HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) has formally received the contract for the manufacturing of 83 Tejas MK1A multi role fighter aircrafts for Indian Air Force at the cost of 48,000 crore ($6.5 billion).
Raksha Mantri confirms that the deal has been signed for Tejas MK1A through his twitter handle. He said, “I am very happy that HAL has got the orders for development of 83 new indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) – Tejas MK1A from Indian Air Force valued at more than Rs. 48000 Crore, it is probably the biggest “Make in India” Defence contract till date”.
The contract for 83 LCA MK1A was formally handed over by MoD to HAL during our today’s inaugural function of Aero India 2021. LCA Tejas model was handed over by RM to CMD.@drajaykumar_ias @DefProdnIndia @PTI_News @ANI @SpokespersonMoD @TOIIndiaNews @gopalsutar @AeroIndiashow pic.twitter.com/xvg7uoSNKC
— HAL (@HALHQBLR) February 3, 2021
The deal was signed on the first day of Aero India 2021.
Out of 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) MK1A, 73 of them will be single seat fighters and 10 of MK1 standard 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 indigenous content of LCA-Tejas is 50% in Mk1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%.
Tejas MK1A to bring 43 improvement over the Limited Series variant of MK1. It will come with an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an unified Electronic Warfare suit, in-flight refuelling and it will be capable of firing a variety of missiles and Guided munitions.
IAF had previously ordered LCA MK1 in two batches of 20-20 aircraft. HAL has completed the delivery of IOC standard Tejas and the delivery for FOC standard is also started.
The deal for Tejas MK1A was due to be signed during Aero India 2020, unfortunately the dates had been pushed to December 2020 and in December 2020.
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.
The Cabinet Committee on Security approved the deal for 83 Tejas MK1A on 13 January 2020.
HAL will take around 36 months to deliver the first MK1A, that is the first unit will be delivered by February 2024. All 73 units will be delivered by 2028-29 at the rate of 16 jets per year.
The remaining 10 trainer jets of MK1 standard will be delivered before February 2024.
For 170 Tejas MK2, HAL will be required to further accelerate 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 fighters.