The government on Wednesday formally sealed the ₹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, here, in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Tejas, manufactured by the HAL, is a single engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments. 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. Singh had on Tuesday inaugurated HAL’s second LCA-Tejas production plant here, and said Tejas is not only indigenous, but it is also better than its foreign equivalents on several parameters, besides being comparatively cheaper. According to Madhavan, the delivery of the Tejas LCA to the IAF under the Rs 48,000-crore deal will begin from March 2024 and around 16 aircraft will be rolled out annually till the completion of the total supply of 83 jets.
HAL said the 83 LCA Mk1A aircraft will be produced in two production lines here with over 500 plus production partners across India.