The Indian Air Force's (IAF) consideration of acquiring an additional 100 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets is poised to significantly bolster the indigenous fighter aircraft production. This step not only strengthens the IAF's operational prowess but also reinforces the 'Make in India' initiative, fostering self-reliance in defense manufacturing and elevating India's global standing in the aviation sector.
In 2021, the IAF placed an order for 83 LCA-Tejas fighter jets, including 73 upgraded single-seater Tejas Mk1A aircraft and an extra 10 twin-seater FOC (Final Operational Clearance) standard Tejas Mk1 jets.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with production lines in Bangalore's LCA Division I and II, has been a driving force behind the Tejas project. The annual production capacity, initially at 16 jets, is planned to rise to 24 jets following the activation of the Nashik Division. This expansion aims to manufacture 8 more LCA-Tejas aircraft annually, enhancing total production to 24 from fiscal year 2025-26.
With the potential new orders, the Tejas production line, initially expected to conclude by 2028-29, will extend until 2032-33. This aligns well with the escalating demand for modern fighter jets boasting advanced technology, capabilities, and performance. A prolonged production line ensures workforce stability, strengthens technological prowess, and maintains the momentum of indigenous aerospace innovation.