Indian Air Force

The Next Super Warrior-The Tejas MK-2 (Past, Specifications, Need’s, etc)

“Tejas, The pride of India” you must have heard this line, and too much extent, it’s true also, there was a reason that foreign countries were expressing interest in Tejas, from Malaysia to Singapore before even Indian Air Force started to use them. The modern history of Tejas dates back to the CAG Report Of 2015 which Stated that Tejas MK-1 has a series of problems like it was considered an underpowered aircraft, lack of training capabilities, lack of EW (Electronic Warfare) capabilities, Lack Of internal Fuel Capacity Etc.

The Tejas MK-1A

The Tejas MK-1A

Now, these Problems Are NOT anything normal, to address these problems the whole aircraft has to be redesigned so later HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) proposed an advanced variant of Tejas, The Tejas MK-1A in which some problems were fixed but the design was similar to Tejas MK-1 but here also CAG Jumped in to announce that even Tejas MK-1A is deficient in performance and is NOT up to the mark of IAF. The IAF has neglected all such reports by CCS ( Cabinet Committee on Security) Clearance granted by Government on 13th January 2021 and an order of 83 Tejas MK-1A was placed, shutting all these reports and making this deal India’s one of the largest indigenous procurement, The deal cost more than Rupees 48000 Crores and a total inventory of Tejas now in IAF would be 123 units.

However, in this article, we would be discussing Tejas MK-2 which would be an MWF (Medium Weight Fighter), the future backbone of the Indian Air Force, and would also discuss that how Tejas MK-2 will be even superior to Rafale in the upcoming article of the same series, so let us address these questions –

  1. Why Medium Weight Fighter Category?

2. Why Tejas MK-2 ?

3. What Are The Specification’s ?

Tejas MK-2

As till now you might have got a basic idea of Tejas MK-1A from a bit of description and its popularity but in the future the Tejas MK-2 also known as MWF is what could make India great at Fighter Jets and Free It From The Geopolitical pressure of western countries to buy their goods ( Fighter Jet). We all know that India had launched a tender in 2007 for 126 Jets for IAF under MMRCA ( Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) and jets from many countries were competing in it some top contenders were Eurofighter- Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F/A-18, etc however Many Factors mainly Geo-Politics are delaying this deal and have made it to be scrapped once; so now IAF wanted an Indigenous MWF which fulfilled all the needs and planned it with ADA and other organizations like HAL and DRDO.

The Future Warrior- The Tejas MK-2

Now Tejas MK2 is mainly designed to replace a wide variety of aircrafts like Mig-29, Mirage-200, Jaguars and will complement Sukhoi and Rafale in the future. The Tejas MK-2 would be An Advanced 4.5++ Generation Aircraft which would be equal and in many cases, superior to Rafale’s, it also shares some properties of the world’s most advanced aircrafts like F-22 Raptor like that of Indium Oxide Layer and Optionally Manned Cockpit and Much more. The Tejas MK-2 will be a perfect combination of A Powerful Radar, a Powerful engine, and much more. The IAF Has been looking for a perfect MWF ( Medium Weight Fighter) for decades to replace the aging fleet of Jaguar’s, Mig-29s, and Mirage-2000’s, The Rafale’s Fulfilled this gap to some extent but because of their humongous cost it’s practically very difficult to operate them in large numbers, India Then decided to end its dependency on Foreign Jets and Develop something which is Even Dangerous than Rafale’s.

Read the Article further to find the mysteries of Tejas MK-2

Tejas MK-2 , Credit- Harshal Pal

Why MWF Category?

In Simple words the MWF’s are much handy i.e. they are easy to maintain and are highly unlikely to face any maintenance issues, for example, whether Its F-15 or Su-30 MKI both HWF’s (Heavy Weight Fighters) are extremely difficult to maintain, There’s a reason why USAF which gets enormous sums of money,  have Local Producer i.e McDonnell Douglas, But Still, Can’t Push Avablitiy of F-15 Beyond 70%, while Sukhoi’s Availablity has hardly pushed above from 55% to 62%-65% ( CAG Report of 2014 Stated 55%, but there has been development on their Conditions since 2014), Here MWF Are Good in stats because planes were made big and heavy in cold war era to carry more fuel and weapons but then development in radar tech led the size of the plane decrease significantly without affecting their capabilities. It’s not that MWF Cant competes with HWF’s (Heavy Weight Fighters) in fact HWF’s are usually getting less effective because of their bulky shape unless they don’t have a powerful engine or a TVC (Thrust Vectoring Control), Today MWF’s can Carry as Much As Weapons and Fuel as HWF’s and If Not; More. All possible because of decrease in weight of weapons and some standardization of Drop-Tanks which improved their overall range.  Hence MWF’s are More Effective, Quick, Easy to Maintain. Some info on the net about the weight of aircraft will give you a basic idea of what an MWF weighs and what an HWF weighs-

