Major contracts for procuring 56 C-295 transport aircraft from Airbus to replace the Avro aircraft in service and 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk-1A are likely to be concluded in the next few months, in addition to few other deals.
“Case for procurement of advanced 83 LCA Mk 1A from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] is at final approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and contract is likely to be signed soon,” the Defence Ministry said.
The deal, expected to cost around ₹38,000 crore, could possibly be concluded at the Aero India 2021 in February, a defence official said.
On the C-295 deal, the Ministry said, “Case of procurement of 56 C-295 from Airbus with the participation of an Indian Production Agency for manufacture of 40 aircraft [out of total 56] in India is also at the Competent Financial Authority (CFA) approval stage and the contract is likely to be signed in the near future.”
Boost to defence industry
The case was first of its kind which envisaged the participation of private companies and would prove to be a boost to the defence industry, the Ministry said in its annual report.
In addition, contracts for procuring the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) from HAL, additional Harop (P-IV) loitering drones from Israel and upgrade of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAV) in service were also at an advance stage. “Contracts are likely to be signed in the first quarter of 2021,” the Ministry stated.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ordered 40 LCA Tejas in two batches of 20 each in the Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) and Final Operational Clearance (FOC) configurations and has raised two squadrons.
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