Nod for 83 LCA-Mk1A from HAL worth around ₹39,000 crore

The jets are in addition to the 40 LCA already ordered by the IAF

Updated - March 18, 2020 08:41 pm IST

Published - March 18, 2020 08:38 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo of Tejas-Mk 1A

File photo of Tejas-Mk 1A

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday accorded approval for the procurement of 83 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-1A from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) by “finalising the contractual and other issues”. The deal is expected to cost around ₹39,000 crore, official sources said.

Also read | Air Force likely to get 123 LCA Tejas by 2024-25

“The proposal will now be placed for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Security [CCS],” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

The DAC had given initial clearance for the 83 aircraft in November 2016 and the IAF issued the Request For Proposal (RFP) to HAL in December, 2017. However, negotiations got stuck due to the steep price quoted by HAL which the IAF had said was more than the price of a Su-30MKI.

The 83 jets are in addition to the 40 LCA already ordered by the IAF in two batches of 20 each in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and the Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configurations.

The MoD statement said following the separation of duties between the Department of Defence (DoD) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the first meeting of the DAC was held with the “Acquisition Wing being the Secretariat of the DAC”. “This would lead to better coordination and faster processing of cases with the Acquisition wing being in the overall charge of the capital acquisition process,” it said.

Also read | Finally, FOC certification for Mark I Tejas

The Defence Acquisition Council also accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous equipment for about ₹1,300 crore which includes procurement of aerial fuses and twin-dome simulators for Hawk Mk32 aircraft of the IAF.

In an effort to bring in transparency in costs and compress the timelines for the negotiation of the contracts, the DAC also approved an amendment to the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 to enable review by a Costing Committee of bids submitted by Joint Ventures of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from whom procurement of defence items is undertaken on a nomination basis, the statement added.

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