IAF officially announces plans to buy around 100 more indigenous LCA Mark 1A fighter jets
PTC News Desk: Indian Air Force has officially announced plans to buy about 100 more made-in-India LCA Mark 1A fighter jets in a major move aimed at boosting the indigenous aerospace sector.
In an interview with a news agency, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari revealed the plan to buy the indigenous jet in Spain shortly after acquiring the first C-295 transport aircraft.
“The LCA was developed from the ground up for replacement of the large MiG series fleet including the MiG-21, MiG 23 and MiG-27 aircraft. With the phasing out of all these aircraft, it is essential that we have adequate numbers of the LCA class aircraft in our inventory. So, apart from the 83 LCA Mark 1A that we have already contracted for, we are moving a case for around 100 more aircraft," Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said.
Move to replace MiG-series fighter jets
The Indian Air Force (IAF) intends to purchase these made-in-India aircraft to replace its fleet of MiG-series fighter jets, and the proposals have been submitted to the Defence Ministry and all other stakeholders in the national security establishment.
Last month, the Indian Air Force chief attended a review meeting of the indigenous fighter aircraft program with all entities involved, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and made the decision to buy approximately 100 more of these jets.
The order means that the LCA Tejas fighters will be reintroduced into the Indian Air Force in substantial numbers. In the next 15 years, the IAF will have 40 LCA, over 180 LCA Mark-1A, and at least 120 LCA Mark-2 planes.
The last order for LCA Mark1A aircraft was for 83 aircraft, with the first plane scheduled to arrive in February 2024. LCA Mark 1A is the advanced version of Tejas aircraft.