The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) recently had a meeting with the head of DRDO, ADA, and HAL and came hard on the shifting schedule in the Indigenous Fighter jet program specifically Tejas Mk2 (17.5 tons) and AMCA (24.5 tons) program without which IAF fighter squadrons levels will be below 10-12.
The conference was called after the Indian government led by PM Modi received harsh criticism from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (SCOD) for its lack of progress in acquiring fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
In addition to the initial Rs 2,500 crore sanctioned for it, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the TEJAS MK-2 development project in September of last year for a total cost of nearly Rs 6,500 crore.
In the combat fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the TEJAS MK-2 is slated to replace fighter aircraft like the Mirage-2000, Jaguar, and MiG-29. PMO has contacted ADA and HAL to guarantee that it commences production by 2028–2029 as promised while obtaining CCS clearance.
With the arrival of TEJAS MK-1 FOC Training aircraft, 73 TEJAS MK-1A (14-ton weight) aircraft are expected to start flying in February 2024.
While the remaining 17 ordered Trainer aircraft have yet to start test flights and handover, which could delay Mark-1A deliveries, the first of the 18 ordered Trainer aircraft recently took to the skies.