Will have all 40 Tejas Mk1 in the fleet by 2023: IAF Chief
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the last fiscal year managed to deliver 6 FOC Configuration Tejas Mk1 jets with a total delivery of 31 jets that now form the first two squadrons, IAF Chief Air Marshal VR Chaudhari confirmed that the first lot of trainer aircraft will be delivered by March 2023 and remaining in mid-2023 completing deliveries of first 40 aircraft that were contracted.
HAL has paused manufacturing of the single-seater Tejas Mk1 jets after completing the assembly of 32 jets as mandated by the previous contract and has started the process of manufacturing 18 two-seater trainer variants. 8 Trainer jets are from the first order and 10 more are from the second order that was placed in 2021.
The first of the newly upgraded Tejas Mark 1A jet that is part of the 73 jets that were ordered in 2021 will be delivered from March 2024 onwards, with the remainder entering service by 2028-29. Tejas Mark 1A Flying Test Bed that is currently under modification on an older Limited series production (LSP) will take to air by end of this month but there might be slight delays, second Tejas Mark 1A Flying Test Bed is also under the floor, both Flying Test Bed will be used to test and validate many of the upgraded systems and components that will be incorporated in the Tejas Mark 1A jets.