On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the purchase of seventy-three Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) fighter jets and 10 trainer aircraft for a cost of around Rs 45,700 crore.
Tejas Mk-1A LCA is designed and manufactures indigenous. It is a fourth-generation fighter with critical operational capabilities. These operational capabilities include an Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite. It is also capable of air-to-air refueling (AAR).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted that the deal was a "game-changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing (sector)". Rajnath Singh tweeted, “The LCA Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in (the) years to come. LCA-Tejas incorporates a large number of new technologies, many of which were never attempted in India.”
Rajnath Singh furthermore said, “The deal would also considerably expand the current LCA ecosystem and help in creating new job opportunities, as well as changing the Indian aerospace manufacturing sector. The LCA-Tejas programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem.”
Ton India Government passed a statement on Wednesday evening which said, “73 Tejas LCA fighter aircraft would become a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force."
The statement also said, “It is the first 'BUY (Indian-Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)' category procurement of combat aircraft (with an indigenous content of 50 per cent that will reach 60 per cent by the end of the programme).”
At the same meeting, the Cabinet also approved infrastructure development that would enable servicing and repair of the aircraft at duty stations. This will, in turn, reduce the turnaround time for mission critical systems and lead to increased availability of aircraft for operations.