SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to make a significant move to bolster its fleet with the potential acquisition of 97 additional Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. This development comes as part of the IAF’s ongoing efforts to enhance its capabilities and maintain air superiority. IAF will move files to get clearance from the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for the purchase of additional jets later this month.
Last week, the IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, revealed the air force’s intentions to seek approval for the acquisition of 97 more Tejas Mk1A jets. The plan aims to conclude the deal for these additional aircraft by the end of the year, with an estimated cost of 60,000 crores.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari emphasized that these 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets would be identical to the first 83 ordered in 2021. This continuity ensures consistency in equipment and operations, streamlining maintenance and pilot training. It also underlines the IAF’s satisfaction with the capabilities and features of the Tejas Mk1A.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is the principal manufacturer of the Tejas Mk1A. The production of these indigenous fighter jets is gaining momentum. HAL is set to deliver the first two Tejas Mk1A aircraft from February 2024, following the initial order placed in 2021. If the additional order for 97 jets is approved, it will extend the production line of the LCA-Tejas for another four and a half years, ensuring a continuous supply of these advanced aircraft. This extended production timeline will maintain three active production lines, fortifying India’s indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities.
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