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The Nashik region is experiencing an economic resurgence after a period of hardship. The closure of the Su-30MKI production line led to a significant decline in component orders, forcing around 400 local suppliers to shut down their shops. However, the inauguration of the third Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas production line in Nashik signals a brighter future.

This new line is poised to be the birthplace of the first LCA-Tejas Mk1A later this year. The project is expected to breathe new life into the local economy. Nashik’s selection isn’t a coincidence. The large presence of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore, coupled with the existence of two existing LCA-Tejas production lines there, made it a natural fit.

But Nashik’s role extends beyond the Mk1A. An HAL executive revealed that these industries are being strategically repurposed to cater to the Tejas MkII program as well. The Nashik plant is slated to become a key manufacturing hub for the Tejas MkII fighter jet when it enters production later in 2030.

Further bolstering the local ecosystem, the Indian Air Force’s recent order for 12 indigenously-built Su-30MKI jets presents an opportunity. Each Su-30MKI requires approximately 6,000 components, a substantial portion of which will be procured locally. HAL is actively engaging with these local suppliers to ensure they are reactivated and integrated into the Tejas Mk1A and MkII programs.

The Tejas project marks a significant step towards India’s self-reliance in fighter jet production. It’s not just about the aircraft itself; it’s about revitalizing local economies and fostering a robust domestic defence ecosystem. As the Tejas program takes flight, Nashik, and other regions with a stake in the project, are poised to soar alongside it.

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