Following Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL’s) repeated non-compliance in terms of fulfilling requirements in the Tejas aircraft deal, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to take up the matter with the Defence Ministry, reports ANI.

In December 2017, the IAF had issued a single vendor tender to HAL, and the latter sent back its first commercial and technical response to it in March 2018.

As per the report, there were three major shortcomings in HAL’s response.

The HAL's offer on price and other aspects was valid only for 12 months, however, the procurement procedure required it to be minimum 18 months. The delivery time offered by the HAL was thus not deemed acceptable.

As per IAF officials quoted in the report, it was also found that the aircraft range and the endurance levels were not in compliance with the requirements. Endurance level pertains to the amount of time an aircraft can be in the air.

The IAF officials thus told HAL to rectify the issues in the proposal and send a revised response. But non-compliance was also noted in HAL’s subsequent responses which were received in the last 15 days.

“The delivery schedule now proposed by HAL remains a non-compliance, for which the IAF is approaching Defence Acquisition Council,” IAF said.

Under the new responses, HAL complied with the ferry range but failed to solve the delivery schedule matter following which IAF has now reportedly decided to approach the Defence Acquisition Council.

The program is already said to have been delayed by over a year despite getting the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) nod in 2016.

The Air Force had already placed an order for 40 LCA jets and had issued tenders to the HAL for another 83 Mark 1A LCAs to replace its old fleet of MiG-27 and MiG 21 aircraft but has had to postpone their retirement given the delays in the LCA and other fighter aircraft procurement projects.