Govt Approves Procurement of 83 Tejas Aircraft at Rs 48,000 Crore
“This deal will be a game changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing,” Rajnath Singh said.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday, 13 January, approved the procurement of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) at a cost of about Rs 48,000 crore.
The procurement has been approved for 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircraft and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft at the cost of Rs 45,696 crore along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 1,202 crore, the government said.
"Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft," it added.
Reacting to the news, DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy said it was a ‘great day for the Indian aeronautical scientific community and industry’.
“Getting approval for the order of the largest quantity of aircraft ever is a big achievement and is the culmination of hard work of three decades. It paves way for the development of various advanced aircraft systems in the country. I want to thank the prime minister for giving the approval to this important project,” he told ANI.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called it a game changer, “The CCS chaired by PM Narendra Modi today approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth about 48000 crore to strengthen IAF's (Indian Air Force's) fleet of homegrown fighter jet 'LCA-Tejas'. This deal will be a game changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing.”
The Tejas aircraft is going to be the "backbone of the IAF fighter fleet" in the years to come, Singh said, adding that the programme would act as a "catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem."
In a statement issued Wednesday evening the government said the 73 Tejas LCA fighter aircraft would become "a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force".
"It is the first 'BUY (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)' category procurement of combat aircraft (with an indigenous content of 50 per cent that will reach 60 per cent by the end of the programme)," the government statement said.
Boost to Centre’s ‘Make In India’ Initiative
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that the LCA order is a boost for the Centre’s Make In India initiative. “Our ultimate objective is to engage in and win future conflicts with home-made solutions,” quoted ANI.
He added, “Our focus will remain on indigenisation and efforts to progressively support Atmanirbhar Bharat is our mission. We hope to see our Air Force touch the sky with glory with aircraft that has major components including engines that are Made In India”.
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