Tejas not only indigenous, but better than its competitors: Defense Minister Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that Tejas is not only indigenous, but it is also better than its foreign equivalents on several parameters and also comparatively cheaper. This statement came at the Inauguration Ceremony of HAL LCA's 2nd production line.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Feb 02, 2021 17:03 IST
Tejas not only indigenous, but better than its competitors: Defense Minister Minister Rajnath Singh
DM Rajnath Singh and LCA Tejas

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that India cannot remain dependent on other countries for its defense. Under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan India’ is looking forward to increasing its defense manufacturing capabilities, said Mr. Singh. This statement came after the inauguration of  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s second LCA-Tejas production line in Bengaluru.

“India cannot remain dependent on other countries for its defense”, he said. Mr. Singh said Tejas is not only indigenous but is also better than its foreign equivalents on several parameters and also comparatively cheaper.“Many countries have shown interest in Tejas. India will achieve the target of ₹1.75 lakh crore in the field of defense manufacturing in a few years”, the Minister said.

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The delivery of the Tejas LCA to the Indian Air Force under a ₹48,000-crore deal will begin from March 2024 and around 16 aircraft will be rolled out annually till the completion of the total supply of 83 jets, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL, R. Madhavan said recently.

Managing Director of HAL, Mr. Madhavan had also said that a number of countries have shown keen interest in the procurement of LCA Tejas and that the first export order is likely to come by in the next couple of years.

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The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 13 approved the ₹48,000-crore deal to procure 73 Tejas Mk-1A variants and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost the Indian Air Force’s combat capabilities. The Mk1 FOC Variant of Tejas will also perform in an Air Show at Aero India 2021 in Bengaluru on Feb 3rd.

It is important to note that the first aircraft of Tejas Mk1 IOC variant was inducted in 2016 under the squadron 'Flying Daggers' 45 which is based in Sulur AFS, Tamil Nadu and the FOC version of Tejas was operationalised in 2020 under squadron  No. 18 'Flying Bullets', also based in Sulur AFS, Tamil Nadu. 

So far, three variants of Tejas have been planned namely Tejas Mk1, Tejas Mk1a, and Tejas Mk2, a total of 324 aircraft will be produced to replace Mig-21, Mig-29, Mirage 2000, and Jaguars before 2040.

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