NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet approved procurement of 73 light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircrafts at a cost of Rs 45,696 crore along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 1,202 crore.
LCA Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft. 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 refueling (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 per cent which will progressively reach 60 per cent by the end of the programme.
The cabinet, that met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today, 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. This would enable IAF to sustain the fleet more efficiently and effectively due to availability of repair infrastructure at respective bases.
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 LCA 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.