The delivery of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (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 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited R Madhavan said on Sunday.
In an interview to PTI, Mr Madhavan also said that a number of countries have shown keen interest in procurement of the Tejas aircraft and that the first export order is likely to come by in the next couple of years.
Mr Madhavan said that Tejas Mark 1A jet has superior performance levels compared to China’s JF-17 combat aircraft as it has better engine, radar system and electronic warfare suit, besides an edge in the overall technology.
“The biggest difference, of course, is the air-to-air refuelling which is non-existent in the competitor’s plane,” he said.
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 prowess.
Giving a break-up of the cost components, Mr Madhavan said the basic price of the aircraft will be around ₹ 25,000 crore while ₹ 11,000 crore will be used for ground support equipment and other required infrastructure at the bases and around ₹ 7,000 for basic customs duty and output GST.
The HAL chairman said the cost for each fighter version of the aircraft will be ₹ 309 crore and ₹ 280 crore for the trainer.