Big boost to India’s fighter plane manufacturing ecosystem – Cabinet approves deal worth nearly 47000 crores to procure LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts for the IAF

The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) today approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth nearly 47000 Crores to strengthen IAF’s fleet of homegrown fighter jet LCA Tejas. This deal will be a game changer for self reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing.

The CCS met under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister in New Delhi earlier today and has approved procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1A Trainer aircrafts at the cost of Rs. 45,696 Crore along with Design and Development of Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs.1,202 Crore.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, India is continuously growing in its power to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting edge technologies and systems in the Defence Sector. The manufacturing of Light Combat Aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, HAL will give a further push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenisation of defence production and the defence industry in the country.

About 500 Indian companies including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors will be working with HAL in this procurement. The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atma Nirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted about the deal saying that the LCA Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem.

The decision taken today 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 8c design capabilities in private industry, he wrote on Twitter.

Regarding the readiness of the HAL in manufacturing the fighter jets, he wrote that the HAL has already set-up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nasik and Bengaluru Divisions. Equipped with the augmented infrastructure the HAL will steer LCA Tejas Mk-1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF, he tweeted.

The Cabinet has also approved infrastructure development by IAF under the project to enable them to handle repairs and 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. This would enable IAF to sustain the fleet more efficiently and effectively due to availability of repair infrastructure at respective bases.

Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A

Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed,  developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft.

This version of the aircraft 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) would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force, IAF.

It is the first “Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)” category procurement of combat aircrafts with an indigenous content of 50% which will progressively reach 60% by the end of the programme.

The LCA Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in 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% in Mk1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh after the CCS approval today.

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