Tejas Mk2 (Medium Weight Fighter) - News and discussions

ni8mare

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Tejas MK2_Joined.jpg
 

randomradio

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Jigs are more than a metal frame for holding the fuselage and its not coming off a hot production line. The tooling will all have to be custom-manufactured to our specification.

Yeah, but it doesn't take long.

You're talking about assembling an aircraft already in production. I'm talking of manufacturing and putting together the first prototype and getting it ready for flight testing. A process that took SAAB four years.

Saab's 4 years included a design phase. They basically had a simultaneous design and production process. We are already done with that.

Saab starts assembly of first pre-production Gripen E - defenceWeb
Defence and security company Saab has started the assembly of the next-generation Gripen, the Gripen E. First to be constructed is the front fuselage of the first pre-production test aircraft 39-8.

Following a short and intense period of design using the latest tools and methods, through so-called ‘Model Based Design’, the construction of the Gripen E begins with the manufacturing and assembly of all parts of the fuselage; the largest and most time-consuming part of the airframe.

Also, the first prototype was rolled out in May 2016.
Gripen E Multirole Fighter Aircraft - Airforce Technology
The first test aircraft was rolled out in May 2016.
 

Parthu

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Yeah, but it doesn't take long.

Saab's 4 years included a design phase. They basically had a simultaneous design and production process. We are already done with that.

Saab starts assembly of first pre-production Gripen E - defenceWeb
Defence and security company Saab has started the assembly of the next-generation Gripen, the Gripen E. First to be constructed is the front fuselage of the first pre-production test aircraft 39-8.

Following a short and intense period of design using the latest tools and methods, through so-called ‘Model Based Design’, the construction of the Gripen E begins with the manufacturing and assembly of all parts of the fuselage; the largest and most time-consuming part of the airframe.

Nah, Gripen E design was started in 2010 itself, when they say "following a period of design" they mean the design period was already over by then.

Also, don't forget that SAAB had already flown several hundred test flights of the Gripen Demo (which was then dubbed NG) which already incorporated many of the things E would go on to have - like the new F414 engine, new cockpit, new landing gear etc. And this testing happened much prior to beginning of E prototype construction in 2013.

For Mk-2 Tejas, we don't have the luxury of pre-testing F414 or new electronics on a modified Mk-1/Mk-1A owing to severe lack of internal space and flexibility. Which realistically adds at least 1-2 years of testing time for Mk-2 prototypes.

Also, the first prototype was rolled out in May 2016.
Gripen E Multirole Fighter Aircraft - Airforce Technology
The first test aircraft was rolled out in May 2016.

Which is still 3 years. In fact first flight of the prototype was expected in 2016 itself but it was delayed over a year. Similarly, delays are to be very well expected in Mk-2 as well. Over and above a minimum 3-4 year time for getting the first prototype ready for flight.

And even if we assume the deal for jigs goes through this year and even if delivery also happens this year and first flight in ~2023, getting IOC after just 2 years of flight testing as per your schedule is impossible. We couldn't do that even for LUH, eventhough 80% of the stuff on the chopper is the same as on Dhruv Mk.4. Mk-2 Tejas on the other hand will have so many new things to test - new engine, new electronics (including IRST, new cockpit (if we're smart), etc.

Gripen E expects IOC in 2021 (4 years after first flight) for both Brazilian & Swedish AF. Progressing Mk-2 Tejas along same timeframe (which is a stretch considering we don't have the flight test experience of Gripen Demo behind us) puts our IOC in 2027 if we don't assume any delays whatsoever.

And Gripen E FOC is estimated in 2026 - or 2032 in Tejas timeline.
 
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randomradio

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Nah, Gripen E design was started in 2010 itself, when they say "following a period of design" they mean the design period was already over by then.

Also, don't forget that SAAB had already flown several hundred test flights of the Gripen Demo (which was then dubbed NG) which already incorporated many of the things E would go on to have - like the new F414 engine, new cockpit, new landing gear etc. And this testing happened much prior to beginning of E prototype construction in 2013.

The Gripen Demo and Gripen E are entirely different aircraft. And we are doing similar risk reduction development using Mk1.

