The HAL Tejas ("Brilliance") is an Indian, single engine, delta wing, light multirole fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. It was developed from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters but later became part of a general fleet modernisation programme. In 2003, the LCA was officially named "Tejas". It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.
The Tejas is the second fighter developed by HAL with the intention of attaining supersonic performance, after the HAL HF-24 Marut. The Tejas achieved initial operational clearance in 2011 and final operational clearance in 2019. The first Tejas squadron became operational in 2016, as No. 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers was the first to have their MiG-21s replaced with the Tejas.
Currently there are three production models of the Tejas - the Mark 1, Mark 1A and a trainer version. The IAF has ordered 32 Mark 1s, 73 Mark 1As and 18 Mark 1 trainer aircraft. Eventually the IAF plans to procure a total of 324 aircraft in all variants, including the Tejas Mark 2 which is currently under development. The Tejas Mark 2 is expected to be ready for series production by 2026.
As of 2022 indigenous content in the Tejas Mark 1 is 59.7% by value and 75.5% by number of line replaceable units. The indigenous content of the Tejas Mk 1A is expected to be 50% and rise to 60% by the end of the programme.
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