Voice Of The People

HAL to Deliver First LCA Mark 1A Fighter to IAF by July, Signals Major Boost in Indigenous Defense Capabilities

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is set to deliver the first LCA Mark 1A fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) by July, following a slight delay from the initial February-March timeline due to technical reasons. This update comes from defence officials speaking to ANI, who confirmed that recent reviews by the IAF and HAL have set the new delivery date for July.

Last month, HAL successfully conducted the inaugural flight of this indigenous fighter. Currently, additional integration trials are in progress and are expected to be completed soon, allowing for the timely delivery to the IAF.

The introduction of the LCA Mark 1A into the IAF’s fleet represents a key milestone in India’s journey towards self-reliance in the military sector. It is anticipated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to commemorate this significant event.

Under Prime Minister Modi’s tenure, the LCA Mark 1A project has already secured an order worth Rs 48,000 crore for 83 aircraft. An additional order for 97 more planes, expected to be valued at Rs 65,000 crore, is anticipated by the end of this financial year. The Defence Ministry has already issued a tender to HAL for these 97 indigenous fighter jets, marking the largest order for homegrown military hardware by the Indian government. HAL has a three-month window to respond to this tender.

Government officials noted that this program aims to replace the aging MiG-21, MiG-23, and MiG-27 fleets, which are being phased out. This indigenous fighter aircraft initiative, strongly supported by the Defence Ministry and Air Headquarters, is expected to significantly boost indigenization and provide substantial business opportunities to small and medium enterprises in the defense sector across India.

Prime Minister Modi has been a vigorous proponent of reviving HAL, which has secured orders for various indigenous fighter aircraft, helicopters, and their engines under his leadership. Notably, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to undertake a sortie in the trainer variant of an indigenous combat aircraft.

IAF Chief VR Chaudhari, speaking from Spain, first revealed plans to acquire an additional 97 LCA Mark 1A jets, underscoring the ambitious drive to enhance indigenous fighter aircraft orders.


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