NEW DELHI, April 15 (UPI) — A Saab team is reportedly traveling to India next week to continue talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the upgrade of locally produced Tejas fighters.
Tejas is a light combat multi-role jet fighter being manufactured by HAL and will replace the country’s MiG aircraft. The fourth of 120 Tejas planes on order is scheduled to be delivered to the Indian Air Force in June, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.
“India needs about 300 aircraft of the Light Combat Aircraft type,” the news agency quoted a defense source. “Saab’s Gripen is a good fighter jet and hence exploratory talks are on to see if they can be a technical collaborator for the upgraded Tejas.”
The Indian Defense Ministry has set 2018 as a deadline for making the first upgraded Tejas.
The upgrading of Tejas fighters would involve more than 40 modifications. Among them would be the addition of Active Electrically Scanned Array Radar and a Unified Electronic Warfare Suite. The upgraded aircraft would also feature midair refueling capability and the use of long-range missiles.