HAL Tejas , LCA Tejas , Light Combat Aircraft , Tejas Aircraft , Tejas Fighter

HAL Tejas

Indian Multirole Light Combat Aircraft ( LCA )

The HAL Tejas is a light combat aircraft (LCA) developed and manufactured by the Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The LCA was designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), another Indian company designated as project manager for the development of the LCA.

The Tejas fighter has already been inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the first squadron of the Tejas fighter aircraft ( Sq No 45, Flaying Daggers ) is now operational. Due to its unique design and combat capabilities, LCA Tejas is becoming the preferred choice for many international customers.

HAL Tejas , Tejas Aircraft , LCA Tejas , Light Combat Aircraft , LCA

The LCA Tejas is a single-engine, omnirole, light-weight, highly agile, multi-mission supersonic fighter aircraft specially designed for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Indian air force intends to induct different variants of LCA in large numbers to ramp up the depleting squadron strength.

The aircraft is now fully operational despite initially taking a long time for its development. The LCA project came into focus after the advent of the BJP government in the year 2014 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ex-Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar also played a key role in making this ambitious project a success story.

HAL Tejas - General Specifications

General Information

HAL Tejas General Information

Lead Agency And Manufactured By

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

Designed And Developed By

Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)

Generation

HAL Is 4.5 Plus Generation 

Aircraft Category

Light Combat Aircraft

Aircraft Design Type

Delta Wing , Fly-By-Wire

Aircraft Engine Category

Single Engine Fighter Jet

Primary Designated Role

Omnirole - Multirole , Multi-mission

HAL Tejas Radar Type

AESA Radar 

HAL Tejas Radar 

Israeli Elta EL/M 2052 And DRDO Uttam

LCA Tejas Variants

Tejas - IOC , Tejas - FOC , Tejas MK1 And MK2

HAL Tejas

General Characteristics

The HAL Tejas has been designed by HAL as a multi-mission, omnirole fighter jet capable of performing a wide range of operations. The HAL Tejas is categorized as a Light Combat Aircraft ( LCA ). Despite its compact size, the LCA Tejas is a highly capable fighter aircraft and a formidable opponent in the sky.

LCA Tejas General Characteristics

HAL Tejas

Specification 

Specification

Crew

Single Seater

Trainer - Twin Seater

Length

13.2 Meters

43 Feet 2 Inch

Wingspan

8.2 Meters

26 Feet 11 Inch

Height

4.4 Meters

14 Feet 5 Inch

Wing Area

38.4 Sq. Meters

413 Sq. Feet

Empty Weight

6560 Kg

14,462 lb

Gross Weight

9800 Kg

21,605 lb

Max Takeoff Weight

9800 Kg

29,762 lb

Fuel Capacity - Internal

2458 Kg

5,419 lb

Fuel Capacity - External

5300 Kg

11,700 lb

Engine :  GE 404

85 KN

19,000 lbf

HAL Tejas

LCA Weapons And Armaments

The HAL Tejas is equipped with a wide range of weapons. For close air combat, Tejas can carry short-range air-to-air missiles such as the Russian R73, the Israeli Python 5, and ASRAAM by MBDA. The Tejas can carry the Israeli I Derby ER, the Russian R77, and the Indian DRDO developed Astra Mark 1 for beyond visual range BVR air combat.

The US has also offered to integrate the AIM 120D AMRAAM BVR missile. The DRDO also plans to integrate the Meteor BVR missile ( 180 km) developed by MBDA once the HAL Tejas is equipped with the indigenous Uttam AESA radar being developed by DRDO.

