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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) seems poised to miss the March 31st deadline for delivering the first Tejas Mk-1A fighter jet to the Indian Air Force (IAF). This raises serious concerns about HAL’s ability to meet crucial deadlines and deliver on its promises. First Tejas Mk1A took off right before March deadline but as per latest media reports it will not be ready for handover for next few months before it is handed over to IAF.

The Mk-1A is a significant upgrade, boasting new systems, software, and weaponry. While the complexity justifies a thorough certification process involving multiple agencies, the missed deadline is a bitter pill to swallow, especially since it comes with a potential financial penalty for HAL.

This isn’t an isolated incident. HAL has a history of missing delivery targets for various jet projects. This chronic underperformance disrupts the IAF’s modernization plans and weakens its operational capabilities.

The IAF’s decision to include a penalty clause in the Mk-1A deal was a step in the right direction. Now, enforcing that clause sends a strong message – delays have consequences. Financial penalties can serve as a wake-up call for HAL, pushing them to streamline production and meet future deadlines.

HAL that is seeking second tranche order for 97 more Tejas Mk1A and will be production partner also for the Tejas MkII program that will see production of atleast 200 units then it is important that culture of laxity needs to end since IAF needs a reliable supplier to ensure its combat readiness.

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Article by DEEPAK HILORI ,  cannot be republished Partially or Full without consent from Writer or