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In a recent address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the significance of the LCA-Tejas Trainer aircraft, emphasizing its role in bolstering India’s domestic defense capabilities and enhancing the country’s position in the global export market.

The LCA-Tejas Trainer aircraft, built and inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) just a month ago, has garnered positive attention from the international media. This recognition serves as a significant boost to India’s efforts to export the fighter jet, which has previously faced lukewarm responses due to limited operational deployment within the IAF itself.

Prime Minister Modi acknowledged this challenge, stating that the IAF’s operation of fewer than two squadrons of LCA-Tejas aircraft over the past eight years, primarily confined to the southern region of India, had raised concerns among potential export customers regarding the jet’s combat capabilities.

However, the Prime Minister emphasized that this situation is set to change in 2024. The first squadron of LCA-Tejas aircraft will be relocated to Gujarat, followed by the deployment of additional squadrons to Rajasthan and Kashmir. These strategic deployments will effectively address the concerns surrounding the aircraft’s operational readiness and combat effectiveness.

Furthermore, the IAF is poised to receive a fresh batch of upgraded Tejas Mk1A fighter jets equipped with advanced AESA radar and a host of other enhancements. These upgrades will elevate the Tejas’ capabilities to match those of 4.5-generation fighter jets currently in operation with Pakistan and China.

Prime Minister Modi also highlighted the IAF’s intention to procure 97 additional LCA-Tejas fighter jets. This substantial order will not only strengthen the IAF’s fleet but also serve as a powerful endorsement of the aircraft’s capabilities, boosting its appeal to potential export customers.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Modi’s address underscored the LCA-Tejas Trainer aircraft’s growing prominence in India’s defense landscape. The aircraft’s enhanced operational deployment, coupled with upcoming upgrades and significant orders from the IAF, is poised to enhance its reputation and pave the way for increased export opportunities.

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