A contract to manufacture 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighters was handed over to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) by the Defence Ministry at the Aero India international air show on Wednesday.
The event is being organised by the HAL on behalf of Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence, Government of India to promote Aerospace and Defence (AandD) manufacturing and export potential of the Defence Industry.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented the Tejas model to HAL chief R Madhavan at the opening ceremony of the Aero India 2021.
“I am very happy that HAL has got the orders for development of 83 new indigenous LCA – Tejas MK1A from Indian Air Force valued at more than Rs 48000 crores, it is probably the biggest Make in India Defence contract till date,” Singh tweeted.
The IAF had issued a tender for 83 LCAs about two years ago and the project was stuck over the pricing issue as the government and the Air Force felt that the price offered by the HAL was slightly higher.
The first LCA Mark 1A aircraft is likely to be produced by 2023 once the HAL is done with the supply of the initial 40 planes in the Initial Operational Clearance and Final Operational Clearance standards which have already taken part and proven themselves in the IAF operational exercises such as the Exercise Gagan Shakti.
LCA Mark 1A is the advanced version of Tejas aircraft.
Israel’s Elbit Systems were put on display its Rampage air-to-ground missile at Aero India. The missile is going to be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Three Mi-17 helicopters also took part in the flypast at the event.
The Department of Industrial Training and Employment (DITE) and the Karnataka government in collaboration with Tata Technologies will showcase the initiative of ‘transformation of 150 Government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) into technology hubs’, according to an official release.
More than 530 exhibitors have registered for the Expo out of which there are 457Indian exhibitors and 74 foreign exhibitors from countries including United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Belarus, Czech Republic, Italy, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Ukraine, South Africa, Bulgaria and Israel.A large contingent of foreign primes have also participated in the event, these include Boeing Company, GE Aviation, Rafale International, Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd, Russian Helicopters JSC, United Engine Corporation JSC, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin.