In a major decision, the government on Wednesday approved the procurement of 83 indigenously-developed light combat aircraft Tejas for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
In a tweet, Singh said the deal will be a “game-changer” for self-reliance in defence manufacturing in India.
“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’,” he said.
The defence minister said Tejas is going to be the backbone of the fighter fleet of the Indian Air Force in years to come.
Around three years back, the IAF had issued an initial tender for procurement of 83 Tejas aircraft, a four-and-half generation combat jet.
“LCA-Tejas incorporates a large number of new technologies many of which were never attempted in India. The indigenous content of LCA-Tejas is 50 percent in Mk1A variant which will be enhanced to 60 percent,’ Singh said.
The defence minister said that aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (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,” he said.
Singh said the Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant, self-sustaining one.
“I thank the Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi for this historic decision taken by the CCS today, ” the defence minister said.