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India ready to sign contract to acquire 83 local-made Tejas Mk1A LCS Light Combat Aircraft

According to information published by the Livefist Defence website on July 16, 2020, the Indian company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) could receive the final clearance for the sale of 83 local-made Tejas Mk.1A for the Indian Air Force. At the beginning of July, India has announced the purchase of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1A soon and expects the beginning of the delivery in three years.

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India ready to sign the contract to acquire 83 local made Tejas Mk1A LCS Light Combat Aircraft 925 001 Indian-made Tejas LCS Light Combat Aircraft. (Picture source Facebook account Indian Aerospace Defence)

in May 2018, the Indian Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal (ACM) R.K.S. Bhadauria said that the acquisition of 83 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) is a high priority for the Indian Air Force and India expects to sign a contract soon.  

The Tejas is an Indian-made single-engine, fourth-generation, multirole light fighter designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program, which began in the 1980s to replace India's aging MiG-21 fighters.

The Tejas is the second supersonic fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) after the HAL HF-24 Marut. Production of the Tejas Mark 1 for the Indian Air Force (IAF) began in 2016, at which time the naval version was undergoing flight tests for the Indian Navy (IN). As of 2019, the Indian Air Force has planned for a total of 324 Tejas in several variants.[18] The first batch of 40 Mark 1 aircraft consists of 16 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard that were delivered in early 2019.[19] The delivery of the second batch of 16 Full Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft commenced in late 2019 and led to formation of the second Tejas squadron — No. 18 Squadron IAF Flying Bullets — in Sulur on 27 May 2020.

According to the Airforce-Technology website, the Tejas fighter aircraft has a delta platform design with shoulder-mounted delta wings. It has a fin but no horizontal tail. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, lithium and titanium alloys, and carbon composites, have been used in the construction. The wing structure includes composite spares and ribs with a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic skin.

The Tejas fighter aircraft has eight external hardpoints to carry stores, with three under each wing, one on the center fuselage and one installed under the air intake on the port side. A 23mm twin-barrelled GSh-23 gun with a burst firing rate of 50 rounds a second and muzzle velocity of 715m a second is installed in a blister fairing under the starboard air intake.

In 2015, ADA and HAL proposed an upgraded Tejas Mark 1A as a stop-gap aircraft until the Mark 2 came into production, which was delayed. It is to include digital radar warning receivers, an external ECM pod and a self-protection jammer, AESA radar, ease of maintenance and improvement in avionics, aerodynamics, radar signature.