For Mk-2 Tejas, we don't have the luxury of pre-testing F414 or new electronics on a modified Mk-1/Mk-1A owing to severe lack of internal space and flexibility. Which realistically adds at least 1-2 years of testing time for Mk-2 prototypes.

Actually we do. While we can't pre-test F414, we have no need to, with the exception of canards, our airframe may not be as radically different as the Gripen E's. But when it comes to avionics, all the Mk2 avionics are being tested on Mk1 prototypes already. Anyway, CEMILAC has already certified the LCA's engine.

Which is still 3 years. In fact first flight of the prototype was expected in 2016 itself but it was delayed over a year. Similarly, delays are to be very well expected in Mk-2 as well. Over and above a minimum 3-4 year time for getting the first prototype ready for flight.

Sure. That's why you can push IOC date to 2027, it's a reasonable extension.

And even if we assume the deal for jigs goes through this year and even if delivery also happens this year and first flight in ~2023, getting IOC after just 2 years of flight testing as per your schedule is impossible. We couldn't do that even for LUH, eventhough 80% of the stuff on the chopper is the same as on Dhruv Mk.4. Mk-2 Tejas on the other hand will have so many new things to test - new engine, new electronics (including IRST, new cockpit (if we're smart), etc.

LCH is a radically different airframe. Everything about it is different compared to Dhruv. The Mk2 is significantly less radical than the Mk1.

Gripen E expects IOC in 2021 (4 years after first flight) for both Brazilian & Swedish AF. Progressing Mk-2 Tejas along same timeframe (which is a stretch considering we don't have the flight test experience of Gripen Demo behind us) puts our IOC in 2027 if we don't assume any delays whatsoever.

And Gripen E FOC is estimated in 2026 - or 2032 in Tejas timeline.

You are considering all the wrong dates. What Saab is doing is making a common platform for all called MS-21, which will be ready this year, and then they will MKIze it to the demands of their respective customers.

We had the same plans for FGFA, where we will make a common export platform for all export customers and then we will take 3 years to MKIze it to Indian specifications. Similarly the MKIzed Rafale will become available only from 2023 onwards. Exactly like our Rafales, Brazil will start taking deliveries of Gripen E from this year, and then they will get the MKIzed version in 2021, which will be their IOC, but this IOC is not the same as what we have considered IOC for the LCA Mk1 program. Their IOC will be fully combat capable, whereas their FOC is mostly a software upgrade. Sweden AF will also take deliveries this year.

The Gripen E's IOC may be 2021 for Brazil, but the common platform will be ready this year. And in our case, we are not making a common platform, we are MKIzing the LCA Mk2 from the start, which is why our development time is shorter overall. To get to this common platform, Saab's plan was to do it in 1.5 years after first flight. Not to mention, Mk2 will likely have more prototypes than Saab.
 

Parthu

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The Gripen Demo and Gripen E are entirely different aircraft. And we are doing similar risk reduction development using Mk1.

Actually we do. While we can't pre-test F414, we have no need to, with the exception of canards, our airframe may not be as radically different as the Gripen E's. But when it comes to avionics, all the Mk2 avionics are being tested on Mk1 prototypes already. Anyway, CEMILAC has already certified the LCA's engine.

The kind of change Gripen E experienced will also be more or less relevant on the Tejas Mk-2. Addition of canards is a big thing, and entire airframe is stretched, internal weight is greatly redistributed etc. Mk-2 is not a simple Block upgrade to Mk-1. In fact differences between Mk-1/1A and Mk-2 will be greater than differences between Gripen D and E as far as structure goes.

As of avionics, there is no guarantee that Mk-2 will use the same Israeli 2052 and EW suite that Mk-1A uses. There will be a new RFI/RFP/RFQ process and for what we know, Mk-2 could just as well end up with a totally different manufacturer and product for FCR and EW suite than Mk-1A.

( at least until Uttam and indigenous EW suite can be ready )

Not to mention we have to test entirely new pieces of avionics which don't exist on Mk-1A like IRST.

Sure. That's why you can push IOC date to 2027, it's a reasonable extension.

You were expecting it 2 years earlier in the other thread.

To be frank both dates are optimistic estimates that simply refuse to foresee delays. One is just less optimistic than the other is all.

LCH is a radically different airframe. Everything about it is different compared to Dhruv. The Mk2 is significantly less radical than the Mk1.