LCA Tejas- 6500 kgs                                     Dassault Rafale- 10000 Kgs                      Sukhoi-30- 18000 Kgs

Tejas MK-2 {Specifications}

Tailess Delta of Euro-Fighter Typhoon*

DESIGN– The Tejas MK-2 will have two couple closed canards with a tailless delta wing shape, The Delta wings refer to the triangular shape of wings, and tailless means that it has no Other Horizontal surface beyond those huge triangular wings The main advantages of the tailless delta are structural simplicity and lightweight, combined with low aerodynamic drag These properties made the Dassault Mirage one of the most widely manufactured supersonic fighters of all time, however Because of the tailless delta-shaped wings the area of wings increases to provide more adequate lift to the aircraft which can affect the RCS (Radar Cross Section) of aircraft and Tejas MK-2 is no exception, The Wingspan of Tejas MK-2 is 8.5 Meter and for the canards; some people say that Even the original Tejas was meant to have canards but because at that time when Tejas was just nurturing from a dream to reality in 1980’s the wind tunnel testing of Canards with Tejas failed so they were removed, because at that time the control surfaces and flight control systems were under-developed but now as the time changed all these equipment have been already developed, The Canards help to improve the maneuverability of an Aircraft and provide it with more lift that’s why from TEDBEF to Naval Variant of Rafale both have closed couple canards in their design so they can take-off from Aircraft carriers further Canards can also work as airbrakes. The Canards in Tejas MK-2 will be controlled by Fly by Wire System which makes them quick to respond and provide superiority in maneuverability.

RADAR– The Tejas MK-2  for sure is going to be equipped with an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) Radar, which would be indigenous Uttam AESA Radar which is a scaleable radar which is why the same radar could be used in LCA Tejas, The Tejas MK-2 and the Giant Su-30 MKI, Scaleable radar means that the TRM ( Transmitter Reciever Module) of the radar could be adjusted according to the power provided by the aircraft, further Uttam Radar is based on Gallium Arsenide and Gallium Nitrate,Gallium,  Nitrate based radar consume less power and are more efficient, The Gallium Aresnide Version of Uttam Are ready and in The order of 83 Tejas MK-1A, The DRDO chief said that 21st Tejas from the 83 will start to have Uttam  radar, This was a huge doubt between people whether Israeli ELM 2052 AESA radar which had been used in tejas till now would be replaced by Uttam or Not, so from the deal of Tejas MK-1A its clear that Tejas MK-2 will have Uttam Gallium Arsenide Based Version AESA Radar and further  when Gallium Nitrite based radars would be available, they’ll also be mounted in nose of Tejas MK-2. The Uttam AESA Radar in the nose of Tejas-MK2 would be able to detect an object of 0.0001 m2 from 18+ kms, An Object of 1m2 from 170+kms. You Can Check Below the detection capability of Uttam AESA Radar according to its TRM in Tejas – MK-2-

Detection Capability of Uttam AESA Radar for different objects at different distances. Credit- Defence Decode

ENGINE– The heart of any aircraft is the Engine, while Tejas MK-1A is powered by 1 × GE 404F2/J-IN20 turbofan Engine Which produces a dry thrust of 53.9 kN, and a thrust of 90 kN with afterburners, Tejas MK-2  is going to be powered with 1 × General Electric F414-GE-INS6 now the stats in Wikipedia of this turbofan engine is said to create a Dry thrust of  58.5 kN and a thrust of  98 kN (22,000 lbf) with afterburner however the engines that India ordered According to General Electric’s Official Website produce maximum thrust in F-414 Family and the maximum thrust produced by F-414 family is of 120 kN afterburner which is of F414-EPE (EPE- Enhanced Performance Engine) so it is possible that the GE-F414-GE-INS6 have even more thrust than 120 kN also this engine of Tejas MK-2 would have more endurance and more combat radius.

