SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK
Ministry of defense is likely to seal a deal with state-owned HAL in coming months for production of 83 Tejas MK-1A fighter aircraft with Five major enhancements along with various minor changes to the aircraft’s avionics once the committee which is looking into the price quoted by the HAL clears the last hurdle said sources close to idrw.org.
The unit cost of each Tejas MK-1A fighter aircraft had raised few eyebrows after it was pegged over the unit cost of Sukhoi-30MKI which are manufactured by HAL locally in India. HAL had countered the argument by saying that specification of the Sukhoi’s have been same since 2005-6 when it entered local production and Tejas MK-1A has much more modern and had more expensive components and sub-systems which have lead to price escalations over price quoted for the Tejas MK-1.
Tejas MK-1A will share outer air frame, engine and other basic components with the MK-1 but will come with Internally revamped LRU’s for easy maintenance and dead space management to lower downtime of the aircraft further. Other enhancement will be AESA Radar to be supplied by an Israeli company, along with In-flight refueling probe to be supplied by British Company, Cobham Quartz radome again supplied by British Company, along with Self-Protection Jammer (SPJ) Pod developed locally in India, along with some last minute addition to the avionics which will be added later to the aircraft.
Out of 83 Tejas MK-1A to be ordered soon by IAF, 73 will be single seater aircraft and 10 will be Trainer aircraft. HAL will later upgrade all 32 single Seater Tejas MK-1 to the MK-1A configuration once the production of MK-1A is completed within five years after entering production which is most likely to happen by 2021.
HAL production line in Bangalore will achieve 16 aircraft per year rate from 2019-2020 on wards and HAL is also augmenting its Nashik facility as an additional facility which can manufacture 5 additional aircraft per years and if required, Nashik facility can achieve 8 additional aircraft per year in total 24 per year if requested by IAF which will help complete order for 83 jets within three and half years.
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