The Nashik unit of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will soon start contributing to the production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS in the country. The HAL spokesperson in Bangalore, confirmed that the work has started in this regard and at least eight TEJAS aircraft will be produced annually at Nashik. It was also confirmed that the set-up is already available at HAL, Nashik and it only needs a few modifications for the production of TEJAS to begin.

After his maiden sortie in the twin-seater TEJAS on November 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited the assembly line at HAL, Bangalore and had discussions about the capabilities of the aircraft. The Prime Minister was also apprised about an additional production line being established at HAL, Nashik to augment the output of 16 TEJAS aircraft already being produced annually at the two production lines in the Bangalore unit, to take the total production rate beyond 24 aircraft annually from 2024-25 onwards. The Nashik unit is thus expected to chip in with at least eight aircraft per year. This will put HAL, Nashik on the global map.

The Prime Minister had a look at the production facilities of the TEJAS in Bangalore and was briefed about the technology intensive work being done at HAL towards realising the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India). He was also briefed about the initiatives being taken by HAL towards ramping capacities and capabilities to produce TEJAS in greater numbers.

TEJAS has already been operationally deployed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and will be the mainstay of the IAF fighter fleet in the years to come, informed officials.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, recently gave initial approval to defence acquisition projects worth ₹2.23 lakh crore including the procurement of 97 TEJAS light combat aircraft and 156 Prachand combat helicopters, in a major move to significantly enhance the combat capabilities of the armed forces. Notably, 98 percent of the total procurement worth ₹2.23 lakh crore will be sourced from domestic industries to give a substantial boost to the Indian Defence Industry towards achieving the goal of ‘Atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance).

The state government recently recommended to the union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that Nashik is an appropriate city to set up a Defence Park in and that all the necessary infrastructure and facilities are available here. For the last several years, Nashik has been expecting big industries to set up shop here. The Airbus repair project was sealed at Ojhar. Now, a Defence Park will also be set up in Nashik. Nashik is suitable for almost all types of industries, believe experts in the field.

Nashik Division of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the largest European aircraft manufacturing company Airbus signed a contract earlier in November this year in New Delhi, for setting up a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the A320 family of aircraft at Ojhar. This collaboration will strengthen the Make-in-India mission by achieving self-reliance in India's aircraft MRO industry. HAL intends to establish an integrated MRO service in India and strive to provide a one-stop MRO solution to commercial airlines. Under the collaboration, Airbus will supply the A320 family tool package and provide exclusive consultancy services to HAL for setting up MRO facilities for the A320 family of aircraft. The partnership between HAL and Airbus will support the growing demand for MRO services in the country and expand the commercial fleet, particularly the A320 family of aircraft. The facility once established will be one of its kind in India. Collaboration between HAL and Airbus will result in a significant reduction in lead time, improved turn-around time and reduction in MRO costs, thereby increasing fleet availability for flight operations.