Rajnath Singh, the Indian Defence Minister, said Sunday the complete indigenisation of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS will be achieved soon. A brainchild of India’s domestic aviation and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), TEJAS is a supersonic, single-engine, fourth-generation, multi-role fighter aircraft currently in use by the Indian Air Force. While addressing the curtain raiser of 'Aero India' 2023 on Sunday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, "We are putting in all efforts to see that TEJAS becomes 100 per cent indigenised. That is our ultimate aim."

Currently, TEJAS has seen success with the Indian Air Force by fulfilling the requirement for a modern, lightweight, and cost-effective fighter aircraft. Further, the aircraft signifies a boost in India’s efforts to achieve self-reliance in the defence production sector. TEJAS features advanced technology, including a glass cockpit, a fly-by-wire control system, and an advanced electronic warfare suite.

The aircraft is powered by a single GE F404 engine and is equipped with a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, making it capable of performing a variety of missions, including air-to-air combat, ground attack, reconnaissance, and an interception.

Indigenisation Efforts Behind TEJAS’ Making

TEJAS is a prime example of the nation’s efforts towards indigenisation in the defence as well as the aerospace sector. The development of the TEJAS was a major initiative of the Indian government to build a home-grown, modern fighter aircraft that could meet the needs of the Indian Air Force.

The TEJAS program involved the participation of a number of Indian companies, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), and various private sector companies.

As per the MoD, this collaboration allowed for the transfer of technology and the development of indigenous capabilities in the fields of aerodynamics, avionics, and propulsion.

Notably, the programme not only gave a boost to India’s capabilities in the defence production sector, but also created job opportunities by employing a highly skilled workforce, with a number of Indian engineers and technicians gaining expertise in the design, development, and production of advanced aerospace systems.

During his address, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted that India’s defence exports have increased since the implementation of the government’s 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Scheme'. “Ever since we have accepted the commitment of self-reliant India since then the export of defence items in India has increased. We want to make India self-reliant; this is our resolution and we want to increase India's defence exports,” the Indian Defence Minister said during the curtain raiser of Aero India 2023.