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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to take a major step towards bolstering its combat capabilities with the planned acquisition of 97 additional LCA-Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. The Rajnath Singh-led defense acquisitions council is expected to grant the ‘acceptance of necessity’ (AoN) for the purchase when they meet on the 30th of this month.

The AoN is a crucial step in the procurement process, signaling the government’s approval for the purchase and paving the way for further negotiations. Once the AoNs are granted, the tendering and commercial negotiations will take place before the three deals are submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for the final nod.

The IAF is looking to acquire the 97 additional Tejas Mk1A fighter jets to supplement the 83 jets that were ordered in 2021. The Tejas Mk1A is an indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) that has been designed and manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The IAF Chief recently stated that the air force is not seeking any major changes in the 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets that it plans to order compared to the 83 that were ordered in 2021. This implies that the IAF is satisfied with the performance and capabilities of the Tejas Mk1A in its current configuration.

HAL is expected to begin delivery of the Tejas Mk1A fighter jets from February 2024 onwards. The induction of these additional jets will significantly enhance the IAF’s combat capabilities and provide it with a formidable edge in the region.

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