Saturday, March 17, 2012

Indian Air Force has initiated process of inducting 'Tejas': Defence Ministry

The Indian Air Force has initiated the process of inducting Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) 'Tejas' and has placed an order for 40 aircraft with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defence Ministry told the Rajya Sabha today.

In written reply to a question on development of LCA, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said, "Action for induction of Tejas into IAF has been initiated. IAF has placed orders for 40 aircraft on HAL... Initial Operational Clearance-1 (IOC-1) for the aircraft was achieved in January, 2011."

On development plans for advance version of the aircraft, Raju said, "Tejas Mark-II aircraft is under development with an alternate higher powered engine with considerable improvements. Final cost assessment will be available only after the development phase of Mark-II is completed."

On cost assessment of Tejas Mark-I, he said the scope for its cost reduction has been examined and the same is assessed as not feasible in view of limited quantities.

Rs 11845.20 crore has been sanctioned by the government to Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for development of Tejas, and so far a total expenditure of Rs 5051.46 crore has been incurred.

IAF plans to induct six LCA squadrons by the end of the 13th Plan.

While replying to a question on deployment of IAF helicopters in foreign countries, Defence Minister A K Antony said the the information can not be divulged in the interest of strategic concerns.

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