The Cabinet Committee on Security under the Chairmanship of PM Narendra Modi, finally clears the deal of procuring 83 Tejas MK1A multi role fighter aircrafts from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the cost of 48,000 crore.
Out of 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MK1A, 73 of them will be single seat fighters and 10 MK1 twin seater trainer aircraft.
The 83 fighter aircraft will cost Rs. 45,696 Crore along with Design and Development of Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs.1,202 Crore.
The CCS chaired by PM Sh. @narendramodi today approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth about 48000 Crores to strengthen IAF’s fleet of homegrown fighter jet ‘LCA-Tejas’. This deal will be a game changer for self reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) January 13, 2021
Rajnath Singh in his tweet confirms that the indigenous content of LCA-Tejas is 50% in Mk1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%.
Talking about the production speed Raksha Mantri said, “The HAL has already set-up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nasik and Bengaluru Divisions. Equipped with the augmented infrastructure the HAL will steer LCA-Mk1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF.”
“The LCA-Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem. I thank the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for this historic decision taken by the CCS today,” he added.
Tejas MK1A to bring 43 improvement over Limited Series variant of MK1. It will be fitted with an advance Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an unified Electronic Warfare suit, in-flight refuelling and it will be capable in firing variety of missiles and Guided munitions.
IAF had ordered LCA MK1 in two batches of 20-20 aircraft. HAL had completed the delivery of IOC standard Tejas and the delivery for FOC standard is also started.
The deal for Tejas MK1A was due to sign during Aero India 2020, unfortunately the dates had been pushed to December 2020 and in December 2020 the deal has been further pushed to sign in early 2021.
The bureaucracy of India has played a major role in delaying the contract.
The Defence Acquisition Council already cleared the procurement of 83 Tejas MK1A on 18 March 2020, since then the deal has been pending to get approval from Cabinet Committee on Security.
Getting CCS approval is the last big step before Indian Air Force signs a contract for 83 MK1A from HAL.
HAL will take around 18-24 months to roll first MK1A after placing the order. By 2022 end or in early 2023 the Nashik assembly line of HAL will also complete its full delivery of Sukhoi SU-30MKI for IAF.
That means HAL will be able to manufacture 20-24 MK1A per year and IAF will get its all 83 Tejas MK1A by 2027. After MK1A HAL will also has to manufacture 170 Tejas MK2.
For 170 MK2, HAL will require to further accelerates its production speed as it will take 7-8 years to deliver all 170 MK2 with a speed of 24 aircrafts per year, which means even by 2035 we’re inducting a fourth generation fighter. While the world, by then moved towards fifth generation fighter.