IAF to order 100 more Tejas Mark-1A aircraft : The Tribune India

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IAF to order 100 more Tejas Mark-1A aircraft

IAF to order 100 more Tejas Mark-1A aircraft


Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, September 16

The Indian Air Force (IAF) today made it clear it will go ahead with the procurement of 100 more Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark-1A fighter jets. These will be in addition to 83 such jets ordered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in February 2021 under a Rs 48,000 crore order to public sector giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

In addition to 83 ordered already

Apart from 83 LCA Mark-1A that we have already contracted for, we are moving a case for 100 more aircraft.

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari

The prototype of the ‘Mark-1A’ version is already flying. A series of validations are being done and deliveries are scheduled to commence from February next year, the HAL has announced. The plan to buy additional fighter jets was announced in Spain by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari after receiving the first C-295 transport aircraft.

65% components to be made locally

  • IAF already has 40 LCA; Mark-1A has better avionics, radars and weapon carrying capacity
  • Indigenous content of jets will be over 65%; the 100 will be in addition to 83 ordered earlier
  • LCA was developed as replacement to ageing MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-27 fighter aircraft

“Apart from the 83 LCA Mark-1A that we have already contracted for, we are moving a case for around 100 more aircraft,” news agency ANI quoted Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari as saying.

The LCA was developed as a replacement of the large MiG series of jets, including MiG-21, MiG 23 and MiG-27. With the phasing out of these aircraft, the IAF will have adequate numbers of LCA-class aircraft in its inventory, the IAF Chief reasoned.

The IAF at present has 32 squadrons against the 42 mandated by the government to tackle a collusive threat from China and Pakistan. The number could go down to 28 squadrons by 2024-25 when all MiG 21s are phased out.

The IAF already has 40 LCA Tejas jets. The Mark-1A is the advanced version with better avionics, radars and weapon carrying capacity.

The indigenous content in the new LCA Mark-1A is going to be more than 65 per cent.

Last month, the IAF Chief held a review meeting of the indigenous fighter jet programme with all entities involved, including the HAL. Timely deliveries of Mark-1A is likely to see increased deployments at forward bases. As per plan, from February next year, for the next 14-15 years (till 2038-39), India needs to produce more than 300 Tejas variants. Production of 83 Tejas Mark-1A jets will be followed by 100 more such planes as being sought by the IAF.

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#Indian Air Force


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