LCA Tejas Far Better Than Pak-China’s  JF-17 Fighters: IAF Chief

His comments come a day after the CCS approved a deal to procure 83 LCA Tejas fighter jets worth Rs 48,000 crore.

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India
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Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria on Thursday, 14 January, talked about indigenous-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, and how this move is a huge step forward for India’s military aviation ecosystem.

"It is a huge step for IAF capability building. It is also a big boost to our indigenous industry. It is also a big recognition of our designers. It is a huge step for Indian Air Force and for the country," said the IAF chief to ANI.

His comments come a day after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a deal to procure 83 aricrafts worth Rs 48,000 crore.

LCA Tejas Will Set Up Military Aviation Ecosystem

The IAF chief said Tejas is "far better and advanced” than the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 fighter jets, and added that the indigenous fighter jets will be equipped with homegrown weapons, including Astra, beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and more standoff weapons, reported ANI.

"In terms of strike capability, it will have the capability of a standoff weapon which will be even beyond the capability we used that time (Balakot airstrike),” said Bhadauria to ANI when asked whether Tejas is equipped to carry out airstrikes.

The LCA Tejas deal is the largest indigenous defence procurement deal for India so far, allowing the current two-squadron plan of LCA to become a six-squadron plan with “frontline deployment”.

“Order of 83 aircraft is huge. When this kind of order takes shape in the next eight to nine years, the entire ecosystem will get set up. For military aviation, it will be a big step. It will make a big base for fighter aircraft production, maintenance and support,” the IAF Chief told ANI.

Background

Calling it a game changer, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The CCS chaired by PM Narendra Modi today approved the largest indigenous defence procurement deal worth about 48,000 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 procurement has been approved for 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircrafts at the cost of Rs 45,696 crore along with design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 1,202 crore, the government said.

"The Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft," it added.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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