NEW DELHI: Indian state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) CMD R Madhavan has said that country’s indigenous fighter machine Tejas cost will be Rs 309 crore and Rs 280 crore for the trainer version of the fighter craft.
Day before yesterday at Inaugural Ceremony of Aero India 2021, in the presence of Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) Rajnath Singh, the Contract for 83 Light Combat Aircraft Tejas was handed over to HAL.
Revealing various price components of project Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A, Madhavan said that half of total price of contract which has been recently awarded by the government is mostly made of spares, tax component and ground equipment which comes to Rs 22,000 crore while the actual price is Rs 25,000 crore for 83 LCA Tejas.
The Cabinet Committee on Security under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved procurement of 73 LCA Tejas Mk-1A fighter aircrafts and 10 LCA Tejas Mk-1 Trainer aircrafts at a cost of Rs. 45,696 crore along with Design & Development and Infrastructure sanctions worth Rs. 1,202 crore on 13th January, 2021. The contract is valued at close to Rs. 48,000 crore.
An ecosystem of over 460 Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have come together to pitch in this project and the number is likely to swell to 560-600 by the end of this year.
Out of the total project cost, Rs 6,000 crore will go to MSMEs ecosystem while Rs 3,000 crore will go to the kitty of other smaller domestic companies.
Export of Tejas
Several countries mostly from Southeast Asia have shown interest in LCA but the first order is yet to come, Madhavan said. These orders will be discussed and finalised on a government to government basis. With HAL fully geared up with basic infrastructure a separate production line can quickly be set-up for the export requirements, he said.
LCA Tejas Mk-2
The ambitious Mk-2 of Tejas is under design and development process which is likely to be completed in August next year and its first flight tentatively fixed in December 2023.
On February 4, the Indian Air Force issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to HAL for 70 Hindustan Turbo Trainer 40 (HTT-40) basic trainer aircraft.
Now, it would start the formal process towards a production contract, which has committed to begin deliveries within two years of contract signing.
On completion of successful operation of the first order of 70 aircraft, 36 more trainers will be ordered.
Initially, design will be done at Bengaluru complex and then the production will be done from Nashik facility.
HAL’s dream project: CATS
The project director Arup Chatterjee said Its one of kind war-waging fighter team which will consist of a fighter plane as a mother ship and a team of four warriors, which will be able carry out deepest strike in enemy’s territory while the pilot would be guiding the team without going inside the danger zone.
A combination of UAVs and autonomous vehicles will be used in this futuristic fighter operation. Swarm attack drone ALFA having a range of 100km will be released by the glider in enemy territory to hit the target. Some of ALFA machines can be used for reconnaissance operations while others will be loaded with warheads.
For Warrior, the HAL has invested Rs 400 crore.
Talking about another path-breaking utility project – RUAV, he said that it could be a first rotary wing UAV capable of reaching at an altitude of over 18,000 feet. This versatile machine will be able to deliver to the military another supply to soldiers posted at icy peaks of Siachen glaciers which are mostly dependent on mules and porters for their sustenance.
These RUAVs have a payload of 25kg and can undertake 3-4 sorties in a day to deliver the loads.
HAL’s order book
The HAL CMD said that the order book would be reaching over Rs 1 lakh crore by next year. Currently, it stands at Rs 52,000 crore and if the recent contracts for Tejas is added to it the order book will swell to Rs 88,000 crore that way “we are very close to our targeted Rs 1 lakh crore.”
This is the largest ever Defence contract for indigenous manufacture till date. This significant step provides great impetus to indigenous fighter aircraft capability of the nation. A stellar display of Tejas platform was made today in Aero India 2021 in the presence of large number of international and national participants.
The deliveries of all 83 aircraft shall be completed in 8 years from now. HAL will be delivering the first 3 aircraft in the 3rd year and 16 aircrafts per year for subsequent 5 years. On 2nd February, Singh inaugurated the second production facility (Plant II) to augment the production capacity and ensure timely supply of aircraft to IAF. The induction of Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk-1A in Indian Air Force will enhance operational capabilities and improve the aircraft strength.
Light Combat Aircraft Mk-1A variant is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured state of the art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft. This aircraft is equipped with critical operational capabilities of Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missile, Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite and Air to Air Refuelling (AAR) would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of Indian Air Force. It is the first “Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured)” category procurement of combat aircrafts with an indigenous content of 50% which will progressively reach 60% by the end of the programme and about 250 out of 344 systems fitted in the aircraft will be indigenous.
Responding to Prime Minister Modi’s clarion call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, India is continuously growing in its power to indigenously design, develop and manufacture advanced cutting edge technologies and systems in the Defence Sector. The manufacturing of Light Combat Aircraft by HAL will give a further push to Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenization of defence production and the defence industry in the country.
About 500 Indian companies including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors will be working with HAL in this procurement. Some of these companies have displayed their systems at Aero India 2021. Today, the nation is self-reliant in most of the Military Fighter Aircraft Contemporary technologies and this has been possible largely due to Tejas Programme. The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Aatmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem.