The long-awaited contract for 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) was finalized Wednesday, the first day of the Aero India air show in Bengaluru. However, now, the key question is whether manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will be able to meet the timelines set for it, given the 38-year-long history of delays in the Tejas program.
According to R Madhavan, HAL will start the delivery of this aircraft in early 2024 at the rate of 16 aircraft per year. As per the contract, we are to start delivery of LCA by 36 months from today. The first delivery will be by March 2024. In the first year, there will be the delivery of 2 aircraft which will be ramped up to 16. Total supply time, post first delivery is 6 years: R Madhavan, CMD, HAL
As per the contract, we are to start delivery of LCA by 36 months from today. The first delivery will be by March 2024. In the first year, there will be delivery of 2 aircraft which will be ramped up to 16. Total supply time, post first delivery is 6 years: R Madhavan, CMD, HAL pic.twitter.com/eyhNJlUL7s— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2021
The speedy induction of LCA Tejas is very vital to the IAF as it is looking forward to replacing its obsolete fleet of Mig-21Bison aircraft. In order to ramp up production, HAL recently started a second production facility in Bengaluru to double the production from 8 to 16 jets per annum. This will definitely help HAL in meeting its delivery commitments.
The timely delivery of LCA is not only vital to IAF but also very important to HAL itself as it is looking forward to bag international orders from South-Asian countries. While LCA Tejas might be a world-class Jet, but securing orders from other countries depends a lot on one's capability to meet delivery commitments that are made in advance.
If HAL wants to compete with international players, it not only has to develop state-of-the-art equipment but also make sure that those equipment are delivered on time. This can be achieved by tying up with Private sector companies to decrease the extra load on PSUs.