Defence Ministry Issues Rs 65,000 Cr Tender to HAL for 97 LCA Mark 1A Fighter Jets
Defence Ministry Issues Rs 65,000 Cr Tender to HAL for 97 LCA Mark 1A Fighter Jets

The Defence Ministry has put out a massive order worth Rs 65,000 crore to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 97 LCA Mark 1A fighter jets. This move marks the biggest purchase of locally made military equipment by the Indian government to date.

The tender, recently issued by the Defence Ministry, gives HAL three months to respond. The purchase is aimed at replacing or phasing out the existing fleet of MiG-21s, MiG-23s, and MiG-27s in the Indian Air Force (IAF).

This initiative, fully supported by the Defence Ministry and Air Headquarters, is not only a significant step towards promoting indigenous production but also promises substantial business opportunities for small and medium-sized defense enterprises nationwide.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been actively advocating for the revitalization of HAL, which has secured contracts for manufacturing various indigenous fighter aircraft and helicopters, along with their engines.

In a historic move, Prime Minister Modi himself took a flight in the trainer variant of the indigenous fighter aircraft, marking the first time an Indian Prime Minister has flown in a combat aircraft.

The decision to acquire 97 additional LCA Mark 1A fighter jets was initially disclosed by Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari during a visit to Spain, where he highlighted plans to enhance orders for indigenous fighter aircraft.

This decision follows a comprehensive review meeting of the indigenous fighter jet program, chaired by the Air Chief and attended by stakeholders including HAL.

The previous order for 83 LCA Mark1A aircraft is nearing delivery, with the first plane expected to be handed over in a few weeks. The LCA Mark 1A is an upgraded version of the Tejas aircraft, featuring advanced avionics and radars compared to the initial batch supplied to the Air Force.

With over 65% indigenous content, the new LCA Mark1A jets embody India's self-reliance in the aerospace sector, aligning with the country's Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives.

HAL is also poised to secure contracts for more than 200 LCA Mark 2s and a similar number of fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, further bolstering India's indigenous defense capabilities.

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