and lightweight. The use of this platform also minimises the control surfaces needed (no tailplanes or foreplanes, just a single vertical tailfin), permits carriage of a wider range of external stores, and confers better close-combat, high-speed, and high-alpha performance characteristics than comparable cruciform-wing designs. Extensive wind tunnel testing on scale models and complex computational fluid dynamics analyses have optimised the aerodynamic configuration of the LCA, giving it minimum supersonic drag, a low wing-loading, and high rates of roll and pitch.
All weapons are carried on one or more of seven hardpoints with total capacity of greater than 4,000 kg: three stations under each wing and one on the under-fuselage centreline. There is also an eighth, offset station beneath the port-side intake trunk which can carry a variety of pods (FLIR, IRST, laser rangefinder/designator, or reconnaissance), as can the centreline under-fuselage station and inboard pairs of wing stations.
The Tejas has integral internal fuel tanks to carry 3,000 kg of fuel in the fuselage and wing, and a fixed inflight refuelling probe on the starboard side of the forward fuselage. Externally, there are "wet" hardpoint provisions for up to three 1,200- or five 800-litre (320- or 210-US gallon; 260- or 180-Imp gallon) fuel tanks on the inboard and mid-board wing stations and the centreline fuselage station.
Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable variants for the Indian Navy. The LCA's naval variant is to be ready for carrier trials by 2013 and is slated for deployment on the INS Vikramaditya as well as the Vikrant class aircraft carrier. It will be equipped for carrier operation with ski-jump take-off and arrested landing. It will include strengthened airframe and landing gear and the nose is drooped for better cockpit vision
Featuring the more powerful General Electric F414-GE-INS6 engine with 98 kN of thrust and refined aerodynamics, the Mark 2 is being developed to meet the Indian Air Force requirements and will incorporate 5th generation fighter elements which are intended to make way into the FGFA and AMCA. The Tejas Mk 2 will now have a length of 14.2 metres (1-metre more than that of the Tejas Mk 1, for incorporating a stretched nose section and a modified fuselage section aft of the cockpit for housing an expanded complement of mission avionics LRUs), height of 4.6 metres (as opposed to 4.4 metres of the Tejas Mk 1, to accommodate an enlarged vertical tail-section) and a wingspan of 8.2 metres, same as that of the Tejas Mk 1, that, however with an increased wing area. External stores capacity will be boosted to 5,000 kg (as opposed to 4,000 kg for the Tejas Mk1), while the twin internal air-intake ducts will be minimally enlarged to cater to the increased airflow requirements of the 98 kN thrust F414-GE-INS6 turbofan built by GE Aero Engines. The Ministry of Defence had, last January, sanctioned US$542.44 million (Rs2,431.55-crore) for ADA to develop the IAF’s Tejas Mk 2 variant and the Indian Navy’s LCA Mk 2 (Navy) variant. The first Tejas Mk 2 prototype will fly by December 2013. The IAF is committed to procuring an initial 83 Tejas Mk 2s and the Indian Navy has expressed its firm requirement for 46 LCA Mk2 (Navy)
- Indian Air Force
- Indian Navy