Indian Cabinet Approves Procurement of 83 HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft

India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the procurement of 83 HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The approval was accorded during a meeting of CCS that took place under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan. 13.

The approval is for 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft at the cost of Rs. 45,696 crores (~USD6.25 billion) along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs. 1,202 crores (~USD164 million).

This is the first combat aircraft procurement under the new Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}“ category with an indigenous content of 50% which will progressively reach 60% by the end of the programme.

The Cabinet has also approved infrastructure development by IAF under the project to enable them handle repairs or servicing at their base depot so that the turnaround time would get reduced for mission critical systems and would lead to increased availability of aircraft for operational exploitation. This would enable IAF to sustain the fleet more efficiently and effectively due to availability of repair infrastructure at respective bases.

HAL Tejas is an Indian indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation multirole light fighter aircraft. The aircraft is designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Tejas is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft. It was developed under the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s aging Soviet MiG-21 fighter jets. In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.

LCA Tejas is powered by a single General Electric F404–GE-IN20 turbofan engine . The aircraft has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single dorsal fin which provides better high-alpha performance characteristics than conventional wing designs. The jet integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system, integrated digital avionics system and composite material structures.

The LCA Tejas Mk1A variant is equipped with critical operational capabilities such as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles, Electronic Warfare (EW) suite and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) capability.

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