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India issues tender for 97 additional Tejas Mk 1As

The first production Tejas Mk 1A, from the IAF's initial order of 83 aircraft (placed in 2021), prepares for take-off from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport in Bangalore on 28 March 2023. (HAL)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a tender to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the procurement of 97 additional Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk 1A fighter aircraft.

The potential acquisition has an initial proposed value of INR650 billion (USD7.7 billion), an industry source told Janes on 12 April. The possible acquisition of the 97 aircraft is in addition to the 73 Mk 1As and 10 trainers ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2021.

The source added that the tender document for the 97 Mk 1As was issued in March 2024.

The document, which is akin to a request for quote (RFQ), will be assessed by HAL, the source said. Janes understands that HAL has three months to respond to the document. The source added that the “value of the proposed acquisition could change”.

News of the tender follows the 30 November 2023 approval of an acceptance of necessity for additional Tejas Mk 1A aircraft – accorded by India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).

Janes initially reported on the IAF's interest in acquiring additional Tejas Mk 1As in August 2023. In September 2023 Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) of the IAF Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari confirmed in a media statement that the air force was looking at “moving the [statement of] case for 100 more” Mk 1As.

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