The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday cleared the much awaited deal for 83 TEJAS MK-1A fighter jets, which will see a greater collaboration between state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and private firms as part of ‘Make in India’.

With the CCS now clearing the deal, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is expected to sign a contract with HAL next month when India’s air show Aero India takes off in Bangalore.

According to the plan, HAL is to deliver 73 fighters and 10 trainers by 2026.

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS MK-1A is an advanced version of TEJAS MK-1 (FOC), which is in service with the IAF currently.

In a tweet, Mr Singh said the deal will be a "game-changer" for self-reliance in defence manufacturing in India. The defence minister said Tejas is going to be the backbone of the fighter fleet of the Indian Air Force in years to come.

Here are some facts you must know about the Tejas jet:

1. TEJAS has been an object of ridicule for domestic detractors and to our deep-seated jealous adversary, Pakistan. The late former defence minister Shri Manohar Parrikar was single handedly instrumental in reviving the LCA program after UPA's defence minister AK Antony strived to kill it with his laggardness and indifference. The country owes a lot of debt to Shri Parrikar, who relentlessly supported the program in the firm belief that our gifted engineers would deliver the goods to see the diminutive but deadly jet sear the skies.

2. TEJAS is a tail-less compound delta aircraft, which is equipped with Quadruplex Digital fly-by-wire. The aircraft is built with advanced composite materials with reduced weight, increased life and reduced signature.

3. TEJAS MK-1A is a supersonic fighter at all altitudes for air combat, which can carry a payload of 3,500 kg and is best suited for offensive air support, according to HAL officials. The aircraft has a service ceiling of 15 km.

4. The TEJAS Mk-1A combat aircraft is an indigenously designed and manufactured fourth-generation fighter with critical operational capabilities that include an Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and is capable of air-to-air refuelling (AAR).

5. The final operational clearance or FOC aircraft of Tejas has several additional capabilities compared to the initial operational clearance or IOC aircraft - the primary one being a more advanced missile capability with a significantly enhanced range.

6. TEJAS MK-1A comes with Digital Moving Map with 2D maps and 3D perspective view, besides provision for Global Navigation Satellite System, Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-based positioning system, GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation, and Satellite Based Augmentation System.

7. Tejas is a single-engine fully-weaponised light fighter.

8. Although a lightweight aircraft with a short range, Tejas aircraft can carry the same array of modern weapons that bigger warplanes carry, from precision guided and standoff weaponry to long-range 'beyond visual range' missiles that can take down enemy planes from a safe distance.

9. Tejas has many advanced features like: Beyond Visual Range Missile capabilities, Air-to-Air Refuelling and Air-to-Ground weapons. BrahMos NG of 1.5 ton weight is also planned to be integrated with Tejas.

10. The naval variant of the Tejas, in development stage, successfully performed "arrested landings" on the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

11. HAL has outsourced significant tasks on the Tejas MK-1A to Indian firms like Larsen and Toubro, Dynamatic Technologies and Alpha Designs. The front fuselage of Mark 1A has been outsourced to Dynamatic Technologies, the middle section to VEM, and the rear section to Alpha Design. The wings for the next generation of the Tejas aircraft will be manufactured by Larsen and Toubro.

12. There are over 70 Indian suppliers involved in outsourcing of the detail parts of the aircraft.

13. TEJAS MK-1A will have inbuilt capability to fire BVR missiles such as Derby missile and is already integrated on current Tejas itself. Indigenously developed BVR missile (ASTRA MK-1) has been identified to be integrated on MK-1A, which will be a weapon of choice of IAF, HAL officials said. This weapon will give an edge to TEJAS Tejas over its contemporaries like the Sino-Pak product JF 17 in BVR warfare.

14. EW suite will provide capabilities for electronic counter measures with extended band of operation for threat detection and jamming capability. The EW capability will increase survivability of the aircraft in a networked environment. With the integration of an external jamming pod, the aircraft will be able to do its duty as an offensive air combat platform.

15.Last but not least, integration of the indigenous UTTAM AESA radar will have improved range than the regular system and will enable near simultaneous missile firing for multiple targets and increased situational awareness. AESA radar will be electronically scanned agile beam radar based on Transmit/Receive Modules (TRM) and support multi-mode operation in X-band with a bandwidth of 600 MHz or more. The radar is capable of tracking 16 targets at a time in air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea modes. (Ed: Combining related series)