The central government on Wednesday approved a Rs 48,000-crore defense deal for the purchase of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft. The state-run aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will manufacture these aircraft under the country’s largest ever Make in India defense agreement. The induction of these aircraft to meet the challenges posed by China and Pakistan will increase the air force’s firepower manifold.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in the presence, VL Kanta Rao, Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defense, gave the agreement to R Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of HAL. During the inauguration of Aero India -2021, this important agreement stamped out .
According to Madhavan, the Air Force will start receiving Tejas LCA from March 2024 as per the agreement. The Air Force will be assigned 16 aircraft every year. The Air Force will get 83 Tejas aircraft by 2032. He said, “Some other countries have also shown interest in Tejas and orders could be received from other countries in the next few years”.
Amid the ongoing deadlock from China along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that India is fully alert to change the status quo on its borders and is ready to deal with any danger to protect territorial integrity. He said this at the inauguration of Aero India -2021 at Yelahanka Air Force Station. Many big companies of the world – defense and aerospace sector – are participating in it. “We have been seeing for years the unfortunate attempts to deploy military forces to change the status quo on our disputed borders,” he said. “India is vigilant and ready to face and defeat any danger to protect its people and territorial integrity at all costs”. The defense minister said that there is a plan to spend $ 130 billion on modernizing the defense sector in the next seven to eight years, focusing on domestic manufacturing of India’s large and complex platform.