The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to acquire about 100 new Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark-1A fighter jets to replace its old MiG series fighters. This decision is aimed at modernizing the air force and supporting the domestic aerospace industry.
The IAF wants to retire its aging MiG-21, MiG-23, and MiG-27 fighter planes and replace them with the Tejas jets, which are produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, who is currently in Spain to receive a C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus, explained the importance of this move. He mentioned that the Tejas was designed specifically to replace the older MiG aircraft, and to ensure a sufficient number of these modern planes in the IAF’s inventory, they are planning to order approximately 100 more in addition to the 83 already contracted.
The Tejas Mark-1A is a modern fighter aircraft with over 65% of its components made in India. It features advanced technology like Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Missiles, a sophisticated Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, and the capability for Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR).
This procurement is also in line with India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) initiative, as it promotes the domestic defense industry to participate in high-tech and competitive sectors.