The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday approved the purchase of 73 Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) fighter jets and 10 trainer aircraft at a cost of around Rs 45.7 crore.

The Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, met in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Union Cabinet also approved design and development of infrastructure sanctions worth Rs.1,202 crore.

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 (IAF),” the government said in a statement.

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.

The Union Cabinet also approved infrastructure development by IAF under the project to enable them handle repairs or servicing at their base depot so that the turnaround time would get reduced for mission-critical systems.

This would enable IAF to sustain the fleet more efficiently and effectively due to availability of repair infrastructure at respective bases.

Under the Atmanirbhar 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 Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will give a further push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and boost indigenisation of defence production and the defence industry in the country,” the statement said.

About 500 Indian companies including MSMEs in the design and manufacturing sectors will be working with HAL in this procurement.

The programme would act as a catalyst for transforming the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar-self-sustaining ecosystem, it added.

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