The cabinet committee on security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the “largest indigenous defence procurement deal” to strengthen Indian Air Force’s fleet of homegrown Tejas light combat aircraft, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
“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%” the minister wrote on Twitter.
According to Singh, the deal of 83 LCA Mk-1A jets worth nearly Rs48,000 crore, will be a game changer for self reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing. The jets to be ordered include 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft at the cost of ₹45,696 crore, along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs1,202 crore, the defence ministry said in a statement.
“The LCA-Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem,” Singh tweeted and thanked the Prime Minister for the landmark decision.
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has already set-up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nasik and Bengaluru divisions, the defence minister said, adding, “Equipped with the augmented infrastructure the HAL will steer LCA-Mk1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF.”
LCATejas’s procurement will considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities, Singh wrote on the microblogging site. HAL follows a system integrator model in LCA Mk1A program and acts as an umbrella organisation, fostering manufacturing & design capabilities in pvt. Industry, he added.