HAL Tejas Mk2

The HAL Tejas Mark 2, or Medium Weight Fighter (MWF),[2] is an Indian single-engine, canard delta wing, Multirole combat aircraft designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC)[3] of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is a further development of the HAL Tejas, with an elongated airframe, close coupled canards, new sensors, and a more powerful engine. The Tejas Mark 2 is being designed and developed to replace multiple strike fighters of IAF viz, SEPECAT Jaguar, Dassault Mirage 2000 and MiG-29.[4][5][6] The first flight of Tejas Mark 2 is expected to be in 2023 with series production to begin by 2026.[7]

Medium Weight Fighter
HAL LCA MK2.png
Role Multirole
National origin India
Manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Design group Aeronautical Development Agency
Aircraft Research and Design Centre (HAL)
Defence Research and Development Organisation
First flight 2023 (Planned)[1]
Status Prototype Building
Primary user Indian Air Force (intended)
Developed from HAL Tejas

DevelopmentEdit

MWF ProgrammeEdit

In 2009, a Mark 2 variant, was sanctioned as an improvement over Tejas Mark 1, while the current General Electric F404 engine employed by Tejas was to be replaced by a more powerful engine.

To meet the IAF's air staff qualitative requirements (ASQR), over time, ADA had to make substantial changes to the basic Mk 1/Mk 1A air-frame to improve payload and performance.

Initially, it was planned to simply elongate the Tejas Mark 1 with a 0.5 m fuselage plug to accommodate more fuel, while fitting a more powerful engine with 65-100 kN of thrust.[8][9] But soon it was determined that this elongation of the air frame generated substantial amount of additional drag. Alongside that the IAF demanded at least 18 degrees per second sustained turn rate.[10]

To tackle that several years of design refinement followed to improve aerodynamic performance and payload. Development of MWF was envisioned only in 2014-15 period and configuration optimization studies commenced by ADA in November 2016.[11] Its whole platform was so drastically modified that the previous Mark 2 design concept, which was just a re-engined Mark 1 air frame with a fuselage plug, was discarded to transform the platform to be classified as a Medium-weight class aircraft. A final configuration was worked out in September 2018 and its basic design was frozen in December 2018. At Aero India 2019, the latest version of the originally LCA Tejas Mark 2, now formally rechristened the Medium Weight Fighter, was unveiled for the first time.[12]

The aircraft entered detailed design phase after completing the preliminary design review during early months of 2020.[13][14] Metal-cutting is set to begin in February 2021, while long lead activities towards metal cutting (like, procurement of raw materials) have already begun. The ‘roll out’ of first prototype of the MWF is scheduled for August 2022 with its first flight expected in September 2023. A total of four prototypes are being planned initially.[1]

MWF is also to feature an indigenous integrated life support system-onboard oxygen generation system (ILSS-OBOGS), from Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), aircraft health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) to integrate various sensors onboard Tejas Mark 2 from Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) and a built-in integrated electro-optic electronic warfare suite among other improvements to avionics.[15][16][17] It will have an infra-red search and track (IRST) system and a missile approach warning system (MAWS).[18] An increase in payload capacity to 6,500 kg (14,300 lb) and internal fuel capacity to over 3,400 kg (7,500 lb), will allow it to carry more weapons for longer range.[19]

DesignEdit

Other than design commonalities very little major technologies has been forwarded from its predecessor Tejas Mk1/A. Instead more of its technologies are to be borrowed from whatever has been developed for the 5th Generation fighter jet program of India, AMCA. Several radar cross-section reducing measures will be incorporated in the airframe design so that a degree of frontal stealth can be achieved, including Radar-absorbent material coating and composites making up its skin, twisted air-intake ducts.[20] It has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single vertical stabilizer with close-coupled canards to provide static instability, high manoeuverability, and is equipped with fly-by-wire systems to control instability.

Sensors and avionicsEdit

The avionics of Tejas Mark 2 will be centered on multi-sensor data fusion incorporating both active and passive sensors onboard. The Tejas Mark 2 would be equipped with a variant of Uttam AESA Radar developed by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), while the combat aircraft will also have an integrated infrared search and track (IRST) system for passive target acquisition. The Tejas Mark 2 will have indigenous Software-defined radio based tactical data link for secured communication and network-centric warfare capabilities supported by IAF's AFNet digital information grid.[21][22]

CockpitEdit

 
Tejas Mark 2 cockpit simulator

The Tejas Mark 2 will have a night vision goggles compatible glass cockpit dominated by a touch sensitive wide area display placed in panoramic orientation and a wide-angle holographic head-up display (HUD) system to provide tactical information.[23] The Tejas Mark 2 will have hands-on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) arrangement with right hand on stick and left hand on throttle settings to ease the pilot workload.[24]

PropulsionEdit

In 2008, HAL issued a fresh request for proposal for the procurement of 95-100 kilonewton (kN) (21,000–23,000 lbf) thrust class engine to power the Tejas Mark 2.[25] In 2010, after extensive evaluation of both the Eurojet EJ200 and the General Electric F414, GE's F414 INS6 afterburning turbofan engine was declared as the lowest bidder. The deal covered the purchase of 99 GE F414 engines, with initial batch supplied directly by GE while the remainder to be manufactured in India by HAL under a technology transfer agreement.[26][27][28] The GE F414 INS6 engine has a maximum thrust output of 98 kN and also offer improved specific fuel consumption over F404 IN20 engine selected to power both Mark 1 and Mark 1A variants of Tejas.[29]

SpecificationsEdit

Data from Jane's Defence Weekly,[12] OnManorama,[21] Defexpo 2020 and Aero India 2021

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Length: 14.60 m (47 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.50 m (27 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 4.86 m (15 ft 11 in)
  • Wing area: 44 m2 (470 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: close canard, compound tailless delta wing designed for static instability.
  • Empty weight: 7,850 kg (17,306 lb) (expected)
  • Gross weight: 11,300 kg (24,912 lb) (expected)
  • Max takeoff weight: 17,500 kg (38,581 lb) (expected)[30][31]
  • Fuel capacity: more than 3,400 kg (7,500 lb)[1]
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F414-GE-INS6EPE afterburning turbofan. (Indigenous 110KN Engine to be used in future) , 58.5 kN (13,200 lbf) thrust dry, 98 kN (22,000 lbf) with afterburner

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 2.0
  • Cruise speed: 1,720 km/h (1,070 mph, 930 kn)
  • Range: 2,500 km (1,600 mi, 1,300 nmi) (minimum)
  • Combat range: 1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 3,500 km (2,200 mi, 1,900 nmi) with 3 additional fuel tanks
  • Service ceiling: 17,300 m (56,758 ft)
  • g limits: +9/−3.5
  • Thrust/weight: 1.00 with General Electric F414-GE-INS6EPE.

Armament

Avionics

See alsoEdit

Related development

Related lists

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit