The government is set to formally seal on February 3 the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft from state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force, officials said on Wednesday.
The mega contract will be signed at the Aero India air show in Bengaluru in presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, top brass of the IAF and senior officials of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), they said.
Tejas is a single engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter capable of operating in high-threat air environments.
The aircraft, manufactured by the HAL, is a potent platform for air combat and offensive air support with reconnaissance and anti-ship operations as its secondary roles.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 13 approved the deal for procurement of the 73 Tejas Mk-1A variant and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 trainer aircraft from the HAL to boost Indian Air Force'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.
Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited R Madhavan told PTI last month 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.
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