Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the government's decision for the purchase of 83 Light Combat Aircraft TEJAS from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will help to create more than 50,000 jobs in the country.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 83 Light Combat Aircraft TEJAS at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore, the biggest ever deal in the indigenous military aviation sector. The approval by the CCS, which is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, comes 10 months after the Defence Acquisition Council in March 2020 okayed the procurement of 83 more advanced MK-1A version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).

"We have given approval for the acquisition of 83 indigenous LCA TEJAS fighter jets from HAL. This decision will help generate more than 50,000 job opportunities in the country," Singh said at the Veterans Day event in Bangalore

Singh earlier had described the signing of the deal as "a game changer for self reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing", saying it will strengthen the IAF’s fleet of homegrown fighter jet 'TEJAS'.

"The TEJAS is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in years to come," Singh had said. "The indigenous content of TEJAS is 50% in MK-1A variant which will be enhanced to 60%."

Singh added HAL has already set up second line manufacturing facilities at its Nasik and Bengaluru divisions.