Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is currently testing Tejas Mk 1A, an upgraded variant of the country’s domestically manufactured fighter jet.
According to Janes, the manufacturer confirmed that the aircraft began flight testing in April 2022, with the magazine referring to sources within HAL.
The aircraft being tested is an older prototype, upgraded to the Mk 1A standard, the report added.
The Tejas Mk 1A offers improvements on the currently produced Mk 1, with new avionics and upgraded weapons systems, such as the new Indian-made Uttam radar and countermeasures.
In January 2022, Indian press reported that, according to HAL, the Tejas Mk 1A’s maiden flight is expected to take place no earlier than June 2022. However, it appears the testing timeline has been accelerated.
The company also expects to roll out yet another upgraded variant of the aircraft, the Tejas Mk2, by late 2022 or early 2023. The aircraft is expected to feature a new engine and enlarged airframe.
The Tejas Mk1 entered service in 2015 and at least 40 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force, according to the country’s media.