The Indian Air Force (IAF) is going to order 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircrafts (LCA) from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) as price negotiations for the deal are to be finalised soon, Livemint reported as per the defence sources.
The discussion over the deal was initiated after the IAF, in December 2017, had issued a single-vendor tender to the HAL for 83 LCAs. The deal, which has been delayed for a long time, will be signed only after the price negotiations are done.
"The cost negotiating committee is almost finished with the price negotiations of the aircraft. Once it is done, IAF will enter into a deal with the HAL," a senior IAF official told IANS.
The estimated cost for the deal of 83 Mark 1A Tejas LCA is Rs 45,000 crore. The aircrafts will have their capabilities increased with improved serviceability, faster weapon-loading time, enhanced survivability, a better electronic warfare suite and Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
Earlier, the IAF had signed a deal with the HAL for 40 Tejas LCAs, of which 18 aircrafts have been delivered to the force.
The Air Force, currently, has a serious requirement of around 10-12 squadrons of fighter jets in its inventory inspite of the first four of the 36 Rafale multi-role aircrafts are supposed to arrive by May 2020.