India's HAL Set to Manufacture 97 Tejas Mark 1A Fighter Jets

This is India's largest-ever order for homegrown military equipment.
  • bureau
  • 09:49 AM, April 12, 2024
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India's HAL Set to Manufacture 97 Tejas Mark 1A Fighter Jets
Tejas Mk1A fighter @HAL

The Indian Defence Ministry has released a tender to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the acquisition of 97 indigenous LCA Mark 1A fighter jets valued at over INR 65,000 crore ($780 million).

This was first reported by ANI News Agency on Friday.

This represents the largest order for homegrown military equipment ever placed by the Indian government.

The Defence Ministry issued the tender to HAL recently, granting them a three-month window to respond. According to government officials speaking to ANI, this program aims to replace the Indian Air Force's aging fleet of MiG-21s, MiG-23s, and MiG-27s, which are being phased out.

India's HAL Set to Manufacture 97 Tejas Mark 1A Fighter Jets
LCA Mark 1A @HAL

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has supported the revitalization of HAL, which has secured contracts to manufacture various indigenous fighter aircraft, helicopters, and their engines under his administration. The Prime Minister recently flew in a trainer variant of the indigenous fighter—a historic first for any Indian Prime Minister in a combat aircraft.

The plan to acquire 97 additional LCA Mark 1A fighter jets was disclosed by Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari during a visit to Spain, where he shared plans to enhance orders for indigenous fighter aircraft. This decision followed a comprehensive review meeting of the indigenous fighter jet program, involving all stakeholders, including HAL.

The previous order for 83 LCA Mark 1A aircraft is nearing delivery, with the first plane expected to be handed over in the coming weeks. The LCA Mark 1A represents an advanced version of the Tejas aircraft, featuring more sophisticated avionics and radars compared to the initial batch of 40 LCAs supplied to the Air Force.

The new LCA Mark 1A jets will boast over 65% indigenous content.

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