NEW DELHI: In a significant move to bolster its defense capabilities, the Union Defence Ministry of India has given the green light for the acquisition of 97 Tejas Light Combat aircraft and 156 Prachand Combat helicopters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The announcement, made on Thursday, underscores India's commitment to enhancing its indigenous defense capabilities.
The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, specifically the Tejas Mark-1A variant, stands out as a noteworthy addition to the Indian Air Force's fleet. Designed, developed, and manufactured within the country, the Tejas Mark-1A boasts an impressive 65% indigenous component composition. This emphasis on indigenous production not only enhances self-reliance but also signifies a leap forward in technological prowess.
Simultaneously, the Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the procurement of 156 Prachand Combat helicopters, further diversifying and strengthening India's aerial capabilities. Among these, 90 helicopters are designated for the Indian Army, while the remaining 66 are allocated for the Indian Air Force. The Prachand helicopters, like the Tejas aircraft, proudly represent India's domestic manufacturing capabilities in the defense sector.
The combined worth of these acquisitions is a staggering Rs 1.1 lakh crore, reflecting the magnitude of this strategic investment in the country's defense infrastructure. This financial commitment underscores the importance placed on securing advanced and domestically produced military assets.
Furthermore, the Defence Acquisition Council has given the green signal for the Indian Air Force's Su-30 fighter aircraft upgrade program, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to modernizing the existing fleet. This move aligns with India's pursuit of maintaining a technologically superior and operationally effective air force.
As India commemorates the 1-year anniversary of these strategic decisions, the nation can look forward to a strengthened defense apparatus, characterized by cutting-edge technology, indigenous innovation, and enhanced military capabilities. The approval of these acquisitions marks a significant milestone in India's journey toward self-reliance in defense production, contributing not only to national security but also positioning the country as a key player in the global defense arena.