In a much-awaited decision, the Modi government on Wednesday approved procurement of 83 indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force in deal worth Rs 48,000 crore. The decision by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is being seen as a big step towards making the 'Made in India' Tejas the backbone of IAF's fighter fleet in years to come.
The Indian Air Force has also welcomed the government decision. IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria said that the historic procurement decision will bolster the capability of the force considerably.
"The 83 aircraft will look after four squadrons. The current strength of the two squadron plan of LCA will now increase to six. Essentially the deployment will be frontline," news agency ANI quoted Bhadauria, as saying said.
"It is a huge step for IAF capability building. It is also a big boost to our indigenous industry. It is also a big recognition of our designers. It is a huge step for Indian Air Force and for the country," the IAF chief added.
Commenting on Tejas' comparison with Pakistan's JF-17 fighter jet, which the neighbouring nation has developed jointly with China, IAF Bhadauria said the Indian jet was far more advanced in every aspect.
"Indian aircraft Tejas is far better and advanced than the Chinese and Pakistan joint venture JF-17 fighter. As far as this comparison is concerned we are way ahead. Tejas has top of the line equipments," the IAF chief said.
The IAF has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft as part of its initial order of 40 jets.