HAL/ADA Tejas - The Radiant

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
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Two_HAL_Tejas_flying_in_formation_(cropped)

Introduction

From the time of India’s independence in 1947, it has been dependent upon imports as the mainstay for most of its fighter aircraft requirements. To counter this import dependency, India had initiated the Marut program to develop local aviation industry but it could not fructify in the way that India wanted and were left with underperforming aircrafts. The main reasons for the underperformance was identified as being unable to create the base subsystems of the fighters and being dependent on foreign suppliers for a lot of its parts which were in short supply post 1974 nuclear sanctions on India. The tejas program was created to counter the threat of sanctions on India.

While the primary goal of Tejas was to replace the Mig 21 fighters which were the mainstay of Indian Air Force, the secondary goal of the project is deemed to be much more important for the overall development of Indian defence industry. In order to achieve these objectives, the project was handed to ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) which was under the aegis of DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and formed in 1983. While most of the other fighter development programmes were handled by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), it was not the case with Tejas. It was identified as the principle contractor which meant that most of the R&D on aircraft was to be done by ADA only. To achieve the “self reliance” goals of the country various subsystem development also began in parallel with aircraft with them being the Fly By Wire, Multi mode pulse doppler radar and an afterburning turbofan engine.

hindustan_lca_tejas_krivchikov_2007

Development

Work on program definition was started in 1986 and Dassault was taken as a consultant for the project and hence a very strong resemblance to the Mirage series of aircrafts in the Tejas DNA. The design of the aircraft was finalized by 1990 as a small tailless compound delta wing with relaxed static stability which made the digital fly by wire system of the aircraft a very important component. To achieve this Lockheed Martin was taken as a consultant for creating a quadruplex digital fly by wire system in 1992, but the assistance was cancelled post 1998 Nuclear tests by India due to sanctions imposed by USA.

Despite the setback of the Nuclear sanctions on India, it was able to conduct the first flight of the aircraft on 4th Jan 2001 with the indigenous Fly by Wire system which was one of the achievements of this development program. The initial aircrafts started out with General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 due to delay in the Kaveri turbofan engine development. It became apparent that the Kaveri engine will not meet the requirement of the aircraft and hence it was delinked from the program which meant that the GE engine would form its core. GE then developed an uprated engine named F404-GE-IN20 producing 84kN of thrust. This engine now powers all the Tejas aircrafts.

ADA also faced issues with its multi mode Radars that were meant for Tejas. Due to problems with the radar it was changed to the Elta EL/M-2032 from Israel while other avionic systems like EW suite, RWR, SPJ and Chaff and Flare dispensers are all developed indigenously.

Of the 5 core technologies that were identified during project definition, ADA was able to achieve success with 3 systems which are FBW system, modern Glass Cockpit and Carbon fibre composite structures, while the other 2 systems i.e. the Radar and Engines were delinked from the program and worked on separately.

The fighter is equipped with 9 hardpoints of which three are wet hardpoints. It is also equipped with a Litening targeting pod in its belly. It has a RWR (Radar Warning Receiver) equipped on its tailfin.

Service History

The first Tejas were accepted by IAF in its fleet in the IOC-II configuration. This configuration was capable of WVR air to air combat, Bombs and limited air to surface missile weaponry. This configuration also lacked any kind of guns and had no inflight refueling capability. It also had a reduced AoA at 24 degrees. These fighters became operational in 2016

Most of the limitations were fixed with the FOC configuration of the aircraft. This configuration had its AoA increased to 28 degree and fixed with an inflight refueling probe. On the armament front this variant also had BVR air to air combat capability and a twin barrel GSh-23 cannons were added to the airframe. This variant started its operation service on 27 May 2020 at Sulur Air Force station.

Till now there have been almost 50 Tejas Mk 1 produced of which 34 are in service with Indian Air Force. 16 of them are of IOC-II standard, 16 of them are FOC strandard and 2 are Trainer versions with 6 more to enter service.

Future

With the development of Tejas being delayed beyond the proposed timeline at the time of its Project Definition, it was outdated compared to the current IAF doctrine. To overcome the shortcomings, there are ongoing upgrade programs with Tejas mk1A and further iterative improvements that would be coming to it as well as a bigger fighter in Tejas mk 2 aka MWF (Medium Weight Fighter) which is based on Tejas design.

IAF has already ordered for 83 more Tejas mk1A and a proposal for 97 aircrafts is in pipeline as of this moment. In terms of armaments it is continuously getting new missiles and bombs integrated which are being developed indigenously.

