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SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK / IMAGE COURTESY KUNTAL BISWAS

Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria recently confirmed that Indian Air Force (IAF) has committed to procure 100 Medium weight fighter (MWF) which are to be locally produced and have been designed by Country’s Nodal design agency Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), but IAF has asked the company to have higher participation from the private sector companies, more than what has been planned by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which is in charge of Tejas Mk1A program.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has decided to outsource the manufacturing of the entire fuselage of the upcoming Tejas Mk1A program to the private sector companies and these companies have already started manufacturing them for the current batch of FOC Configuration Tejas Mk1.

IAF wants ADA to work on how more work can be awarded to the private sector companies while it contemplates who could be lead integrator in the Medium weight fighter (MWF) program. idrw.org has been confirmed that, while HAL is currently procuring Machines and ground equipment for the manufacturing of the first pre-production aircraft which will be used for flight and weapon testing aircraft, HAL is yet to be appointed as a lead integrator in the program.

IAF has been exploring ways to allow private sector companies to be second lead integrators in the program to build local private company’s capabilities and also to be less dependent on the state-owned HAL for some time now and the same was earlier planned also for the Tejas Mk1A program but was dropped.

HAL, on the other hand, has said that it is willing to take production rate per annum from 16 to 20 for the Tejas Mk1A and Medium weight fighter (MWF) program if IAF desires and is open to outsourcing more to private sector companies. IAF plans were to have a second production line headed by a private sector company but with a limited production line of 5-6 aircraft per annum overlooked by the HAL so has to build local capabilities for future programs like AMCA. IAF and ADA along with HAL are likely to come with plans to further outsource for the Medium weight fighter (MWF) program in the coming years.

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