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Defence ministry, HAL to sign Rs 48,000-cr deal for 83 LCA Tejas at Aero India tomorrow

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second production line for Tejas Tuesday. His ministry is set to sign a contract worth Rs 48,000 crore with HAL.

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Bengaluru: The Ministry of Defence will sign the nearly Rs 48,000-crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 83 new Tejas aircraft on the first day of the Aero India air show in Bengaluru Wednesday.

The deal will include 73 Tejas Mk 1A aircraft with advanced features, and 10 Tejas Trainer aircraft.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second production line for Tejas Tuesday, which will increase the manufacturing capacity to 16 aircraft per year from the current eight. The deal was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security on 13 January.

“The contract will be signed on Day One of Aero India,” a senior defence ministry told ThePrint at Aero India.

The new order will take the total number of Tejas variants in the IAF inventory to 123. The government has already ordered 40 Tejas variants in the ‘initial’ and ‘final operational clearance’ configuration.

According to the contract, HAL chief R. Madhavan said, the first aircraft will be handed over within three years, that is by 3 February 2024. All the 83 aircraft will be delivered over the next nine years.

The development comes even as the CCS is set to give the clearance for the purchase of 15 Light Combat Helicopters from HAL for the Army.

Also read: Aero India 2021 — world’s first ‘hybrid’ air show takes flight in Bengaluru this week

What is LCA Tejas Mk 1A?

LCA is a tail-less compound delta aircraft, which is equipped with quadruplex digital fly-by-wire system. The aircraft is built with advanced composite materials for reduced weight, increased life and reduced signature.

The LCA Tejas Mk 1A is an advanced version of the LCA Mk1 (final operational clearance configuration).

The 1A is a supersonic fighter that has air combat capability at all altitudes, can carry a payload of 3,500 kg, and is best suited for offensive air support, according to HAL officials. The aircraft has a service ceiling of 15 km.

It comes with four major capabilities over the current variant of LCA — mid-air refuelling, improvement in operational roles, enhancing the combat ability and maintainability improvements through incorporation of active electronically scanned array radar, electronic warfare suite and beyond visual range missile capabilities.

Also read: As Tejas begins flying near Pakistan border, IAF & HAL join hands to boost LCA availability


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