New Delhi: In a big push to “Make in India”, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved the procurement of 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighter jets for the Indian Air Force from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, in the largest-ever indigenous military aviation deal worth around Rs 48,000 crores.
“The CCS today approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth about Rs 48,000 crores to strengthen the IAF’s fleet of home-grown fighter jet LCA-Tejas. This deal will be a game-changer for self-reliance in Indian defence manufacturing,” defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.
The defence minister said Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will be the backbone of the IAF’s fighter fleet in the years to come. “LCA-Tejas incorporates a large number of new technologies, many of which were never attempted in India. The indigenous content of LCA-Tejas is 50 per cent in Mk1A variant, which will be enhanced to 60 per cent,” Mr Singh added.
The Tejas Mk-1A deliveries are expected to begin in three years.
The CCS approved the procurement of 73 Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft at the cost of Rs 45,696 crores, along with the design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 1,202 crores.
The IAF has already bought 40 LCA-Tejas Mk-1 aircraft. The Tejas Mk1A cleared by the Cabinet committee on Wednesday is more advanced than the Mk-1, with around 40 improvements.
The LCA Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern four-plus generation fighter aircraft. It is equipped with critical operational capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite and Air to Air Refuelling (AAR), that will be a potent platform to meet the IAF operational requirements.
The LCA’s manufacture by HAL will give a push to its Atma Nirbhar Bharat initiative and boost the indigenisation of defence production and the country’s defence industry. About 500 Indian companies, including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors, will work with HAL in this procurement.
The programme will act as a catalyst for transforming India’s aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant self-sustaining ecosystem. “HAL has already set up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nashik and Bengaluru divisions. Equipped with augmented infrastructure, HAL will steer LCA-Mk1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF,” Mr Singh said.