India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a contract with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the development and supply of 20 types systems for the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) Mk1A programme.

The five-year $314.9m (Rs24bn) contract signing took place on 16 December.

HAL noted that the contract is the ‘biggest ever’ order it has awarded to any Indian firm.

The contract starts from 2023 and runs through 2028.

HAL chairman and managing director (CMD) R Madhavan said: “LCA Tejas programme is an excellent example of synergies between Indian Defence establishments such as HAL, DRDO & BEL.

“The current order for development and supply of 20 types of critical avionics LRUs for Tejas Mk1A is a shot-in-the-arm for Make in India activity. HAL stands committed to indigenous products.”

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This February, the Indian Government officially sealed the approximately $6.57bn (Rs480bn) deal to procure 83 Tejas LCA from HAL.

The order for supply of types systems for 83 Tejas Mk1A fighter fleet will be executed by two BEL Divisions at Bengaluru and Panchkula.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is expected to receive deliveries of the systems under 83 Tejas Mk1A order starting from FY2023-2024.

These systems have been designed by several labs at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in Bengaluru.

The fighter jet will be equipped with indigenous flight control computers, air data computers that would also be provided by BEL under this order.

The HAL-manufactured Tejas jet is a single-seat, single-engine, lightweight, high-agility supersonic fighter aircraft. It entered service with the IAF in July 2016.

BEL CMD Ms Anandi Ramalingam said: “We are pleased to receive this order from HAL for the prestigious LCA Tejas program and look forward to continuing strong partnership and joint success with HAL.”