HAL Tejas Weapons , Tejas Armaments

HAL Tejas Weapon

Weapon Type

Weapon Details

Guns

1 x 23 mm Twin-Barrel 

GSH-23 Cannon

R - 73

Air-To-Air Missile , 30 Km

Short Range , Russia

I Derby ER

Air-To-Air Missile , 120 Km

BVR Long Range , Israel 

Python 5

Air-To-Air Missile , 20 Km

Short Range , Israel 

ASRAAM

Air-To-Air Missile , 30 Km

Short Range , MBDA , UK 

ASTRA MK 1

Air-To-Air Missile , 110 Km

BVR Long , DRDO , India 

R -77

Air-To-Air Missile , 110 Km

BVR Long Range , Russia

Kh-59ME, Kh-59L, Kh-59T

Air-To-Surface Missile , 200 Km

Long Range Ground Attack , Russia

AASM-Hammer

Air-To-Surface Missile , 150 Km

Long Range Ground Attack , French By Safran

BrahMos-NG 

Air-To-Surface Cruise Missile , 500 Km

Long Range Ground Attack , India By DRDO

Rudram 1

Anti Radiation ARM Missile , 200 Km

Long Range Ground Attack , India By DRDO

HAL Tejas

Technology Development For LCA Tejas Light Combat Aircraft

HAL first developed and built two technology demonstration vehicles, TD1 and TD2, based on tail-less delta wing aircraft with relaxed static stability (RSS) and control-configuration for enhanced maneuverability. This design was inspired by the French Mirage 2000 currently in service with the IAF.

The LCA Tejas is a single-engine aircraft powered by a single GE-404 engine. The GE-404 engine is an afterburning turbofan engine that generates thrust of 85KN. The DRDO is currently working on an indigenous aircraft engine project named Kaveri. The Kaveri engine is still under development.

The HAL Tejas has a maximum take-off weight of 13.5 tons . The LCA Tejas design is based on Relaxed Static Stabilities (RSS). The aircraft design needs fly-by-wire technology that allows the pilot to electronically control the plane with the help of onboard computers.

PM Narendra Modi With LCA Tejas
Indian Fighter Aircraft

The DRDO developed Fly-By-Wire technology and Multi-Mode-Radar (MMR), two crucial technologies for the HAL Tejas project. The US company Lockheed Martian was also contracted by DRDO to provide technical expertise for the development of Fly-By-Wire technology. However, this agreement was cancelled by the US government due to American sanctions after India’s first nuclear explosion.

This was a first major project for the Indian aviation industry. The DRDO had to overcome major technological hurdles to successfully execute the LCA project. The DRDO had to start the work from scratch to indigenously develop such high-end, sophisticated technology. Therefore, the LCA project was delayed and also resulted in a substantial project cost overrun.

LCA Tejas

Indigenous Kaveri Engine For HAL Tejas

HAL is currently developing an indigenous engine to power the HAL Tejas. This indigenous engine development project is named “Kaveri.” The GTRE GTX-35VS Kaveri engine project has achieved significant progress but is still under development.

The Kaveri engine is being developed by the Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), a unit of DRDO. This was an ambitious project, and HAL had to start from scratch considering he had no prior experience.

The first prototypes of the Kaveri engine failed to perform well on various parameters and could not generate the required thrust. Therefore, it was decided to use the American GE F404 engine instead to roll out the first few batches of LCA Tejas to avoid any further delay.

Kaveri Engine , GTRE GTX-35VS , DRDO Aircraft Engine

As a part of the offset deal for Dassault Rafale sale to the Indian Air Force, the French aerospace company Safran Aircraft Engines (previously Snecma) will collaborate with DRDO to revive the Kaveri engine.

The GTRE has now resolved most of the technological gaps and performance issues associated with the Kaveri engine, and the new prototype will soon be ready for technical evaluation.

Latest Update On Kaveri Engine For HAL Tejas

As a part of the offset deal for Dassault Rafale sale to the Indian Air Force, the French aerospace company Safran Aircraft Engines (previously Snecma) will collaborate with DRDO to revive the Kaveri engine.

The GTRE has now resolved most of the technological gaps and performance issues associated with the Kaveri engine, and the new prototype will soon be ready for technical evaluation.

HAL Tejas Production Models

Difference Between HAL Tejas MK1 , MK1A , MK2

Aircraft Feature

Tejas MK1

Tejas MK1A

Tejas MK2

Latest Picture

Design Details

Single Seater, Delta Wing Light Combat Aircraft,  IOC Varient.

Single Seater, Delta Wing Light Combat Aircraft,  FOC Varient , Modified As Per IAF Requirements.

Single Seater, Delta Wing With Canard Light Combat Aircraft, Modified As Per IAF Requirements.

