Latest update on Tejas Acquisition Plan
The Government slowly listening the Air force plans and moving along with them, The Acquisition plans like Tejas, Rafale and FGFA is almost delayed since years. The actual plans are inducting those new jets by early 2015. However there is no new fighter jets added in the Air force last year.
LCA Tejas is most delayed project executed by ADA, Built by the HAL and user is the IAF. However due to many reasons the Tejas yet to achieve the Final Operational clearance, IAF asks the ADA and HAL to speed up the plans and conduct regular trails before hands over to IAF.
The major delay in the Tejas is, It's yet to fire a radar guided missile, Since many of them acknowledged the Tejas is a fourth gen fighter, It's still not shows it's BVR capability. Tejas is planned to get Israeli made Elta 2032 advanced pulse Doppler radar as main fire control radar. The issue is Tejas currently having a Kevlar radome, which decreases the Radar's range due to restriction of the material.
So Tejas waiting to get Quartz radome which was made with composite materials like fibers and resins. This will increase the radar detection range upto some 120 kilometers. with the increased range Tejas soon will fire the Israeli made Derby BVR missile. Derby is a medium range BVR missile developed by Israeli Rafeal.
|Model of a Radome in RCI Testing|
Along with BVR missile integration, Tejas must need to perform aerial refueling mission to increase it's combat radius. until Tejas performs those above said criteria IAF won't accept the Tejas. The ADA and HAL said they will perform those above mentioned missions before March 2016. However since months there is no clear progress made in the Tejas milestone.
What the Tejas so far achieved is, It fired a IR guided missile with the support of Helmet mounted sight, For that Tejas pilot must need to visually identify the jet before launching the missile. Tejas fired the R 73 close combat missile with the range of some 20 kilometers, This is just for self defense which can be done in any kind of fighters and modern attack Helicopters.
Tejas also performed precision strike capability, Tejas fitted with some laser guided munitions with the guidance of Litening pod. The Precision guidance is better for air to ground pin point strike munitions. Allows Tejas can provide close air support to the ground forces.
Tejas completed all kind of Infrared guided weapon support systems. and waiting to complete the Radar guided weapon support system and aerial refueling mission.