I said LUH - the single engine utility chopper. First flight in Sep 2016, been over 2 years and still no IOC.

You are considering all the wrong dates. What Saab is doing is making a common platform for all called MS-21, which will be ready this year, and then they will MKIze it to the demands of their respective customers.

We had the same plans for FGFA, where we will make a common export platform for all export customers and then we will take 3 years to MKIze it to Indian specifications. Similarly the MKIzed Rafale will become available only from 2023 onwards. Exactly like our Rafales, Brazil will start taking deliveries of Gripen E from this year, and then they will get the MKIzed version in 2021, which will be their IOC, but this IOC is not the same as what we have considered IOC for the LCA Mk1 program. Their IOC will be fully combat capable, whereas their FOC is mostly a software upgrade. Sweden AF will also take deliveries this year.

The Gripen E's IOC may be 2021 for Brazil, but the common platform will be ready this year. And in our case, we are not making a common platform, we are MKIzing the LCA Mk2 from the start, which is why our development time is shorter overall. To get to this common platform, Saab's plan was to do it in 1.5 years after first flight. Not to mention, Mk2 will likely have more prototypes than Saab.

When you consider all the systems & weapons integration we have to do without having a pre-planned indutsry-led design effort (we have no clue who will provide the radar, who will provide the EW suite, who will provide IRST etc., everything is left to tendering process to decide), we will end up with a very similar timeframe for development.

In fact, it would be fair to estimate Mk-2 as having to take 2 years more for everything than Gripen E, with all other things being equal. Simply owing to the work efficiency of HAL and other DPSUs as opposed to SAAB and Leonardo.


The air inlets seem a lot more slanted than the Mk-1's? Aerodynamic improvements are to be expected, so no surprise though -

17012_lca_tejas_topgunchenar.jpg

Tejas MK2_Joined.jpg
 
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Sathya

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If its going to take a decade , we better modify more extensive ly , wider wing , more hard points , CFT , advanced cockpit etc.

I wouldn't want to make better Mk1A in 2030s when whole world have gone to stealth .

I can't imagine what chinese would be doing then.

Plans for us in next decade will be ..

1. Upgradation of Su30 mki
2. Continue upgradation of Mig29, Mirages & Jag
3. Building tejas mk1 & Mk1A
4. additional Rafale s

Is this enough for the threats .
Is this enough to replace the retiring squads.

Atleast 1 big order is required to keep the numbers .
And 1 stealth aircraft also required .
To have the minimum deterrence.

What budget will we have in the coming decade to achieve all these ?

I hope it's isn't like Ak 103 / igla S..
 
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randomradio

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The kind of change Gripen E experienced will also be more or less relevant on the Tejas Mk-2. Addition of canards is a big thing, and entire airframe is stretched, internal weight is greatly redistributed etc. Mk-2 is not a simple Block upgrade to Mk-1. In fact differences between Mk-1/1A and Mk-2 will be greater than differences between Gripen D and E as far as structure goes.

Weirdly enough, the Mk2 is the same as Mk1 but with canards and stabs and changes to the fuselage and landing gear. Obviously can't be compared to how many changes the E has seen compared to the D.

As of avionics, there is no guarantee that Mk-2 will use the same Israeli 2052 and EW suite that Mk-1A uses. There will be a new RFI/RFP/RFQ process and for what we know, Mk-2 could just as well end up with a totally different manufacturer and product for FCR and EW suite than Mk-1A.

Mk2 will use Uttam and UEWS. Uttam is being tested on LSP-2 and UEWS on PV-1. There won't be an international tender like in the case of Mk1A.

The UEWS has been flight tested since 2015. And Uttam will begin flight testing this year and will become production ready in 3 years, in time for Mk2's first flight.

Not to mention we have to test entirely new pieces of avionics which don't exist on Mk-1A like IRST.

IRST will be developed for MKI first. So when Mk2 gets IRST, it will be based on a finished product.

DAC approves development of IRST for Su–30MKI
According to the press statement issued by the Ministry, the approval was "for undertaking Design and Development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for Su-30 MKI aircraft under 'Make II' sub category and subsequently, for procurement of at least 100 IRSTs under 'Buy (Indian-IDDM) category."

