Big: For the first time, India's TEJAS & Light Combat Helicopter mentioned in an Independence Day speech by PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of India's 73rd Independence Day said that the deals to buy TEJAS jet and indigenous attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) are close to fruition.

This is the first time that either the TEJAS aircraft or the light combat helicopter have been mentioned in an Independence Day speech.

Under the indigenous defence deals, the government is expected to procure 83 indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS Mk-1A jets from HAL in a deal worth $5.2 Billion.

The final paperwork for the deal is reportedly complete and awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Finance. TJEAS Mk-1A will be a more capable fighter than the original Mk-1 variant.

Mk-1A variant of the TEJAS will come with around 40 major and minor improvements over Mk-1. These improvements include the introduction of an active electronically scanned array radar for detection of enemy aircraft at greater ranges and resistance to jamming, and a faster turnaround of each aircraft after each sortie.

It was earlier reported that the HAL had ramped up production for the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in Bangalore after getting a signal that a contract for the same is near. Freshly confident that an elusive contract for India’s first attack helicopter is in sight, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has ramped up production of the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) in Bangalore. With crucial — and sticky — price negotiations complete, HAL is finally reassured that this one’s in the bag.

Our Bureau