Rs 48,000 crore Tejas aircraft deal to be signed on Wednesday

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New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The government will formally seal on February 3 the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd which will be the biggest ever indigenous defence procurement programme, officials said on Tuesday.

The contract will be signed between the Ministry of Defence and the HAL at the 'Aero India' aerospace exhibition in Bengaluru in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and top brass of the Indian Air Force, they said.

Tejas, manufactured by the HAL, is a single engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month approved the deal for procurement of the 73 Tejas Mk-IA variant and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-I trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost IAF's combat prowess.

The Tejas Mk-IA will be equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar, beyond visual range missile, electronic warfare suite and air-to-air refuelling system.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Singh inaugurated a new manufacturing plant in Bengaluru to double the production of Tejas.

Speaking on the occasion, he said procurement of the Tejas fleet will significantly enhance the capability of the Indian Air Force.

The aircraft is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support missions while reconnaissance and anti-ship operations are its secondary roles.

Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited R Madhavan told PTI recently that the delivery of the Tejas aircraft to the IAF will begin from March 2024 and around 16 aircraft will be rolled out annually till completion of the total supply of 83 jets.

Madhavan said 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 duty and output GST.

The HAL chairman and managing director said the cost for each fighter version of the four-and-half generation aircraft will be Rs 309 crore and Rs 280 crore for the trainer version.

The total cost of Rs 48,000 crore includes design and development cost of Rs 2,500 crore to be given to Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and around Rs 2,250 crore set aside for variations in foreign currency exchange rate.

The Aero India, known as Asia's largest defence and aerospace exhibition, is being held in Bengaluru from February 3-5. PTI MPB ZMN