Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a second production line for TEJAS at HAL, Bangalore

BANGALORE: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated a new plant at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Bangalore to double the production of India's indigenous fighter jet - TEJAS.

"We cannot remain dependent on other countries for the defence of our country... You (HAL) have received a ₹ 48,000-cr order from the armed forces. This is the biggest indigenous defence procurement, which will give new heights to Indian aerospace sector. It is a historical deal," Rajnath Singh said while addressing a gathering of HAL management and staffers.

"TEJAS is not only indigenous it is also better than its foreign equivalents on several parameters and comparatively cheaper. Many countries have shown interest in TEJAS. India will achieve the target of ₹ 1.75 lakh-crore in the field of defence manufacturing in few years," Mr Singh wrote tweeting images of his day at the HAL facility.

The second production line for TEJAS is spread over 35 acres and is all set to go. It will give a significant boost to India's aspiration for self-reliance -- the cornerstone of the centre's growth plan for the country -- in meeting its defence needs.
"It will double the production of TEJAS to 16 aircrafts a year towards completing the Air Force order of 83 jets," EP Jayadeva, General Manager of HAL's TEJAS Division said in an exclusive interaction.

"It will take us about five years to complete the order. But we have set a three-year target. We are also setting up facility for trainer (aircraft) assembly," he said, adding that the focus will be on first supplying the trainer jets.

EP Jayadeva, the General Manager of HAL's TEJAS Division

The project will include many public and private sector players and create an estimated 5,000 primary jobs in the private sector.

"The HAL's second production line alone will generate employment for 500-600 people. Since we will only assemble the jets here, all our outsourcing for parts and sub-assemblies will also generate employment," EP Jayadeva said.

This is the first time that Indian private players are partnering to manufacture aircraft fuselage and wings.

Among the new technologies to be featured in the TEJAS are Digital Fly-By-Wire and Mission Computer-Controlled Avionics.