General Electric F414-GE with full afterburner

ARMAMENT– The most interesting thing about any aircraft is its Weapon package, The Tejas MK-2 could carry 6500kgs of Armament with its 13 Hardpoints and 1x 23mm GSh-23 cannon. The Aircraft would be armed with a combination of weapons like Astra MK-1 (Range 80-110kms), Astra MK-2  (Range 160-200 kms), and maybe even Astra  SFDR MK-3  (Range 300-350 km)  in BVR Combat [You Can Click Here to Learn In Deep About these missiles] here Astra MK-3 is what is the gamechanger because as its range is of 350+ km and it’s an SFDR (Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet) so because of the powerful Uttam AESA Radar of Tejas MK-2, it can fire this ARHS (Active Radar Homing System) guided Astra MK-3 towards the target and with a NEZ (No Escape Zone) of around 150 km it makes any aircraft more dangerous, however as Tejas MK-2 RCS Is predicted to be between 0-0.02 m2, it is possible that Tejas MK-2 can detect its target early and fire Astra MK-3 while it itself would be very difficult to be detected by enemies Radar. In Close combat which ranges between 0-50 km It is desired to carry ASRAAMs (Advanced Short Range Air to Air Missile) and Astra IR  (Infrared Guided Version Of Astra )in the Future along With A capability of carrying 2 BrahMos-NG (Smaller Version of BrahMos )Air to the surface missile in future which will have a range of 290 km with Mach 3 which would make this aircraft extremely Lethal in Air to Ground Role also. The Tejas Mk-2 is also planned to have a Whole family of Anti-Radiation Rudram Missiles ( Rudram 1/2/3) which are specially dedicated to destroying radar units of the enemy. The Aircraft will also have the capability of carrying a wide variety of Air to Ground bombs like DRDO SAAW, DRDO Glide Bombs, Spice-2000s, Crystal Maze, and unguided bombs. It May also have a Thales X Towed decoy system.

LAD (Large Area Display)/ Multi-Functional Display of Tejas MK-2

RANGE, AVIONICS, COCKPIT, AND OTHER SPECIFICATIONS- Tejas MK-1 was condemned for its range, but Tejas MK-2 is a hard lock on faces of all those critics who used to say about the range of Tejas because Tejas MK-2 is predicted to have a ferry range of 3500 km, Ferry Range is the maximum range of aircraft with maximum fuel it can carry with its internal fuel tanks and 3 drop tanks otherwise the minimum predicted combat range of Tejas MK-2  is of 1500 km which is quite impressive, it is the range of the aircraft with normal weapon load and normal fuel or it is the maximum distance an aircraft can go from its base and can return without any Air to Air refueling and Tejas MK-2 will also have the capability of Mid-Air Refueling. The  Cockpit of Tejas MK-2 which had been already displayed in Defence Expo 2020 had a Side-mounted control stick with a wide mounted multifunctional display which would make it easier for the pilot to get every single information of aircraft from its sensors like AESA Radar, IRST Scanner, Missile Warning Approach system into that single big multifunctional display so it gets easier for the pilot, The aircraft would be designed to have network-centric warfare capability. The cockpit would be so advanced that it will be “optionally manned” i.e. if the pilot faints because of factors like extreme G-Forces the HMD of the pilot would inform it to ground control which would be able to control the aircraft. It will also have internalized EW suite, information about which is not much available. It has A Length of 14.60 m (47 ft 11 in) with a wingspan of 8.50 m and a maximum takeoff weight of 17500kgs and a maximum speed of 2.0 mach. and capability of Sustaining G-Forces of 9/-3.5 G.

Tejas MK-2 Cockpit, Wide Multi-Functional Display at Centre and Control stick towards Right.

STEALTH/RCS/IR SIGNATURE The RCS (Radar Cross Section) Of a plane determines that how vulnerable that aircraft would be to the enemy’s radar, therefore it should be less. The Tejas MK-2 according to our Twitter Defence Experts wouldn’t be stealthy because of its Canards and Huge wingspan, it could be true but in Tejas MK-2 more than 90% of the components like Wings, Fuselage, Rudder, Canards are made up of composites which makes planes durable, light and more stealthy further the cockpit of the aircraft will have a golden color because of a layer of Indium Tin Oxide which helps the plane to vanish the detection which is possible and is created by HMD (Helmet Mounted Display) of Pilot, you see such same layer’s an F-22 Raptor also with its Y-Shaped air intake the chances of detection of aircraft are further decreased because most of the Electro-Magnetic waves of Enemies radars are reflected by an Aircraft’s engine, further it is single-engine jet so its Infrared signature would also be less. The Tejas MK-2 will also have RAM  (Radar Absorbent Material) coating which is being developed by DRDO for AMCA, further, The GE-F414-GE-INS6 Engines have the capability of supercruise hence decreasing its  IR (Infrared) Signature because the pilot won’t have to enable the afterburner to make plane travel faster than the speed of sound because in supercruise the plane can cruise at supersonic speed without afterburner, very few jets have this capability of supercruise like F-22 Raptor, Dassault Rafale,  Su-35, Su-57, etc. The RCS (Radar Cross Section) of Tejas MK-2 is expected to be between 0-0.2 m2, most probably 0.1m2 which is the best for such class aircraft, and just for comparison Rafale has expected RCS of 1-1.25 M2 till it don’t use its EW Suite.

F-22 Raptor Indium Tin Oxide Golden Cockpit

TIMELINE– The Tejas MK-2 is expected to roll out in September 2022 and the first flight is predicted for 2023 while it is predicted to enter into production in 2025 however watching the current scenario there could be further delay also because of the Covid-19 situation but this time because of involvement of private sector and HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) just being a sort of assembler and producer of some parts the chances of delay decreases and dependency on the private sector has increased for example major parts like wings will be built by L&T, Dynamic Technologies will build its front fuselage, VEM technologies – middle fuselage and Alpha tech – rear fuselage further all the instruments required for plane have either been developed or are in development stage, its not like the condition of Tejas MK-1 where every single instrument was built by begining.