Aircraft Engine

GE 404 Turbofan 

 F404-GE-IN20 Engine 

GE F414 INS6 Engine 

Engine Thrust KN

84 KN

84 KN

98 KN

Radar

Elta EL/M 2052 AESA Israeli Radar

Elta EL/M 2052 AESA Israeli Radar

DRDO Uttam AESA Indian Radar

Mid Air Refueling

No

Yes

Yes

Electronic Warfare Suite

No

DARE Unified Electronic Warfare Suite (UEWS)

Yes

Latest BVR Capability

R-77 , I Derby ER

R-77 , I Derby ER , Astra MK1

I Derby ER , Astra MK1, Astra MK2 , MK3, MBDA Meteor

Self-Protection Jammer Pod

Externally Mounted Self Protection Jammer (SPJ)

Externally Mounted Self Protection Jammer (SPJ)

Externally Mounted Self Protection Jammer (SPJ)

Digital Radar Warning Receivers

Yes

Yes

DARE Duel Color Missile Approach Warning System ( DCMAWS )

Combat Operation Range

1850 Km

1850 Km

2500 Km

Service Ceiling

16500 Meters , 50,000 Feets

16500 Meters , 50,000 Feets

17300 Meters , 56,758 Feets

Aircraft Health And Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS)

No

No

Yes

Integrated Infrared Search And Track (IRST) System

No

No

Yes

Hard Points

8

8

11

Max Speed

Mach 1.6 , 1960 Kmph

Mach 1.6 , 1960 Kmph

Mach 1.8 , 2385 Kmph

Max Take Off Weight

13500 Kg

13500 Kg

17500 Kg

G Limits

+ 8 / - 3.5

+ 8 / - 3.5

+ 9 / - 3.5

Current Status

Already Inducted

Already Inducted

Expected To Be Inducted 2026

HAL Tejas

Indigenous Uttam AESA For LCA Tejas

Aircraft radar is one of the most crucial components, especially for fighter aircraft. The technologically superior radar can offer a major competitive edge in air combat.

Aircraft radar performs two important functions. Radar scans the airspace to track, locate, and identify aerial targets. It also directs the air-to-air and ground attack munitions to precisely hit the target.

Active Electronically Scanned Radar (AESA) is the latest generation of radar technology that has significantly improved the radar’s performance. The AESA radar offers superior performance as compared to conventional radar.

The HAL Tejas MK1 and MK1A are equipped with Israeli-made AESA radar for the initial few production batches ( which include Tejas variants IOC, FOC, MK1, and, MK1A). The Israeli AESA radar was selected to avoid Tejas production delays.

Uttam AESA Radar , DRDO AESA Radar , Uttam Radar

The AESA radar is equipped with a computer-controlled phased array antenna that can electronically rotate the radio wave beam without the need of a mechanical head.

The AESA radar antenna consists of a number of TRM modules. The AESA radar’s performance depends on the number of small solid-state transmit/receive components called the TRM modules. Each TRM module independently performs the functions of a transmitter and/or receiver for the antenna.

The first two HAL Tejas variants (Tejas MK1 and MK1A) will be outfitted with the Israeli-made Elta System EL/M-2052 AESA radar. HAL is currently working on the indigenous “Uttam” AESA radar in order to increase export potential for Tejas. The Uttam AESA radar is still under testing and evaluation phase and it is expected to be installed on Tejas MK2 variant. 

LCA Tejas

Astra BVR Missile Integration On HAL Tejas

The beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile provides the combat capability to engage aerial targets beyond visual range. The BVR capability is one of the most crucial components of the weapons package for the fighter aircraft.

HAL has incorporated a wide range of the latest BVR missiles from Russia, Israel, and India into the Tejas design. The DRDO is currently working on an indigenous BVR missile project named “Astra.”

The combination of the indigenous Uttam AESA radar and the Astra BVR missile will provide HAL Tejas with a unique, cost-effective BVR capability. Astra variants (MK1, MK2, and MK3) are being developed, and the Astra MK1 is already operational, with the IAF having placed the first order.

Astra BVR Missile , Astra Missile , Astra MK1

HAL approached MBDA, a European missile manufacturer, about integrating Meteor BVR missiles on the Tejas aircraft. However, MBDA refused to integrate Meteor BVR on Tejas, citing the Tejas MK1 and MK1A variants’ Israeli-made AESA radar.

