PM Modi visits HAL, inspects production facilities of LCA Tejas aircraft

PM Modi visits HAL, inspects production facilities of LCA Tejas aircraft

Bengaluru, Nov 25 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the production facilities of LCA Tejas aircraft at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) here on Saturday and was briefed about the technology-intensive work being done at the company towards realising the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The prime minister was also apprised of the initiatives being taken by the company toward ramping up capacities and capabilities by HAL.

'Prime Minister visited the LCA Tejas Final Assembly and discussed the capabilities of the aircraft. He was briefed about the capabilities of Tejas - a lightweight, all-weather multi-role aircraft,' the HAL said in a release.

Tejas has been operationally deployed with the Indian Air Force and will be the mainstay of IAF fighter fleet in years to come, it said and added that the aircraft is capable of undertaking offensive air support roles as well as ground attach roles and is quite superior to its contemporaries.

Modi on Saturday undertook a sortie on the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured Tejas Twin Seat Light Combat Fighter aircraft, and said the experience has bolstered his confidence in the country's indigenous capabilities.

Noting that the Prime Minister walked through the production line of LCA Tejas and interacted with the engineers on the various features of the Aircraft, HAL said, it was explained that the aircraft is presently powered by GE 404 engine which will get upgraded to GE 414 engine for LCA Mk II which will be manufactured in India with 80 per cent Transfer of Technology arrangement with GE Engines for which the MOU has been signed with it.

He was briefed about the capacity investments being done by HAL to produce LCA Tejas aircraft in greater numbers.

The company said the HAL has established two production lines of LCA Tejas at Bengaluru, which can produce up to 16 aircraft per year.

Further, an additional production line is being established at HAL, Nasik to take the production rate beyond 24 aircraft from 2024-25 onwards. The HAL is planning to advance the deliveries of current and future order of LCA Tejas to its customers, it added.

The prime minister discussed the extent of indigenisation efforts of LCA Tejas, HAL said. It displayed various indigenously developed and produced systems including the Digital flight control computer (DFCC) and Open architecture computer(OAC) with the support of DRDO, DPSU’s and Private industry along with HAL.

The prime minister was informed that the HAL is striving to take the indigenous content of the aircraft beyond 70 per cent in the next 3-4 years under the indigenisation drive as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision and take India towards self-reliance into defence and aerospace, it added.

Modi was also briefed about the progress on the LCA MK1A programme, the HAL said and added that the production of fighter aircraft against 83 Mk1A order concurrent with its design and development is under progress at HAL.

Mk1A variant will be a more lethal aircraft with capabilities such as AESA Radar, BVR Missile capability, EW suite, advance avionics, and maintenance improvements, it said and added that the deliveries of MK1A aircraft are planned from February 2024 onwards to IAF.

Various indigenous helicopters such as Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand, Advanced Light Helicopter-WSI Rudra and Light Utility Helicopters were also showcased to the prime minister.

The HAL briefed the prime minister on the combat and performance capabilities of Prachand with emphasis on the high altitude employability in Leh/Ladakh and eastern Himalayan sectors. It was informed that the helicopter can fly upto 6 km altitude.

He was also briefed that the LCH has already been deployed with the Army and IAF and there is an additional requirement from the defense forces for 156 Prachand helicopters for enhancing the defence preparedness of the nation and its efforts toward Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

The electronic warfare system, armament and troop-carrying capability of Rudra (ALH MkIV) helicopter were also showcased. The prime minister was briefed on the slew capability of guns to the target as demanded by the pilots, and he was briefed on how the same is achieved either through the electro-optical pod or pilot helmet-mounted sighting system. PTI KSU KSU KH

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