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Several countries have shown interest in acquiring Texas aircraft: HAL President Madhavan | India News

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NEW DELHI: Delivery of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) to the Indian Air Force under a Rs 48,000 crore deal will start from March 2024 and around 16 aircraft will be deployed annually until the completion of the total supply of 83 aircraft. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited President and Managing Director R Madhavan said on Sunday.
In an interview with PTI, Madhavan also said that several countries have shown great interest in the acquisition of the Tejas aircraft and that the first export order is likely to be placed in the next few years.
Madhavan said the Tejas Mark 1A jet has superior performance levels compared to China’s JF-17 fighter jet as it has a better engine, radar system and electronic warfare suit, plus an advantage in overall technology. .
“The biggest difference, of course, is air-to-air refueling, which does not exist on competitive aircraft,” he said.
The Cabinet Security Committee (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved on January 13 the Rs 48,000 crore deal to acquire 73 variants of Tejas Mk-1A and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost the Indian air force. combat prowess.
Giving a breakdown of the cost components, Madhavan said that the basic price of the aircraft will be around Rs 25,000 crore, while Rs 11,000 crore will be used for ground support equipment and other required infrastructure at the bases and around Rs 7,000 for basic customs duties. and GST output.
The president of HAL said that the cost of each combat version of the aircraft will be 309 million rupees and 280 million rupees for the trainer.
“The price is tight, but we agree,” Madhavan said.
The total cost of Rs 48,000 crore includes the design and development cost of Rs 2,500 crore to be delivered to the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and around Rs 2,250 crore reserved for variations in the foreign currency exchange rate.
The Tejas Mk-1A will be equipped with an electronically active scan array radar, past visual range missiles, electronic warfare suite and air-to-air refueling system.
The HAL and IAF are expected to sign a formal contract for the agreement on February 5 at the Aero India exhibition in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind.
“Three years is the strategic schedule for the development of the infrastructure and the delivery of the aircraft. We will adhere to the schedule. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered in March 2024.
“We will initially supply around four aircraft and increase the number to 16 annually starting in 2025,” Madhavan said.
When asked if a potential export order will delay the delivery deadline for supplies to the IAF, Madhavan said that HAL will strictly follow the deadline for domestic orders and will always be able to establish additional production lines when necessary.
“We are planning more than 16 aircraft a year so that if another order comes in, we can accept it. We are already increasing production rates.
“The second phase of the LCA plant has already arrived, although we need it after 2024-25,” he said.
The IAF has already added a batch of Tejas aircraft as part of its initial order for 40 aircraft.
Madhavan said the Tejas program will boost the overall aerospace sector in India, noting that it currently involves 563 national companies. “And it will go up from 600 to 650. This is important for the ecosystem.”
He said that Texas will be able to operate as efficiently as any other aircraft in all regions, including mountainous Ladakh.
The government has focused primarily on boosting domestic defense production and set a revenue target of Rs 1.75 million (US $ 25 billion) on defense manufacturing by 2025.
According to estimates, the Indian armed forces are expected to spend around $ 130 billion on capital purchases over the next five years.
In May last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman implemented various reform measures for the defense sector, including making a separate budget outlay to purchase Indian-made military equipment, raising the FDI limit from 49 percent. one hundred to 74 percent under the automatic route and generating a year-long negative list of weapons that will not be imported.

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