Cabinet Committee approves Rs 48,000 crore deal to buy 83 LCA Tejas fighters

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted to confirm the deal and said that the decision will considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities.

Created On: Jan 14, 2021 16:07 ISTModified On: Jan 14, 2021 16:11 IST
Tejas Fighter Jets

The Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the largest indegenous defence deal worth Rs 48,000 crores on January 13, 2021 to procure 83 LCA Tejas fighters for the Indian Air Force.

Under the deal, 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircraft will be procured at the cost of Rs. 45,696 Crore along with design and development of Infrastructure sanctions at Rs 1,202 Crore. 

The deal is expected to be signed in the next few days with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It will provide a major boost to the Make in India initiative in defence sector.  

Significance

The deal will serve as a game-changer for self-reliance in Indian defence manufacturing. It would strengthen the Indian Air Force's fleet of homegrown fighter jet 'LCA-Tejas' and the overall combat capability of the force.  

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted to confirm the deal and said that the decision will considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities.

Singh tweeted saying that the "LCA-Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted saying that the cabinet decision will improve the capabilities of our armed forces, boost the indigenous defence industry and strengthen the movement to create an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Key Highlights 

The Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant of Tejas has been designed, developed and manufactured indigenously. 

The aircraft is equipped with critical operational capabilities such as Air to Air Refuelling (AAR), Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite and Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile.

The procurement of LCA Tejas fighters is the first category procurement of combat aircraft with at least 50 percent indigenous content, which will progressively reach 60 percent by the end of the programme. 

Roughly 500 Indian companies including MSMEs from the design and manufacturing sectors will be working on this deal with HAL. 

Besides this, the Cabinet Committee also approved infrastructure development under the project by the Indian Air Force to enable them to handle repairs at their base depot to reduce turnaround time for mission-critical systems thus, increasing the availability of aircraft for operational exploitation. This would enable the Indian Air Force to sustain its fleet more efficiently. 

Background 

India has been making continuous advances to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting-edge technologies and systems in the Defence Sector under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.

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