However, the Tejas MK2 variants will have indigenous Uttam AESA radar, which might facilitate the integration of the MBDA Meteor missile. HAL was initially eager to integrate Meteor due to the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) strong recommendation.

The HAL quickly realised that developing indigenous BVR missiles is critical to the success of the export variant of the LCA Tejas, and that relying on foreign-origin BVR missiles would be a major limiting factor in realising the export potential. 

Astra BVR Missile , Astra MK2 , Astra Missile

The indigenous Astra MK1 is already operational, and its integration with the Su30 MKI and Tejas is complete. The Astra MK2 and MK3 are currently under development, and DRDO has accorded top priority to their development.

The Astra MK3 will match the design features and exceed the range as compared to contemporary American and European BVR missiles. It will be the first indigenous air-to-air missile based on solid-fuel ramjet propulsion developed with Russian collaboration.

HAL Tejas Cockpit

Futuristic LCA Tejas Cockpit Design Features

The HAL Tejas cockpit design incorporates the most recent design features found in 4.5+ generation contemporary modern fighter jets. The HAL and ADA have spared no efforts to integrate a wide range of sensors and display their data to the pilot.

The LCA Tejas cockpit provides a clear view of all the crucial information for the pilot. The Tejas cockpit has been designed to provide complete situational awareness to the pilot, displayed on three main multi-functional display (MFD) monitors.

The HAL Tejas MK1 and MK1A cockpits will have three prominent multi-functional display units for presenting information to the pilot. The Tejas cockpit is fitted with a night vision-compatible glass cockpit with Martin Baker (UK) zero-zero ejection seats.

Tejas IOC And FOC Cockpit

Tejas IOC And FOC Cockpit

Tejas MK1 And MK1A Cockpit

Tejas MK1 And MK1A Cockpit

The Tejas cockpit has three colour liquid crystal multifunction displays developed by Bharat Electronics. The cockpit comes with a head-up display developed by the government institute Central “Scientific Instruments Organization” (CSIO), based in Chandigarh.

A helmet-mounted display and sight (HMDS) system is already integrated with all the variants of the aircraft. The hands-on throttle and stick control system will be centrally located on the Tejas MK1 and MK1A, reducing the pilot’s workload and allowing pilot to stay focused on the mission. 

Tejas MK2 Cockpit Design

HAL Tejas MK2 Cockpit , Tejas Cockpit Design

The Tejas design incorporates a quadruple fly-by-wire digital automatic flight control system, and its navigation suite includes a Sagem SIGMA 95N ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system with an integrated global positioning system.

The communications suite includes VHF-UHF radio communications with built-in countermeasures, air-to-air and air-to-ground data links, as well as a HAL information friend-or-foe interrogator. In addition, the cockpit includes an environmental control system developed by Spectrum Infotech of Bangalore.

The avionics suite has an integrated utility health-monitoring system, ground proximity warning system, terrain-referenced navigation system, instrument landing system, global positioning system, store management system, and three 1553B 32-bit mission computers.

HAL Tejas Helmet Mounted Display

Display And Sight Helmet (DASH) of HAL Tejas Developed By Israel Elbit Systems

HAL Tejas pilots use the Israeli Elbit DASH-IV Helmet Mounted Display and Sight (HMDS) system. Elbit Systems’ Display and Sight Helmet (DASH) enables pilots to lock on and fire their weapons simply by looking at the target.

With Night Vision Goggles, the Elbit DASH significantly improves night flying capabilities. The HMDS provides colour day and night displays, 3D symbology, head tracking, sensors, and weapon cuing.

The Elbit DASH allows pilots to constantly maintain the highest levels of situational awareness—whether air-to-air, air-to-ground, or to-and-from the mission core—in order to successfully achieve their operational goals.

HAL Tejas Helmet Mounted Display , LCA Tejas Helmet

Elbit Systems’ Helmet Mounted Systems (HMS) enable pilots to view flight data, sensor data, and 3D location-based information within direct line-of-sight (LOS). The HMS allows the pilot to comprehend the data sent by the aircraft’s sensors.

The avionics systems of the aircraft then guide the missiles to the target by simply looking at the target. Elbit Systems is a global leader in HMS systems, and it has already been integrated into all the variants of HAL Tejas.

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