83 LCA-MK1A Deal High Priority: IAF Chief (excerpt)
(Source: The Hindu; published May 19, 2020)
By Dinakar Peri
While India’s Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said May 15 that India would buy an additional 83 Light Combat Aircraft instead of foreign jets, Air Force Chief of Staff R.K.S. Bhadauria says the tender for 114 foreign fighters would be completed as well. (HAL photo)
NEW DELHI --- The Indian Air Force (IAF) will set up the second squadron of indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas by month-end, said Air Chief Marshal (ACM) R.K.S. Bhadauria on Monday, while the “high priority” deal for 83 LCA-MK1A jets was expected to be signed in three months.

Stressing on the effort to shift to indigenous production as much as possible, the IAF chief said the challenge was for the domestic industry to catch up.

“We will get the first LCA in Final Operations Clearance (FOC) standard likely by next week. We are targeting formation of the second LCA squadron at Sulur next week, before the end of the month. We have already done the resurrection of the squadron but induction of aircraft and inauguration got stalled due to COVID,” ACM Bhadauria said in an exclusive interaction with The Hindu.

Tender for fighters

On the tender for 114 fighters to be built under Make in India, stating that it was a “different class” of fighter than the LCA which would be built in India and not imported, he said the global responses to the tender were being analysed after which they would go to the government for the grant of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN). “We will finalise the way forward on the 114 tender.”

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat had earlier said large imports could not be done and they had to be staggered. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on The Hindu website.

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