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The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, has confirmed that the follow-up orders for 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter aircraft will see some minor improvements while maintaining the overall design. This announcement comes amid plans by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to increase the indigenous content in subsequent batches of the Tejas Mk1A.

Currently, the Tejas Mk1A has a significant indigenous content of 65 per cent. However, HAL intends to raise this percentage to over 70 per cent in the 97 Tejas Mk1A aircraft that are slated to be ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) later this year.

HAL’s strategy to enhance indigenous content involves replacing certain imported Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) with locally developed components. Additionally, there are plans to replace the British-supplied quartz nose cone and the Inflight refuelling Probe with locally developed alternatives. These changes not only promote self-sufficiency but also reduce dependence on foreign suppliers.

One notable aspect of the Tejas Mk1A’s improvements is the potential inclusion of a locally developed Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system. While this enhancement is under consideration, a final decision regarding its inclusion has yet to be confirmed. The IRST system can significantly enhance the aircraft’s situational awareness and targeting capabilities, providing a valuable asset to the IAF.

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