Tejas Mk1A Readies for Launch: First Look of LA-5033 Unveiled

Tejas Mk1A Readies for Launch: First Look of LA-5033 Unveiled

The Indian Air Force's (IAF) quest for a potent, domestically-built fighter jet comes closer to fruition with the unveiling of LA-5033 – the first production-standard Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk1A.

This advanced variant represents a significant upgrade over the earlier Tejas Mk1 and signifies the growing maturity of India's aerospace industry.

Milestone Moment​

LA-5033, sporting a distinctive yellow primer, rolled out of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) production facility in Bengaluru.

It marks a pivotal moment in the ₹48,000 crore ($6 billion) deal inked between HAL and the IAF in 2021 for 73 Tejas Mk1A fighters, along with an additional 10 LCA Tejas Mk1 trainers.

After recently completing successful low-speed taxi trials, LA-5033 is poised to advance to high-speed taxi tests, paving the way for its imminent maiden flight.

Technological Leap: The Digital Fly-By-Wire Flight Control Computer​

A critical technological leap embodied in the Tejas Mk1A is the integration of a high-powered Digital Fly-By-Wire Flight Control Computer (DFCC).

Replacing traditional mechanical and hydromechanical controls, the DFCC uses software and onboard computers to fly the aircraft. This translates into increased maneuverability and handling qualities, vital in the dynamic realm of aerial combat.

While a minor delay occurred in LA-5033's initial flight schedule due to software validation of the DFCC, the system was successfully flight-tested on the Mk1A prototype (LSP7) on February 19, 2024. This clears a major hurdle for the program.

Why the Tejas Mk1A Matters​

  • Enhanced Capabilities: The Mk1A boasts upgrades like an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and the ability to carry a wider range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.
  • Boost to IAF: The Tejas Mk1A bolsters the IAF's dwindling combat squadrons, crucial amidst rising regional tensions.
  • Make in India: The LCA program spearheads India's self-reliance ambitions in defense manufacturing, reducing dependence on foreign suppliers.

The Road Ahead​

The unveiling of LA-5033 places the Tejas Mk1A program firmly on track. Following its maiden flight and subsequent test campaign, HAL aims to ramp up production to deliver 16 Tejas fighters per year.

However, challenges remain – integrating new weapons, ensuring timely deliveries, and further developing the indigenous aerospace ecosystem are crucial for the long-term success of India's ambitious fighter jet project.
Hope IAfF is happy and not ask for any more changes so that actual production starts soon.
Hope IAfF is happy and not ask for any more changes so that actual production starts soon.
Bhai IAF me to changes ke liye bola bhi nahi. Faltu ka bad am kar rahe ho. HAL couldn’t even deliver what they agreed for. It was supposed to be delivered right now and here we are with first looks and all almost 2 months beyond the delivery date (of 3 planes).

And who can forget mk2. IAF simply had asked for a stretched fuselage with a bigger engine but ADA changed it into an employment guarantee scheme for generations.
Is March 31st for handing over to IAF is eagerly awaited.
Not in the next few months at least. The trainer was inducted some 5-6 months after the first flight. Here even first flight hasn’t happened.
let us hope Aksat is wrong this time too
Well I was proven right when I said Mk1a will be delayed, wasn’t I? Or when I said Army will go for Eafale M. Or when I said Rustom will not be inducted in the current state. The list of me being right is long buddy.
What's with the insane introduction of a sudden, abrupt upgrade? That right there is the problem. All upgrades should be introduced in a phased systematic manner. HAL ought to have prepared a comprehensive upgrade roadmap with block upgrades. An upgrade as significant as a flight control computer ought to have been introduced down the pipeline in one of the block upgrades. Suddenly proposing to introduce an upgrade at a late stage if the production cycle, indicates they were miserably running behind schedule as always and came up with last minute upgrade as a means to create an alibi for their subsequent failure to deliver aircraft on time as per contract.
I hope that DRDO & HAL are able to change the location of Gun in Tejas-Mk1A to allow another free Hard-point that can be used to mount additional sensors to boost the abilities of the combat Aircraft.
That much delay is permitted. After that no more without penality.
Why is any delay at all permitted? They were supposed to deliver 3 by 3 Feb 2024. Now they are saying we will deliver 2 in the entire year. This is criminal breach of contract.
Well they said they will deliver 2 jets by march so hopefully they can ramp up the production as quick as possible so we can get more trainers made and fighters to increase our squadron strengths.

The government should give private companies a license to manufacture a number of jets by using their existing facilities like TATA, Mahindra or other private companies who can build it quicker and cheaper. This will also create and develop a new eco system in designing, developing and manufacturing civil and military planes along with the advanced technology and machinery that's required.
when are these jets flying and being delivered...we need them soon...how will HAL deliver 180 Mk-1s by 2030???, before mass producing Mk-2s.
Bharat's military-industrial complex needs deep transformation and change of culture, if we aspire to become atmanirbhar.

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