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Aero India 2023

Defence Secretary Aramane inaugurates new production line for Tejas jets

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane has inaugurated a new production facility in Nashik to boost manufacturing of indigenously-developed Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

It is the third production line of the Tejas jets set up by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the maker of the aircraft.

HAL Chairman and Managing Director CB Ananthakrishnan said the new production line will enable the company to enhance production of LCA Tejas (MK1A) from current capacity of 16 jets to 24 aircraft per year.

The HAL has two manufacturing facilities for LCA Tejas in Bengaluru.

Tejas is a single-engine multi-role fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.

The setting up of the new production facility for the Tejas jets came amid growing interests shown by a number of countries to acquire the aircraft.

Egypt, Argentina, the US, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are also among the countries showing interest in Tejas aircraft.

In February 2021, the defence ministry sealed a Rs 48,000 crore deal with HAL for the procurement of 83 Tejas jets for the Indian Air Force.

Aramane also handed over the 100th Sukhoi-30 MKI ROH (Repair and Overhaul) aircraft to the Indian Air Force.

HAL's Nashik division set up Su-30 MKI Repair and Overhaul (ROH) facility in 2014.

At the event, the defence secretary lauded HAL for establishing the new production line for Tejas jets and said the aerospace major has been fulfilling the needs of the country's security, according to a statement by HAL.

"The government has come out with several 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' policies, and that puts HAL in a very important position. HAL will be producing more in the coming years, building more systems, coming out with new concepts and new platforms for future growth," he added.

He also urged HAL to take up new initiatives to aggressively compete in the defence market and look into new areas like unmanned vehicles as the country is in need of these advanced systems.

Aramane emphasised on "initiatives, innovation and excellence".

Ananthakrishnan said, "The new production line will enable the company to enhance LCA MK1A production capacity from 16 to 24 aircraft per year.

He said the HAL's Nashik division has achieved peak overhaul capacity of 20 Su-30 aircraft per year despite having supply chain issues in current geopolitical situations.

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