The Tejas MK-2 is going to form the base and backbone of the Indian Air Force in the future and looking at its specifications it may also become the most advanced aircraft of airforce’s around the world, The Tejas MK-1A is a huge success, as told earlier different countries were showing interest in Tejas Even before when India started to operate them. The Tejas MK-2 is also very dangerous because of its weapon package from BrahMos to Astra to Rudram to DRDO SAAW it ensures that it is capable of doing everything whether it’s an Aerial Dogfight or a Balakot Strike in fact Girish Deodhare Program Director (Combat Aircraft), Aeronautical Development Agency said that “ While Tejas MK I is for combat air patrol within the Indian territory, MK II will have the capacity to conduct Balakot-like surgical strikes in enemy territory as it will carry heavy standoff weapons like Crystal Maze and Spice missiles,”

Thanks For Reading!

Comment Down Your Favorite part, For Me It was Advanced Cockpit and Stealth Features.



Pratisht Chaudhry

Writing articles on Aerospace and Defence from past 4 years,. Articles written in past nominated to Royal Aeronautical and Aerospace Media awards. Currently associated with Asia's largest defence magazine, Youtube channels and Defence XP network Follow Pratisht3 on Twitter for more.


  1. Thank you for sharing the info the article was full of information I really liked it. But I have a question what is operational availability of Tejas Mk-1A and Tejas Mk-2?

    1. See Till Now No Issues have Been Repoted with Tejas-MK1A specially on Maintaince, infact the overall Record of Tejas MK-1A is Quiet impressivewith NO Emergencry cases at all, 0 Crashes, there’s a reason to love American EngineS :) , Tejas MK-2 is Yet to enter service but it will also have its Capablity of 100/100 in maintaince

  2. Sir my old question in your article is why indian Rafael is so special from other and tell is primary weapon package and which variety it is

    1. Hey Man Actually That Article Was Written by Someone else but still i can Address you,
      Indian Rafales Could be Using Israeli Dash HMD as Done by Quatari Air force pilots with Rafale
      Further Rafale was Tested with an advanced engine The M-88 4E in 2010 which was even better in Maintaince and reliability
      Then as per the weapon Package
      It Carries Meteor as its primary BVR (The Worlds Best BVR) however India has not officially Purchased it but experts Doubt India have those missiel
      Another Missile In BVR is Mica
      Then In Air to Ground role
      Scalp is The Primary Missile Which makes it as dangerous as A Sukhoi-BrahMos Combo. Hammer Bombs then and If Needed Even drop tanks can Be Used as A Bomb and Great igniter

  3. I guess the MK-2 has one engine, because it costs low, and the IN-S6 variant engine has almost equal thrust compared to Safran M-88 engines?
    Also, you said that the IN-S6 variant can be better than the EPE one, so Tejas MK-2 will have better engines than AMCA?

    1. See F414 are Much Powerful than M-88
      Now GE said That INS6 is Strongest of F-414 Faimly which till now is EPE,EPE have Max Thrust of 120kN
      So INS6>EPE
      So Stats in Wiki State
      INS6 is 98 KN
      But GE state Stongest of F-414
      Hence Possiblity Exist of INS6 being More Powerful
      Now See Max Thrust of AMCA engines are 110 KN
      But Apart from Max Thrust There’s Emergency Thrust also
      So Maybe 120 Kns is A Emergency Thrust.
      And military stats are not accurate

  4. No F414 are stronger than M88 Which generates a Thrust of 75kns only
    Atleast 100 kns for F-414
    And AMCAs is Just a Bit More with 110KNs
    Just By Official Stats just a Difference of 10 KNs
    But these things Specially Military Stats Are Not Always Accurate Either …….
    Its Possible AMCAs Engine produce more power Or Less and as Far As 120 kns is there
    GE officially stated for INS6 to Be most powerful of F-414 but thats till Now Was EPE which had Thrust of 120 KN MAX
    So It Makes Sense to Atleast reach over 116 Kns or 120 KNs
    Now this Could Be Emergency Thrust also who Knows like Al-41 have Max thrust of Some 137 kns but emergency thrust is of 142.2 Kns almost 5 N more ….

  5. Wonderful article I loved it sir. But sharing Uttam Aesa Radar ranges for RCS wont this be disadvantage ? We dont know how efficient our enemy radars are! Why release such data ?

  6. When Tejas MK-2 become

    ” the most advanced aircraft of airforce’s around the world,”

    Will the other advance countries be sleeping without developing any new technologies? Boy, grow up.

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