Thursday, February 04, 2021

Aero India 2021 Is Marked For Indian Defence Capabilities Amid The Biggest Ever Defence Deal For 83 Tejas LCA Combat Jets With HAL

Aero India 2021 gets as many as 601 exhibitors - 523 Indian and 78 foreign while 14 countries have confirmed participation at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bangalore.

But the highlight is the biggest ever make in India contract inked formally with Defence Public Sector Undertaking HAL today. 

The government on Wednesday formally sealed the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The contract was handed over by Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, V L Kantha Rao to Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R Madhavan, at the inaugural ceremony of Aero India-2021, the country’s premier defence and aerospace show, in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

"I am very happy that HAL has got orders for development of 83 new indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas MK1A from Indian Air Force valued at more than Rs. 48000 Crores, it is probably the biggest 'Make in India' Defence contract till date," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said after the contract was signed.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month approved the deal for procurement of the 73 Tejas Mk-IA variant and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-I trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost IAF’s combat prowess.

R. Madhavan, CMD, HAL set the deadline that deliveries would begin 36 months from the signing of the contract and delivery of all 83 jets would be completed in six years. The IAF would have 83 LCA Mk1 jets by the end of 2030. 

With such large orders, HAL will be tasked  to forge the defence industrial manufacturing base with hundred of private ancillary industries. Though the delivery of past orders of LCA Tejas older version has gone beyond the schedule. Before the final contract, in the last month,  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited's (HAL) announced its  second Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) production line which was inaugurated by defence minister Rajanath Singh in Bengaluru.

03/04/21 Manish Kumar Jha/Business World

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