Unlike Gripen E, Mk2 is being supported by a lot of other existing programs. Even Mig-29 upgrade program has benefited LCA.

You were expecting it 2 years earlier in the other thread.

What? No. I've always said that ADA said they need 3 years to flight test the Mk2 and we need to add 2 more years over their schedule to cater for delays. How will I personally reduce ADA's fixed schedule? One can only increase it.

I said LUH - the single engine utility chopper. First flight in Sep 2016, been over 2 years and still no IOC.

My bad there. LUH is single engine, so even this comes with its own set of problems. Plus, I think they had to wait for a year to finish high altitude tests 'cause they ended up finishing development just after winter ended last year. With cold trials done, they can release the 3rd prototype and get the full certification.

When you consider all the systems & weapons integration we have to do without having a pre-planned indutsry-led design effort (we have no clue who will provide the radar, who will provide the EW suite, who will provide IRST etc., everything is left to tendering process to decide), we will end up with a very similar timeframe for development.

It's already been decided who's gonna deliver what. The design has already been frozen after all.
 

Parthu

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Weirdly enough, the Mk2 is the same as Mk1 but with canards and stabs and changes to the fuselage and landing gear.

Which altogether are a pretty huge difference.

Obviously can't be compared to how many changes the E has seen compared to the D.

Which are?

Mk2 will use Uttam and UEWS. Uttam is being tested on LSP-2 and UEWS on PV-1. There won't be an international tender like in the case of Mk1A.

Well to be honest even the Mk-1 was supposed to have an indigenous radar originally. IMO, it's very likely even Mk-2 will have to procure at least an interim batch of foreign FCR.

IRST will be developed for MKI first. So when Mk2 gets IRST, it will be based on a finished product.

DAC approves development of IRST for Su–30MKI
According to the press statement issued by the Ministry, the approval was "for undertaking Design and Development of the Long Range Dual Band Infrared Imaging Search and Track System (IRST) for Su-30 MKI aircraft under 'Make II' sub category and subsequently, for procurement of at least 100 IRSTs under 'Buy (Indian-IDDM) category."

I still wonder if this report isn't gross misreportation. The products on offer are unlikely to be anything but licensed European/Russian IRSTs manufactured in India by an Indian private/public company with 40% locally-made content.

Even then, this isn't a G2G deal or single-vendor situation. The products from the various competing Indian companies (and their tie-up partners) will have to be compared and commercial bidding has to take place.

The particular product is not finalized for either MKI, and for sure there is zero scope that the same product from the same company will find use on Mk-2 as well. For the Mk-2 there will be a separate competition.

If one is asking an Indian company to initiate an R&D program to develop indigenous IRST today, then it will take 10 years to come up with a finished product.

What? No. I've always said that ADA said they need 3 years to flight test the Mk2 and we need to add 2 more years over their schedule to cater for delays. How will I personally reduce ADA's fixed schedule? One can only increase it.

What you said was to the tune of Mk-2 receiving IOC at same time as FCAS TD flies - 2025.

My bad there. LUH is single engine, so even this comes with its own set of problems. Plus, I think they had to wait for a year to finish high altitude tests 'cause they ended up finishing development just after winter ended last year. With cold trials done, they can release the 3rd prototype and get the full certification.

The takeaway in each case is always that each aircraft is it's own product and the testing of X equipment on some other plane at some other time will shorten the testing process on this plane is often a misplaced belief, as each plane comes with its own integration challenges.

It's already been decided who's gonna deliver what. The design has already been frozen after all.

Nah, we only now decided what parts Mk-1A will have. Assuming all the parts on Mk-2 will be indigenous (and by extension already been decided) is premature. Making the same mistake we always make.
 

Sathya

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Fuselage width increased from 750 mm mk1 to 1100 mm in Mk2 .

Source Dileep at BR

With gun moving away, and increased width How many hard points possible in fuselage ?
 
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vstol Jockey

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Fuselage width increased from 750 mm mk1 to 1100 mm in Mk2 .

Source Dileep at BR

With gun moving away, and increased width How many hard points possible in fuselage ?
How can an aircraft have 75cms fuselage for an engine that itself has a fan diameter of 79cms? Fuselage width of LCA Mk1 is 1.9m at intakes and its tube structure or the main fuselage is 1.3m. Mig-21 had a tube of 1.15m.
 