Game Implementation

I propose the aircraft to be implemented in a future Indian Tech Tree with Tejas Mk 1 (IOC) and Mk 1 (FOC). An additional variant i.e. the Trainer variant can also be added as a Premium aircraft. The Trainer variants are of FOC standard. Other than these, the Tejas LSP-1 aircraft that was powered by F404-F2J3 Engine can also be implemented as an event vehicle.

Tejas is a multirole aircraft hence it would ideally be placed in the fighter line. I am not suggesting any BR and would welcome any suggestions on it.

The armaments for this aircraft would primarily be of WVR missiles for anti air roles like Python 5, ASRAAM and R-73. For BVR missiles, Derby and Astra missiles can be taken. For ground attack roles, the Tejas is armed with different types of laser guided bombs, unguided bombs and precision guided munitions.

Specifications

Crew: 1 or 2 (trainer)
Dimensions: 13.2m (L), 4.4m (H), 8.2m (Wingspan)
Wing Area: 38.4 sq meter
Empty Weight: 6560 kg
Gross Weight: 9800 kg
Max Takeoff Weight: 13500 kg
Payload: 4500 kg - 5300 kg
Powerplant: GE F404 - IN20 with FADEC, 48.9kN dry thrust, 85kN with Afterburner.

Performance
Max. Speed: 2220 km/hr
Combat Range: 739km
Service Ceiling: 15,240m
g limit: +9/-3.5
Wing loading: 255.2 kg/sq m
T/W ratio: 1.07

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_Tejas
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Tejas-test-fires-missile-successfully/article15575578.ece
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lca-tejas-successfully-test-fires-astra-beyond-visual-range-missile/article67227156.ece
https://www.hal-india.co.in/product/lca

Photos



2 Likes

+1, for a independent Indian tech tree or in the British tree.

1 Like

+1 for India being one of the militaries of all time.

3 Likes

+1 from me. One of the few unique top tier options we are going to get from now on. With the MiG-21 Bison for UK leaked, and the SA Gripen in the UK tree I do wonder if this will end up being one of the UKs top tier options along with the Eurofighter, until the F-35 comes along.

1 Like

I think adding all the Indian vehicles to UK tree would make it bloat and will not be unique at all which is why it is better to go ahead with an Indian TT even if it starts from Rank 4 or 5 where India actually started to develop.

4 Likes

I do agree re bloating, however an Indian tech tree would be mainly copy paste. In terms of air India doesnt have much unique stuff to add. In terms of actual unique you have the Marut, Kiran Mk II (trainer so arguably doesn’t belong in the game anyway) and Tejas, and unique variants cover the Ajeet (can be foldered with the inevitable Gnat), Su-30MKI, Jaguar MAX and MiG-21 Bison. All could find their place into the UK air tree quite easily.

But with that said, that is 3 more outright unique aircraft than Israel has, and I do still play Israel. I do think adding Russian based aircraft to the UK tree would not be beneficial.

1 Like

Thing with Indian TT is that we are sure of new aircrafts coming in future like the AMCA, MWF, TEDBF etc. So from a future perspective we will have more unique things to play with Indian TT.

1 Like

Bloat? There’s not many unique Indian aircraft.
It’s just Su-30MKI, the Tejas series, Mig-21Bison… that’s really it.

3 Likes

Potentially, but unless Gaijin starts to expand into aircraft which aren’t yet flying then I can’t see the game being profitable by the time most of those fly. They haven’t found nations with unique flying fifth gen aircraft like Korea or Turkey to be worth adding yet. If any were to fly in that time they could just be a good alternative to the F-35 in the UK tree.

I completely agree with this. I think that the addition of the T-90 to the UK tree should be the exception and not the norm. The UK still has a lot left that can be added, in addition to export equipment. Meanwhile, I also think that India has enough equipment to make a strong tech tree.

+1 for an Indian TT

4 Likes

+1 India should definitely be an independant Tree and if gaijin wants to add more Commonwealth stuff to the UK (although we have many domestic alternatives) then there are many other nations with much better historical relations we can take from instead

2 Likes

+1. If India stays in the UK tree this can be added as a squadron vehicle

You forgot about the Marut and Ajeet (crying kurt tank noises)

What BR would the Tejas be though?

±13.0

Only if it was in a TT other than Britain.

The ASRAAM has been integrated to Tejas mk 1 FOC aircraft. Third CCM now for the aircraft after Python-5 and R-73

1 Like

Which one would you suggest it to be in?

Independent Indian TT or the Soviet TT. Considering India has significantly closer ties to Russia than Britain.

Between Britain, South Africa and the odd addition from far closer allies like Canada. India simply does not belong on our TT and is currently cluttering it. Rumours of a Mig-21 Bison from India coming as our top tier Premium option has mean genuinely terrified.

You can really see how they copied the Rafale and F/A-18.