India will spend over $9 billion for acquisition of 97 home grown fighter jets


LCA Tejas Mk1A contract: India is in the process of acquiring 97 domestically produced fighter jets, known as Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A (LCA Mk-1A), to strengthen the Indian Air Force (IAF) amid a shortage of fighter squadrons. The new fighter jets are estimated to cost around $9.2 billion (₹67,000 crore).

The contract follows a previous order of 83 Mk-1A fighters placed by the IAF in February 2021 for $6.7 billion (₹48,000 crore). The first of these 83 fighters was scheduled for delivery by March 31, 2024, but there have been delays due to pending certifications.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has established a new production line in Nashik to fulfill the IAF’s growing demand for fighter jets. The company can manufacture 16 LCA Mk-1As per year in Bengaluru, and the Nashik line will enable HAL to ramp up production to 24 jets annually.

The LCA Mk-1A is an advanced variant of the LCA Mk-1, which is already operational with the IAF. The LCA is poised to become the cornerstone of IAF’s combat strength in the coming years, as anticipated earlier. The IAF, one of the world’s largest air forces, is expected to operate around 350 LCAs (Mk-1, Mk-1A and Mk-2 versions).

READ: Tejas Mk1A: India conducts maiden flight of upgraded version of indigenous fighter jet

India HAL LCA Tejas Mk1A.

Tejas Mk1A.

READ: Mission Divyastra: India testfires long-range MIRVed Agni-5 missile

The proposal to procure more LCA Mk-1A fighters is progressing as planned and will significantly contribute to self-reliance (Atmanirbharta) in the Indian defense manufacturing sector.

READ: AMCA: India Approves 5th Gen Stealth Fighter Jet Project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew in a Tejas Mk-1 trainer last November, in a move seen as a significant endorsement of the indigenous fighter program.

The upcoming LCA Mk-1A variant boasts considerably improved features and technologies compared to the Mk-1 aircraft. These include digital radar warning receivers, external self-protection jammer pods, a superior radar system, advanced beyond-visual-range (BVR) air-to-air missiles, and significantly improved maintainability.

READ: Saab’s new factory in India: A step towards self-reliance in defence

Comments are closed.