HAL To Ramp Up Tejas Mk-1A Production Rate From 16 To 24; Aims To Complete Delivery By 2028, One Year Ahead Of Schedule

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Oct 17, 2023, 11:02 AM | Updated 11:54 AM IST

Tejas Mk-1 jet carrying 'Made-in-India' Astra Mk-1 Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile. (Image via X/@Praneethfrank)
Tejas Mk-1 jet carrying 'Made-in-India' Astra Mk-1 Air-to-Air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile. (Image via X/@Praneethfrank)

In a decision that will bolster the Indian Air Force's (IAF) depleting squadron strength, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has chosen to increase the production rate of the 'Made-in-India' Tejas Mk-1A fighter jets from the earlier 16 to 24, reported Hindustan Times.

The IAF had previously placed an order for 83 Tejas Mk-1A fighters worth Rs 48,000 crore in 2021, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by 2029.

However, with this increased production rate, the 83 Tejas Mk-1A order is set to be fulfilled a year earlier, in 2028.

This development follows IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari's announcement that the IAF is considering the acquisition of an additional 97 Tejas Mk-1A fighter jets worth Rs 67,000 crore.

The Defense Procurement Board (DPB) recently approved this additional order of 97 Tejas jets, reported The Hindu.

According to the HT report, the additional eight jets will be manufactured at HAL's Nashik production line, which until recently was used to assemble Sukhoi Su-30 MKI.

HAL's Bengaluru production line has the capacity to produce 16 jets, which, coupled with the additional eight jets from Nashik, will take the total production rate to 24 jets per year.

“We are hoping to achieve a targeted minimum capacity of building 24 fighters. Nashik has been a big aircraft division that was earlier manufacturing Sukhoi-30s. Building eight LCA-Mk-1As every year with an additional production line is not going to be a difficult job. This will help us make more fighters available to IAF at the earliest,” HAL chief C B Ananthakrishnan stated.

HAL chief also confirmed that the first Tejas Mk-1A will be delivered to the IAF by February 2024, and the last will be delivered by 2028, ahead of the previously contracted 2029 timeline.

The first Mk-1A will be delivered to IAF in February 2024, and the last of the 83 jets by 2028 (instead of 2029, the contracted delivery schedule), Ananthakrishnan added.

The assembly line in Nashik has already begun to receive the necessary equipment and modifications to prepare for the assembly of the Tejas Mk-1As, with the aim of delivering three jets by 2024-25 and eight annually thereafter.

“We have already started installing the jigs, fixtures and other equipment. We expect the first assembly to happen in December 2024. Our target is to deliver three aircraft from Nashik in 2024-25 and eight every year thereafter,” Ananthakrishnan further stated.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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