Tuesday, September 10, 2019

IAF to get Made in India fighter jets Tejas in service soon

To meet its depleting fighter squadron numbers, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is expected to place an order for additional 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk1A aircraft. This will be in addition to the earlier 40 aircraft order placed with the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). This brings the total order to 123 LCA `Tejas’ indigenous fighters.

According to top officials the approval for the additional 83 was given in 2016 by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and the request for proposal was issued by the IAF in 2017 and the proposal for which was submitted in March 2018 to IAF. The LCA-Mk1A is different than the earlier order of 40 aircraft. The new order will come with homemade advanced avionics and radars.

So far no contract for the additional 83 indigenous fighter planes has been inked due to the price quoted by HAL which was more than the price of the SU-30MKI.

However, according to officials, the pricing will be discussed with the costing committee and a contract will be signed soon. The total cost for the new order of 83 indigenous aircraft is expected to touch Rs 45, 000 crore and this is expected to give a boost to the Make in India initiative as well as create jobs in both the public and private sectors.

So far, HAL has two contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the supply of 20 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Initial Operation Clearance (IOC) configuration and another 20 aircraft in Final Operation Clearance (FOC) configuration.
09/09/19 Huma Siddiqui/Financial Express
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