Sathya

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How can an aircraft have 75cms fuselage for an engine that itself has a fan diameter of 79cms? Fuselage width of LCA Mk1 is 1.9m at intakes and its tube structure or the main fuselage is 1.3m. Mig-21 had a tube of 1.15m.

My mistake , probably i didn't understand what he meant.
He posted about nice cockpit view, but mentioned fuselage width.
 

randomradio

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Which are?

Landing gear and fuselage.

Well to be honest even the Mk-1 was supposed to have an indigenous radar originally. IMO, it's very likely even Mk-2 will have to procure at least an interim batch of foreign FCR.

Mk1 has an indigenous radar.

I still wonder if this report isn't gross misreportation. The products on offer are unlikely to be anything but licensed European/Russian IRSTs manufactured in India by an Indian private/public company with 40% locally-made content.

It's likely Israeli. So an Indian company tying up with an Israeli company. Licensing comes under Buy and Make, not Make and IDDM.

What you said was to the tune of Mk-2 receiving IOC at same time as FCAS TD flies - 2025.

Pretty much. Even the FCAS can be delayed. Now even Spain wants to join in. ;)

Mk2 has obviously progressed to a place where any delays will be largely on technical screw-ups rather than bureaucratic hurdles.

The takeaway in each case is always that each aircraft is it's own product and the testing of X equipment on some other plane at some other time will shorten the testing process on this plane is often a misplaced belief, as each plane comes with its own integration challenges.

Sure. But the radar itself can be production ready. Unlike Mk1, where development of radar and avionics happened side by side the flight testing of Mk1. Once the radar itself is certified, the flight testing on a new aircraft will take less than a year.

Nah, we only now decided what parts Mk-1A will have. Assuming all the parts on Mk-2 will be indigenous (and by extension already been decided) is premature. Making the same mistake we always make.

Whatchu talkin' 'bout? Design is frozen after you decide what all will go into it. So Mk2's radar, EW suite etc have all been finalised already. Once everything is decided, then you produce the prototype and flight test it.

LCA Mk1 was a TD program for most of its flight testing. It became a fighter program only after 2008.

So it's the exact opposite of the "same mistake we always make".
 

Parthu

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Landing gear and fuselage.

Mk-2 will undergo considerable changes to both as well, especially internally. In fact I won't be surprised if Mk-2 has to adopt NLCA's landing gear.

Mk1 has an indigenous radar.

Was meant to have one with no 2032 elements.

Sure. But the radar itself can be production ready. Unlike Mk1, where development of radar and avionics happened side by side the flight testing of Mk1. Once the radar itself is certified, the flight testing on a new aircraft will take less than a year.

Whatchu talkin' 'bout? Design is frozen after you decide what all will go into it. So Mk2's radar, EW suite etc have all been finalised already. Once everything is decided, then you produce the prototype and flight test it.

LCA Mk1 was a TD program for most of its flight testing. It became a fighter program only after 2008.

So it's the exact opposite of the "same mistake we always make".

Between now and the time Mk-2 prototype is ready for flight, a lot will change. And between the commencing of flight tests and IOC, a lot more could change. Mk-1 components are still changing today. Radome & Canopy for example.

The designs of airframe is frozen does not mean the LRUs are decided upon. As far as LRUs such as radar, EW suite, MAWS, etc. go, no one has said anything about anything being chosen. We can ofcourse assume that it will be this and this but the developers themselves haven't really chosen anything.

The 'choosing' can only happen in a competitive tender process (if procuring foreign), or after the product is tested and found to be adequate (if domestic).

The Uttam has only begun testing on aircraft last year, until this goes on to meet IAF's requirements in a post-2025 scenario, we can't say this will be the radar for Mk-2. Same goes for EW suite and everything else.
 

randomradio

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Mk-2 will undergo considerable changes to both as well, especially internally. In fact I won't be surprised if Mk-2 has to adopt NLCA's landing gear.

Obviously not. Carrier landing gears are entirely different.

Mk2 will undergo significant change compared to Mk1. But it's not as radical as Gripen D to E.

Was meant to have one with no 2032 elements.

The radar is indigenous, the radar processor is Israeli.

