“Tejas” – Smallest Lightweight, Multi-role, Single-Engine Tactical Fighter Aircraft in the World

Key Data :

  • Crew – One
  • Maiden Flight – April 2007
  • Designer – Aeronautical Development Agency
  • Manufacturer – Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  • Operators – Indian Air Force and Indian Navy
  • Initial Operating Clearance – December 2010
  • Entry into Service – March 2011
  • Number Built – Prototypes: six ,  LSP aircraft: four

 

The Tejas single-seat, single-engine, lightweight, high-agility supersonic fighter aircraft has been undergoing flight trials in preparation for operational clearance, and by mid 2005 had flown over 400 flights up to speeds of Mach 1.4. The Tejas light combat aircraft design and development programme is being led by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Indian Department of Defence with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as the prime industrial contractor.

The first LCA Demonstrator I aircraft made a maiden flight in January 2001. The LCA Demonstrator II first flew in June 2002. The second prototype vehicle (PV-II) made a maiden flight in December 2005 and the third in December 2006. The Indian government approved limited series production of 20 Tejas for the Air Force in April 2006.


 

First flight of the production aircraft was in April 2007. Tejas is scheduled to achieve initial operating clearance (IOC) in December 2010 and enter service in March 2011. The trainer variant has completed its first flight in November 2009.

Tejas, the smallest lightweight, multirole, single-engined tactical fighter aircraft in the world, is being developed as a single seat fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force and also as a two-seat training aircraft. In November 2008, the Indian Air Force confirmed a requirement for 140 Tejas aircraft to equip seven squadrons.

The design of a carrier-borne Tejas in single-seat and two-seat versions with a modified nose, strengthened landing gear and an arrestor hook was granted approval in 1999. The carrier variant has retractable canards and adjustable vortex control.

The development programme for the carrier-borne versions was agreed by the Indian government in 2002 and the first flights of two prototype aircraft are scheduled for late 2009. The carrier variant may replace the fleet of Sea Harriers.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) began the second phase of hot weather flight trails on Tejas light combat aircraft in June 2010. The digital flight control computer, avionics systems, multimode radar, RWR, and the electrical and environmental control systems were examined by using two Tejas aircraft for trial sorties. The test was carried out at temperatures up to 45°C.

The Indian Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is carrying out a conceptual design study of the ADA medium combat aircraft, which will be an advanced, stealthy version of the Tejas, to replace the Indian Air Force Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fleet. The medium combat aircraft has two engines with fully vectoring nozzles and no vertical or horizontal tail.


India has carried out initial flight tests on the fourth production version of the light combat helicopter (LCH) Tejas before delivering it to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The first, second and third Tejas production versions were flight tested in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Delta planform design

The aircraft is of delta planform design with shoulder-mounted delta wings. The aircraft has a fin but no horizontal tail. Lightweight materials including aluminium and lithium alloys, titanium alloys and carbon composites have been used in the construction. The wing structure includes composite spares and ribs with a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic skin.

The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), based in Bangalore, has designed and is responsible for the manufacture of the fin and the rudder and the construction of the aircraft fuselage.

Tejas cockpit

The aircraft is fitted with a night vision compatible glass cockpit with Martin Baker (UK) zero-zero ejection seats.


The cockpit has two 76mm×76mm colour liquid crystal multi-function displays developed by Bharat Electronics, a head up display developed by the Indian government-owned Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) in Chandigarh, a liquid crystal return-to-home-base panel and keyboard. The pilot also has a helmet-mounted display.

The aircraft has a quadruplex fly-by-wire digital automatic flight control. The navigation suite includes Sagem SIGMA 95N ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system with an integrated global positioning system.

The communications suite includes VHF to UHF radio communications with built-in counter-countermeasures, air-to-air and air-to-ground data links and a HAL information friend-or-foe interrogator. The cockpit is fitted with an environmental control system developed by Spectrum Infotech of Bangalore. The avionics suite has an integrated utility health-monitoring system.

