Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared a ₹48,000-crore deal to buy 83 advanced Tejas jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Defence Minister Rajnath Singh called the deal “a game changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing” sector.

The Defence Ministry had earlier approved the purchase of 83 LCA (light combat aircraft) Mk-1A jets from state-owned manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

“The LCA-Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in years to come. LCA-Tejas incorporates a large number of new technologies many of which were never attempted in India. The indigenous content of LCA-Tejas is 50% in Mk-1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%,” Rajnath Singh said in a statement.

“HAL has already set-up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nasik and Bengaluru Divisions. Equipped with the augmented infrastructure, the HAL will steer LCA-Mk1A production for timely deliveries to the IAF,” Singh added.

Out of all, 73 will be Mk-1A fighter jets while 10 will be LCA Mk-1 trainer aircraft. Director general of Centre for Air Power Studies, Air Marshal KK Nohwar (retd), said that the fighter jets will come with modern weapons.

“The approval for the deal couldn’t have come at a better time considering the strong message it will sent to India’s neighbourhood. Also, it reflects the government’s sharp focus on the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (self-reliant India movement,” Nohwar said.