Between now and the time Mk-2 prototype is ready for flight, a lot will change. And between the commencing of flight tests and IOC, a lot more could change. Mk-1 components are still changing today. Radome & Canopy for example.

Such minor changes don't cause delays.

What they have for Mk2 now is what the IAF will operate after 2025, including Uttam and UEWS.

The designs of airframe is frozen does not mean the LRUs are decided upon. As far as LRUs such as radar, EW suite, MAWS, etc. go, no one has said anything about anything being chosen. We can ofcourse assume that it will be this and this but the developers themselves haven't really chosen anything.

All LRUs, all avionics will have to be decided before a design is frozen. Cockpit, radar, EW suite, weapons, engine, everything is finalised in the Detailed Design Phase and only then will prototype construction begin in the Engineering Phase.

Adding or removing something after development begins is almost never done and typically requires a brand new process, like Mk1A or the Mk1's LSP. This requires a whole new design phase again.

The Uttam has only begun testing on aircraft last year, until this goes on to meet IAF's requirements in a post-2025 scenario, we can't say this will be the radar for Mk-2. Same goes for EW suite and everything else.

Uttam and UEWS are meant for Mk2. The IAF has already accepted both.
 

Parthu

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Obviously not. Carrier landing gears are entirely different.

The increased weight will demand stronger gear. And as such stronger gear was already researched & developed for NLCA, it's design cues will find use in Mk-2 as well.

Mk2 will undergo significant change compared to Mk1. But it's not as radical as Gripen D to E.

Gripen E doesn't really have any radical change compared to C, the margins are within the level of difference between Mk-1 and Mk-2 LCA. In fact Mk-2 gets a set of entirely new control surfaces which are going to effect the full envelope of aerodynamics.

67obo7.jpg


The radar is indigenous, the radar processor is Israeli.

There wasn't meant to be any Israeli involvement whatsoever.

Such minor changes don't cause delays.

What they have for Mk2 now is what the IAF will operate after 2025, including Uttam and UEWS.

All LRUs, all avionics will have to be decided before a design is frozen. Cockpit, radar, EW suite, weapons, engine, everything is finalised in the Detailed Design Phase and only then will prototype construction begin in the Engineering Phase.

Not really how we work. Certain limitations on what kinds of LRUs we can adopt will be laid down in the design phase. The LRUs can always change and the design phase (of a modern plane) will have to happen keeping in mind that the LRUs could be from any manufacturer, and of no fixed dimensions or weight stats (within an upper & lower limit).

Mk-1 design was frozen a long long time ago and we are choosing LRUs for Mk-1A now. We must have implemented a whole bunch of new LRUs into the design (even baseline Mk-1) after "design freeze". Like the IFR probe for instance.

The design phase only lays down the design for the airframe, which sets an upper & lower limit to the flexibility of the design. LRUs are always subject to change. In fact they HAVE to be subject to change - that's what makes the plane easily upgradable or reduce maintenance downtime in future during operation.

Adding or removing something after development begins is almost never done and typically requires a brand new process, like Mk1A or the Mk1's LSP. This requires a whole new design phase again.

Oh it is done all the time. And be prepared for a lot of that in Mk-2 program as well.

For sure you don't expect IAF to be satisfied with the equipment they specified for Mk-2 in 2010s even in a post-2027 scenario which is when the Mk-2 will attain IOC, do you?

And furthermore, what happens if the Uttam is found to be inadequate in testing and that DRDO needs, say, 4 more years to get it to work right? In such a situation, we will have to buy an interim batch of FCRs, and Mk-2 will have to integrated with them. That is a very feasible LRU change right there. Developing a good AESA-MMR is not easy.

Uttam and UEWS are meant for Mk2. The IAF has already accepted both.

Uttam was meant for AMCA (and Mk-1 when IAF said they wanted AESA radar on the Mk-1 airframe itsel...this standard now called Mk-1A). It's only because there was no way it could be ready in time that we went for foreign FCR for Mk-1A (and also for DARIN-3 Jaguar, which Uttam also had in mind).

IAF hasn't accepted anything. There is no production order on the Uttam. It will be accepted only when it proves to be adequate following flight testing, which will take many more years. If not found adequate, Uttam will be thrown out of the window like Kaveri.
 
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