New Delhi, India – India, worried about Pakistan, Turkey’s strategic alliance, increased its military spending. The approval of the purchase of warplanes came after a backlash from India following claims by Pakistan and Turkey that it would produce nuclear weapons.
India claims the soon-to-be ordered LCA (light combat aircraft) Mk-1A jets would be way ahead of the JF-17 fighter planes operated by the Pakistan Air Force. There is no comparison with the JF-17 jets.
Comparing India’s Tejas with China-Pak JF-17 jets, the LCA Mk-1A will come with additional improvements over the FOC aircraft, making it the most advanced Tejas variant so far. The existing final operational clearance (FOC) variant of the LCA was superior to the JF-17. The LCA Mk-1 jets would be equipped with the indigenous Astra beyond visual range missiles. The JF-17 has been jointly developed by China and Pakistan.
With its advanced weapons and sensors, the LCA Mk-1A jets will have good strike capability. A day after India’s Cabinet Committee on Security, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a ₹48,000-crore ($ 6.56 billion) proposal to buy 83 advanced jets to bolster the IAF’s combat potential.
The CCS approval came 10 months after the ministry gave a green light to the purchase of 83 Mk-1A jets from state-owned plane maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The aircraft to be ordered include 73 Mk-1A fighter jets and 10 LCA Mk-1 trainer aircraft. HAL is expected to deliver the first Mk-1A jet to the IAF three years after the deal is signed, with all the aircraft likely to be delivered by 2028-29. The Mk-1A programme is expected to generate thousands of jobs and will involve the participation of more than 500 Indian companies.
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 FOC configurations.
India clears deal to manufacture LCA Mk1A ‘Tejas’ fighter jets for the air force. India has cleared a deal to manufacture 83 of the home developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA Mk1A) for the air force, in a big boost to the domestic aviation industry, with hundreds of vendors expected to get orders under the Make in India program.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi gave a final go ahead to the project that has been under process, with the first of the potent version of the jets expected to join service by 2024.
The CCS chaired by PM 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.
The LCA fighters will be the backbone of the airforce in coming years and would new job opportunities as primary vendor Hindustan Aeronautics Limited NSE -4.18 % (HAL) will act as a umbrella organisation that will foster the private sector.
The order comes as a major boost for HAL as well, which had been working on securing the order for the past two years. The next steps will be to order the engines, avionics and radars for the fighter jets that are still dependet on foreign sources.
The first fighter to roll out will have well over 50 percent indigenous content, which would increase to over 65 percent till the 83rd jet is manufactured. Efforts are on to come up with an indigenous fighter jet engine – a major foreign dependency component – but the national project is only likely to come into place for the advanced multirole combat aircraft (AMCA).
The fighters will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and will add to the 40 that are already on order, with the first squadron of home grown fighters already in place. The new jets will be significantly more capable that the first batch ordered and will have an enhanced radar, an electronic countermeasures suite and the capability to launch a variety of beyond visual range weapons. The order has given a boost to HAL, whose order book will cross Rs 1 lakh crore once the contract is inked with the air force.
The state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) plans to outsource a significant part of contract to the private sector as it wants to double its annual production capability to meet the requirements of the air force, as well as the upcoming order for 200 more jets.
Significant amount of manufacturing will go to private sector companies like Larsen and Toubro NSE -1.63 %, Dynamatics, VEM Technologies and Alpha Design, with HAL outsourcing of at least 35 percent of the work order.