The government on Wednesday formally sealed the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). This is the ‘biggest Make In India defence contract’ till date. The contract was handed over to HAL in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Aero India show in Bengaluru.
“This is the largest ever Defence contract for indigenous manufacture till date. This significant step provides great impetus to indigenous fighter aircraft capable of the nation. A stellar display of Tejas platform was made today in Aero India 2021 in the presence of a large number of international and national participants.”
The manufacturing of Light Combat Aircraft by HAL will give a further push to Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenization 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. Some of these companies have displayed their systems at Aero India 2021.
The deliveries of all 83 aircraft shall be completed in 8 years from now. HAL will be delivering the first 3 aircraft in the 3rd year and 16 aircraft per year for subsequent 5 years.
Stating India’s plans to spend ‘USD 130 billion on military modernisation in the next seven to eight years’, Rajnath Singh said the sector has also been opened for foreign sector participation.
“The Government of India has enhanced FDI in defence by up to 74 per cent through the automatic route and 100 per cent through the government route,” he added.
On 2 February Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second production facility (Plant II) to augment the production capacity and ensure timely supply of aircraft to IAF. The induction of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk-1A in the Indian Air Force will enhance operational capabilities and improve the aircraft strength.
Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state of the art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft. This 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 Refuelling (AAR) would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force. It is the first “Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured)” category procurement of combat aircraft with an indigenous content of 50% which will progressively reach 60% by the end of the programme and about 250 out of 344 systems fitted in the aircraft will be indigenous.
The Cabinet Committee on Security under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Modi had approved procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircraft at a cost of Rs 45,696 crores along with Design & Development and Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 1,202 Crores on 13 January 2021.
Responding to PM Modi’s clarion call for Aatmanirbhar 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. Today, the nation is self-reliant in most of the Military Fighter Aircraft Contemporary technologies and this has been possible largely due to Tejas Programme. The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Aatmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem.