New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have signed the biggest ever defence deal. Under this deal, HAL will supply 83 ‘Tejas-Mark-1A’ single-engine fighter jets to the IAF. It was being said that the deal was worth ₹565 billion. But now the deal has come down to ₹390 billion, resulting in a saving of nearly ₹170 billion.
HAL had submitted a proposal worth ₹560 billion to the Indian government for the supply of Tejas Mark-1A fighter jets. The defence ministry had said that the rate was high and had ordered negotiation. Accordingly, negotiations were going on between the IAF and HAL officials for the past year. Ultimately the deal has been finalised, and the cost has been pegged at ₹390 billion.
The file of this deal will be sent to the defence committee of the Union cabinet. It is expected that the defence committee will clear the proposal before the end of the financial year, i.e. By 31st of March. There is a desperate need of advanced fighter jets in the IAF and purchase process has been set rolling. Leading fighter jet manufacturers are competing in the process, and companies from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Russia are keen on bagging the deals to supply fighter jets to the IAF.
In this scenario, India is giving preference to the indigenously built Tejas jets, and this deal between HAL and IAF will provide the necessary impetus for indigenous manufacturing of fighter jets.