Pricing issue of 83 LCA finalised

The issue of pricing of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) to be manufactured by state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has been finalised and the contract is likely to be signed in the next few months, Director General (Acquisition) in the Defence Ministry, Apurva Chandra, said on Thursday.

Addressing an international conference in New Delhi, he also said procurement of additional Akash surface-to-air missiles (SAM) for the Indian Air Force, worth Rs 5,500 crore, was cleared by the Union Cabinet last week and the contract would be signed in the course of next seven days.

"Pricing of LCA, which was under discussion with the costing committee, was finalised two days back in a meeting by the secretary of Defence Production. Now discussion for the pricing of support package is on. That also should be finalised in a month or two. So we should be in a position to sign the contract for the aircraft in the next 3-4 months," Apurva said.

The two-day conference hosted at the India Habitat Centre is on 'energising Indian aerospace industry: flight plan for the future'.

In his keynote address, he also said the induction of Rafale aircraft would boost India's combat capabilities and "make us on top of our adversary".

Faced with depleting strength of its fighter squadron, the Indian Air Force in December 2017 had issued the request for proposal (RFP) to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the procurement of 83 Tejas light combat aircraft at a cost of over Rs 50,000 crore.

The IAF had earlier placed an order with the HAL for 40 Tejas aircraft.