Tejas light combat aircraft will be equipped with advanced cockpit to enhance the comfort level of test pilots. The fifth limited series production (LSP-5) platform will be incorporated in the Tejas. The renovated aircraft is expected to take-off in August 2010.

Fighter weapons

The aircraft has eight external hardpoints to carry stores, with three under each wing, one on the centre fuselage and one installed under the air intake on the port side. A 23mm twin barrelled GSh-23 gun with a burst firing rate of 50 rounds a second and muzzle velocity of 715m a second is installed in a blister fairing under the starboard air intake.

The aircraft can be armed with air-to-air, air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles, precision-guided munitions, rockets and bombs. Electronic warfare, targeting, surveillance, reconnaissance or training pods can be carried on the hardpoints. Drop tanks can also be carried.

In October 2007, the Tejas successfully test-fired the R-73 air-to-air missile. The Vympel R-73 (Nato codename AA-11 Archer ) missile is an all-aspect short-range missile with cooled infrared homing. The missile can intercept targets at altitudes between 0.02km and 20km, g-load to 12g, and with target speeds of up to 2,500km/h.

Countermeasures

The aircraft’s electronic warfare suite, developed by the Advanced Systems Integration and Evaluation Organisation (ASIEO) of Bangalore, includes a radar warning receiver and jammer, laser warner, missile approach warner, and chaff and flare dispenser.

Sensors

The Electronics Research and Development Establishment and HAL have jointly developed the aircraft’s multi-mode radar. The radar has multiple target search and track-while-scan and ground-mapping modes of operation. The radar incorporates pulse Doppler radar with Doppler beam shaping, moving target indication and look-up / look-down capability. The radar is mounted in a Kevlar radome.

Turbofan engines

The prototype development aircraft are fitted with General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 turbofan engines with afterburn. Production aircraft will be fitted with one General Electric 85kN F404-GE-IN20 turbofan engine with full authority digital engine control. HAL placed an order for 24 F404-GE-IN20 engines in February 2007.

LSP-2 (limited series production 2) will be the first aircraft to be fitted with the engine. Flight trials with the production engine began in June 2008.

It was planned that a new turbofan engine, the GTX-35VS Kaveri, under development by Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), would be fitted to the production aircraft, but delays in development led to the purchase of the General Electric engines. Snecma-Larzac has been chosen as the industrial partner in the engine development.

The Kaveri engine develops 52kN dry power and 80.5kN with afterburn. The aircraft will use multi-axis thrust vectoring nozzles. The engine has Y-duct air intakes.

The aircraft has wing and fuselage tanks and an in-flight refuelling probe on the front starboard side. Drop tanks with a capacity up to 4,000l, can be carried on the inner and mid-board wing and fuselage centreline hardpoints.

The aircraft is fitted with a HAL gas turbine starter unit model GTSU-110.

Performance

The aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 2,205km/h and at maximum altitude of 15,200m. The range of the aircraft is 3,000km. Its service ceiling is 16,500m. The aircraft weighs around 5,450kg and its maximum take-off weight is 13,500kg.

Bottom Lines:

“Tejas is a single-seat, single-engine, lightweight, high-agility supersonic fighter aircraft.”

“Tejas is the smallest lightweight, multi-role, single-engine tactical fighter aircraft in the world.”

“Tejas can be armed with air-to-air, air-to-ground and anti-ship missiles, precision-guided munitions, rockets and bombs.”

Thanks to AirForce-Technology

Advertisements
    • Om
    • January 27th, 2011

    Thank you for your interest.
    I was quite busy these days and my internet connection was in problem.
    Now I am back and will be updating site everyday.

    I will be buying domain and hosting in few days so you can contact me afterwards.
    see “contact me” page.

    Thanks

  1. Who do I contact about buying some ad space on this site? Maybe like a banner on either the header or footer. Please let me know. Great site by the way. Thanks!

You must be logged in to post a comment.
%d bloggers like this: