- Union Cabinet approved the acquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft
- Out of 83, 10 will be trainer aircraft
- 83 Tejas LCA will cost India ₹ 45,696 crore
The Union Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, approved the acquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft out of which 10 will be trainer aircraft and will cost ₹ 45,696 crore.
The Tejas Mk-1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is an indigenously designed and manufactured fighter and comes equipped with critical operational capabilities such as, but not limited to, an Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and is also capable of Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR).
In a statement, issued on Wednesday evening, the Government said that 73 Tejas LCA would become “a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force”.
The statement also said, “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 Union Cabinet has also approved the infrastructure development by the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will enable repair or servicing of the aircraft at duty stations itself. This will in turn reduce the turnaround time (TAT) for mission-critical systems and lead to increased availability of the aircraft for operations, said the government.
In May 2019, the IAF operationalised its second squadron of home-made Tejas fighter jets and assigned them to its No 18 Squadron called the ‘Flying Bullets’ which is based at Sulur near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
The squadron has been equipped with the fourth generation Mk1 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.
The first squadron which received the home-built Tejas jets was the No 45 based in Coimbatore.