Hindustan Aeronautics Limited reportedly expects the order for 83 Tejas Mark 1A variant jets by Indian Air Force (IAF) to be confirmed before the end of this year.
Following months of talks, HAL and IAF agreed on a price of Rs390bn ($5.2bn) for the 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), reported India Today.
Of the 83 jets, 73 are fighter jets and ten are two-seat trainer variants.
The delay on the order has been attributed to a number of issues, in particular ‘additional requirements through contract’.
A HAL official said: “All queries have now been answered and the case is under approval.”
India’s national security decision-making body Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have to approve this contract following which a formal contract will be signed by HAL and IAF.
Delivery of the Mark 1A variant is expected to commence within three years of the signing of the contract. All aircraft are expected to be delivered within five years.
The IAF invested Rs590bn ($7.8bn) for the acquisition of the 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Larsen & Toubro, VEM Technologies, Alpha Tocol, Tata Advanced Materials and Dynamatic Technologies will manufacture the fuselages, wings, tail fins and rudders for the LCAs.
HAL would assemble these components at its twin production lines in Bengaluru.
Currently, IAF operates one squadron of the 16 ‘Mark 1’ baseline Tejas type at Coimbatore airbase.
HAL is developing a third production line for Tejas, which will be established in November. This line will produce the two-seat trainer variant.