The Indian Air Force(IAF) is all set to purchase 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighters worth around ₹45,000 crore from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), according to news agency ANI. The agency report quoted its senior defence sources as saying that the IAF is now expected to place orders for these planes in the next few weeks.
Here’re a few important points about this deal:
1. The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighters have been designed and developed completely by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
2. It would be the first-of-its-kind order for any Indian firm and would give major boost to the indigenous defence industry as more than 65 per cent funds of the ₹45,000 crore order would remain within the country and help in creating jobs in both private and public sectors.
3. The Acceptance of Necessity given by the Defence Ministry over two years ago was ₹50,000 crore but the price determined by the ministry’s cost committee was reduced to around ₹45,000 crore.
4. The first LCA Mark 1A aircraft is likely to be produced by 2023 once the HAL is done with the supply of the initial 40 planes in the Initial Operational Clearance and Final Operational Clearance standards which have already taken part and proven themselves in the IAF operational exercises such as the Exercise Gagan Shakti.
5. LCA Mark 1A is the advanced version of Tejas aircraft. As per the requirements presented by the IAF, the first LCA Mark 1A plane would be supplied in 36 months from the signing of the contract. The new LCA Mark 1A plane will have advanced avionics and radars than the initial 40 LCAs being supplied to the Air Force.
6. The HAL has so far supplied 16 LCAs to the service which has based them at Sulur in Tamil Nadu under 45 Squadron.