New Delhi: If all goes well, the government would be able to procure all 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas MK1A by 2028. According to Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) Director General S Christopher, beginning of final drawing would start in 2018 and by 2020-21, procurement of Tejas would start from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
“The total cost of LCA would be around Rs 450 crore, but when charges like logistics and other packages would be included, it would be more costly,” Christopher said while talking to Millennium Post on the sidelines of DRDO’s 4th Young Scientist Meet. Talking about the DRDO’s mega achievement, Christopher said, “I’m lucky that the DRDO’s mega project is becoming a reality in my tenure. The project was started 20 years back and trails were started 10 years back. Innumerable numbers of trials have been done before coming to the final decision.”
Talking about Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEWCS), the Christopher said, “We will be the fourth country in the world to have this technology. It’s for the third time that country is trying and I’m at the driving seat as by December 23 this year, we are expecting to handover first such system, while next one would be handed by the next year.” Recently, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Manohar Prarrikar approved the procurement of 83 LCA Tejas MK1A.
The LCA is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class. It is designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and HAL for the Indian Air Force and Navy. The DAC also approved the procurement of 15 light combat helicopters of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Out of this, five will be for the army. It also approved the procurement of 464 T-90 tanks. The T-90 is a third generation Russian battle tank. It is in service of the Russian armed forces. India had first purchased T-90s from Russia in 2001.