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Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has acknowledged a challenge in achieving its ambitious goal of 70% indigenous content for the Tejas Mk1A light combat aircraft. The current target sits at a confirmed 65%, despite ongoing efforts. This setback stems from the continued reliance on Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) sourced from abroad.

Developing these LRUs domestically remains a work in progress, and the time required for this process is likely to delay production of the Tejas Mk1A. This delay underscores the complexities involved in achieving complete self-reliance in a technologically advanced domain like fighter jet manufacturing.

However, there’s a silver lining on the horizon. The Tejas MkII, the next iteration of the Tejas light combat aircraft, offers a more promising outlook on indigenous content. With production slated to begin at a higher baseline of 75%, there’s a potential to push this figure even further to 80% over time. This optimistic projection reflects India’s growing capabilities in indigenous defense manufacturing.

The contrasting situations with the Tejas Mk1A and MkII highlight the ongoing journey towards self-sufficiency in the Indian aerospace industry. While challenges remain, the Tejas program represents a significant step forward, paving the way for a future with more advanced and domestically produced fighter jets.

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