Make-in-India mega deal: 83 Tejas fighters cleared for Air Force

Approving the most important indigenous defence procurement as a part of measures to strengthen the armed forces amid a standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control and tensions with Pakistan over its terror infrastructure, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared Wednesday a deal value practically Rs 48,000 crore for the acquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft for the Indian Air Force.

Designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency beneath the Department of Defence Research and Development, the Tejas Mk-1A multirole mild fighters can be manufactured by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It can be an enchancment over the Mk-1 model. The IAF acquired 40 of the sooner variant in two offers — 20 had been Initial Operational Clearance commonplace plane (16 fighters and 4 trainers) whereas the subsequent 20 had been Final Operational Clearance commonplace plane.

The Tejas Mk-1A order, cleared final March by the Defence Acquisition Council, was accredited by the CCS at a gathering chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in Twitter posts, described it because the “largest indigenous defence procurement deal” and stated it “will be a game changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing”.

He stated “LCA-Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in years to come” and it “incorporates a large number of new technologies, many of which were never attempted in India”. The indigenous content material of the plane, he stated, is 50 per cent and can be enhanced to 60 per cent.

In a press release, the Ministry of Defence stated the CCS accredited procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter plane and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 coach plane at a value of Rs 45,696 crore together with design and growth of infrastructure sanctions value Rs 1,202 crore.

HAL has already arrange second line manufacturing services at its Nasik and Bengaluru divisions, Singh stated, including that “equipped with the augmented infrastructure, the HAL will steer LCA-Mk1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF”.

The resolution, he stated, will “considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities”.

“HAL follows a system integrator model in LCA Mk1A program and acts as an umbrella organisation, fostering manufacturing & design capabilities in pvt. industry,” he stated.

Thanking the Prime Minister for the “historic decision”, Singh stated the “LCA-Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem”.

While the 20 IOC Mk-1 plane fashioned the 45 Squadron at Sulur in Tamil Nadu, the primary FOC plane was handed to the IAF final May, a part of the 18 Squadron, additionally at Sulur.

The 73 Mk-1A variant will type 4 IAF squadrons, together with reserves and extra plane.

The Ministry of Defence stated the Mk-1A variant “is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft” which is supplied with vital elements like an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles, Electronic Warfare (EW) suite and air-to-air refuelling (AAR) functionality.

The LCA, the Ministry stated, “would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force”.

The CCS, it stated, “also approved infrastructure development by IAF under the project to enable them handle repairs or servicing at their base depot so that the turnaround time would get reduced for mission critical systems and would lead to increased availability of aircraft for operational exploitation”.

R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, in a press release, stated the “production rate for this increased requirement by IAF is being augmented by HAL from 8 to 16 aircraft per year through the creation of state-of-the-art new facility in Bengaluru”.

“Tejas would have the highest level indigenisation in comparison to any programme of this scale with progressive indigenisation of critical technologies, thereby making India a technologically self-reliant nation,” he stated.

The LCA can be vital to take care of the fleet energy of IAF fighters. Although the IAF has an authorised squadron energy of 42, it has solely 30 squadrons in the mean time. With the MiG-21 plane to be phased out by 2024, the IAF is constructing its squadron energy.

Apart from the 36 Rafale being flown from France in batches, the IAF has additionally acquired authorities clearance for the acquisition of recent fighter plane, together with 21 MiG-29 and 12 Su-30MKI, and upgradation of the prevailing 59 MIG-29 plane.

This was accredited final July by the Defence Acquisition Council as a part of a Rs 38,900-crore bundle. It had cited “the current situation” – a reference to the standoff with China in Ladakh — and the “need to strengthen” the armed forces “for the defence of our borders”.

Tejas LCA Mk-1A

Will improve IAF squadron energy; improved model of older Mk-1 variant

Active Electronically Scanned Array radar; Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles

Advanced Electronic Warfare suite; air-to-air refuelling functionality

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