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India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is gearing up for a new phase of production as it plans to begin deliveries of the upgraded Tejas Mk1A aircraft from February 2024 onwards. The company’s ambition doesn’t stop there, as it aims to secure orders for an additional 50 units of Tejas Mk1A, signalling its commitment to bolstering India’s indigenous fighter aircraft capabilities.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) placed a significant order for 73 Single-Seater Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas from HAL in 2021, amounting to a cost of approximately ?47,000 crore. This was a crucial step towards enhancing the IAF’s fleet and modernizing its air capabilities. The Tejas Mk1A variant comes with more than 40 modifications compared to its predecessor, the Mk1 variant. These modifications include several significant upgrades that contribute to its advanced combat capabilities.

The Tejas Mk1A incorporates an array of advanced technologies, such as an Electronic Warfare system, an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles, and a network warfare system equipped with Software Defined Radio (SDR). These enhancements empower the aircraft with improved situational awareness, communication capabilities, and engagement range, making it a formidable asset for the IAF.

The first batch of Tejas Mk1A aircraft is expected to be delivered in February 2024, with the delivery process scheduled to continue until the order for 73 units is completed by 2028. Following this, HAL is actively working to secure orders for an additional 50 units of the Tejas Mk1A variant. These orders are anticipated to be placed by the end of 2024 or early 2025, representing a significant show of confidence in HAL’s capabilities and the performance of the Tejas aircraft.

While the precise details of the additional orders are yet to be finalized, it is expected that the additional 50 Tejas Mk1A aircraft will largely resemble the ones scheduled for delivery next year. These aircraft will contribute to further strengthening the IAF’s air superiority and enhancing India’s self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

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