UK to support India's Tejas MK2 development

UK support India Tejas MK2
India's Tejas light combat aircraft.

In a virtual meeting on May 4, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a shared vision for the UK-India defence partnership and agreed to advance the relationship to a new level, with a particular focus on maritime and industrial collaboration.

In addition to commitments on the Indo-Pacific, the two countries agreed to build on existing government-to-government collaboration on India’s future combat air engine requirement. As part of a ‘2030 Roadmap’, they agreed to work closely together in support of India’s indigenous development of the Light Combat Aircraft Mark 2. 

India plans to launch the Mark II enhanced version of the Tejas indigenous multi-role fighter jet next year which will boast a much more powerful engine, greater load carrying capability, next-generation electronic warfare system and an array of superior avionics. The first flight tests of the new variant are expected in 2023, while production is expected to start around 2025.

The two ministers also spoke of the potential for further industrial collaboration in areas like maritime propulsion, space and cyber, marking the start of a promising new era of UK-India research, capability and industrial collaboration on Indian combat air and beyond.

This agreement builds upon that signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Rolls Royce to move aspects of the manufacture of the MT30 Gas Turbine engine to India, supporting PM Modi’s Make in India initiative. The MT30 is an engine employed widely in navies around the world and is the basis of the UK’s Integrated Electric Propulsion system that powers the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.

Source: UK Gov

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