TimesNow timesnownews.com 14 Jan, 2021 14:30 am

Indian Air Force: 83 Tejas fighters cleared for Air Force: The significance of this mega deal, explained

Indian Air Force: 83 Tejas fighters cleared for Air Force: The significance of this mega deal, explained
The CCS's approval is the latest development in a procurement deal that has its roots around three years ago when the Indian Air Force issued an initial tender for the 83 Tejas aircraft.

|  Photo Credit: PTI Key Highlights Boasting external self-protection jammer pods, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, advanced beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles and improved maintainability, the Mk-1A jet represents a significant upgrade on the Mk-1 version The number of India's fighter squadrons has dropped to as low as 28 or 29 compared to a sanctioned strength of 42 Given the budgetary constraints that were already hampering defence procurement, now likely to worsen due to the paralysing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on India's fiscal figures, the scheduled approval of the 83 Tejas aircraft will come as significant relief to the IAF In what is, reportedly, the largest defence procurement deal in the nation's history, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi greenlit the acquisition of 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft for the Indian Air Force, amid persisting tensions at the border with China and Pakistan.Given the budgetary constraints that were already hampering defence procurement, now likely to worsen due to the paralysing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on India's fiscal figures, the scheduled approval of the 83 Tejas aircraft will come as significant relief to the IAF.The CCS's approval is the latest development in a procurement deal that has its roots around three years ago when the Indian Air Force issued an initial tender for the 83 Tejas aircraft.In October 2020, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadhauria declared that the Indian Air Force was seeking to design, manufacture and license-build more than 320 aircraft of different combat types over the next decade – an ambitious endeavour likely to set the government back lakhs of crores.

He pointed to the IAF's depleting fighter squadrons as a justification for the drive.The number of India's fighter squadrons has dropped to as low as 28 or 29 compared to a sanctioned strength of 42.

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