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Gamechanger: Cabinet okays Rs 48K-cr deal for 83 Tejas fighter jets

Gamechanger: Cabinet okays Rs 48K-cr deal for 83 Tejas fighter jets
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Gamechanger: Cabinet okays Rs 48K-cr deal for 83 Tejas fighter jets

Highlights

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 83 light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 83 light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The deal, worth Rs 48,000 crore, will be the biggest ever in the indigenous military aviation sector.

The approval by the CCS, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comes 10 months after the Defence Acquisition Council in March 2020 okayed the procurement of 83 more advanced Mark 1A version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

Stating that deal is a game-changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing sector, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the LCA-Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in years to come.

"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% in Mk1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%," Singh said in a statement posted on his Twitter timeline.

The deal for the 83 Mk-1A jets will take the total number of Tejas variants ordered to 123. The 40 LCAs already ordered by the IAF are in the initial operational clearance (IOC) and the more advanced final operational clearance (FOC) configurations.

The Mk-1A variant is expected to come with digital radar warning receivers, external self-protection jammer pods, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, advanced beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles and significantly improved maintainability.

"The LCA 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 AESA radar, BVR missiles, electronic warfare (EW) Suite and air-to-air refuelling and it would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the IAF," the defence ministry said.

"The decision taken today will considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities.

HAL follows a system integrator model in LCA Mk1A program and acts as an umbrella organisation, fostering manufacturing & design capabilities in pvt industry," Singh said in another tweet.

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