At the 13th edition of Aero India in Bengaluru, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was awarded the contract to manufacture 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
About 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas:
- This contract is the biggest Make in India defence contract till date.
- The contract includes 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft at a cost of ?45,696 crore along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth ?1,202 crore.
- The deliveries of all 83 aircraft shall be completed in eight years from now.
- Globally India is facing unprecedented levels of ‘uncertainty, volatility and interconnected threats’. In this regard he pitched for greater regional coordination.
- As part of efforts to boost defence exports, HAL displayed an ‘Atmanirbhar formation’ consisting of its platforms — LCA trainer, HTT-40 trainer, Intermediate Jet Trainer, Advanced Hawk Mk-132 and Civil Dornier Do-228.
- The HAL Tejas is an Indian single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) of HAL for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
- It came from the LCA programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
- In 2003, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”.
- Tejas has a tail-less compound delta-wing configuration with a single vertical stabilizer. This provides better high-alpha performance characteristics than conventional wing designs.
- It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system and composite material structures.
- It is the smallest and lightest in its class of contemporary supersonic combat aircraft.
- The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by HAL after the HAL HF-24 Marut.
- Production of the Tejas Mark 1 for the Indian Air Force (IAF) began in 2016, at which time the naval version was undergoing flight tests for Indian Navy (IN).
- The first Tejas IAF unit, No. 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers was formed on 1 July 2016 with two aircraft.
- The indigenous content of the Tejas was 59.7% by value and 75.5% by number of line replaceable units in 2016.
- India has long witnessed unfortunate attempts to employ force to change the status quo along our unresolved border and India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any misadventure and defend people and territorial integrity at all costs. India’s resolve towards this is shown by our growing defence capabilities.
- India plans to spend $130 bn on military modernisation in the next 7-8 years.
- India faced threats and challenges emanating from multiple fronts and it was a victim of state-sponsored terrorism, which was now a global threat.