New Delhi: Indian Air Force on Wednesday issued the the request for proposal (RFP) to state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the procurement of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft at a cost of over Rs 50,000 crore.
The IAF had earlier placed an order with the HAL for 40 Tejas aircraft. The RFP for 83 Tejas light combat aircraft has been issued today, setting the ball rolling for finalising the contract for the mega deal, official sources said.
The Defence Acquisition Council, the defence ministry’s highest decision making body on procurement, had in November last year approved purchase of 83 Tejas Mark 1 A by IAF at a cost of Rs 50,025 crore.
The sources said the final deal for the procurement is likely to be inked within the next five months. They said out of the 83 LCA, 10 will be used for training purposes.
According to official figures, 14 squadrons of the MiG 21, MiG 27 and MiG 29 are due for retirement in the next 10 years which will bring down the fighter squadron strength to 19 by 2027 from the current 33.
The strength may be further reduced to 16 by 2032. In an interview to PTI, HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju had said most of the 42 modifications in Tejas sought by the IAF, including weaponisation of the aircraft, had been carried out.
“Tejas is a four-and-half generation world class fighter jet. There is no doubt about it. We can improve its various parameters. We are proud of Tejas. Every Indian will be proud of it. We will ensure enhancement in its quality and performance,” Raju had said.