The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved the purchase of 83 light combat aircraft Tejas under tension from China and Pakistan along the border. It approved the purchase of 73 light combat aircraft Tejas Mk-1A and 10 Tejas Mk-1 aircraft for the Indian Air Force. It will cost about 48 thousand crore rupees. Tejas is the lightest and smallest of the group of fourth generation supersonic fighter aircraft. Tejas, being light, is able to attack the enemy. The deal, signed in the next few days with HAL, will strengthen the Indian Air Force's indigenous fighter jet light Tejas fleet and combat capability.
Announcing the final approval of the mega deal, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that the CCS headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the purchase of the Indian Air Force's indigenous fighter jet light Tejas. During this period, the largest indigenous defense procurement deal worth about Rs 48000 crore was approved. The deal will be a game-changer for self-sufficiency in Indian defense manufacturing. The deal will help the Indian Air Force. This will help prevent the decline in the number of fighter aircraft squadrons.
The variant of the light combat aircraft Mk-1A is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft. The aircraft, which is equipped with critical operational capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Aircraft (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, Electronic Warfare (EW) suite and Air to Air Refueling (AAR). It will be a powerful platform to cater to the Indian Air Force's operational requirements.
It is the first procurement (Indian indigenously designed, developed and manufactured) category of fighter aircraft with indigenous content of 50 percent, which will progressively reach 60 percent by the end of the program.
The Cabinet has also approved the development of infrastructure by the Air Force under the project to enable repair or servicing at its base depot to reduce turnaround times for mission critical systems and for operational use. Increased availability of aircraft will be encouraged. Due to the availability of repair infrastructure on the respective bases it will be able to maintain the Indian Air Force fleet more efficiently and effectively. The Swadeshi Tejas fighter aircraft was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Independence Day speech last year.
The Tejas is an indigenous fourth generation tailless compound delta wing aircraft. It is a combat aircraft equipped with fly by wire flight control system, integrated digital avionics, multimode radar and its structure is made up of composite materials.
It may be noted that the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) has been deployed by the Indian Air Force close to the Pakistan border on the western border, so that any possible action from there can be closely monitored. It may be noted that the first squadron of the aircraft is of the initial operational clearance version, while the second 18 squadron 'flying bullets' is of the last operational clearance version.