LCA Mk.2 Operational Clearance Not Before 2022

And here's some official detail on timelines on the LCA Tejas Mk.2 fresh from Parliament, confirming Livefist reports on operational clearance nowhere before 2022. Here's Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar's full statement in Parliament today on the LCA Mk.2:

The project for design and development of Light combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas Mk-II was sanctioned in November 2009 at a cost of Rs.2431.55 Crore with Probable Date of Completion (PDC) of December 2018.  However, because of delay in finalisation of Engine Contract, the project could start only in December 2013.  As a result, maiden flight of first Prototype and Operational Clearance are likely to be completed by December 2019 and December 2022, respectively.  There after induction.

Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Bengaluru is the Nodal Agency for design and development of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-II.  ADA has not entered into any collaboration with European Aircraft Manufacturers who had participated in the Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tenders for development of Tejas Mk-II.  However, ADA may like to avail consultancy from some of them.

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-II would be an improved version of LCA Mk-I.  Some of the new systems / technologies, like Active Electrically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, On Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), Upgraded Avionics, etc. are to be included in LCA Tejas Mk-II to make the aircraft more contemporary.  Technologies, systems engineering and experience gained during development of LCA Tejas Mk-II would benefit the development of Fifth Generation Aircraft indigenously.