LCA-MK1A to cost ₹306 crore, HAL actively pursuing exports

HAL will offer same version that is in service with IAF to friendly foreign countries and at the same price, says CMD Madhavan

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was actively looking for exports of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas with interest from countries in South East Asia and West Asia and each LCA (Light Combat Aircraft)MK1A jet would cost ₹306 crore, said HAL Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan on Thursday.

Giving a break-up of the ₹48,000 crore-deal for 83 LCA for the Indian Air Force (IAF), he said, “As far as the order is concerned, if you remove the tax part of it, it’s worth about ₹36,000 crore, out of which close to ₹6,000 crore directly goes to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), and as we are supplying ground support equipment and other things, another ₹3,000 crore is expected to go towards Indian partners.”

Further, ₹2,200 crore is the exchange rate variation while the Customs and taxes was around ₹7,000 crore, together making around ₹9,000 crore. Also, ₹11,000 crore would be used for ground support equipment, spares and training aids and manuals. “If you remove all this, the total order is about ₹25,000 crore,” Mr. Madhavan said.


The cost of each LCA-MK1A was ₹309 crore and the trainer ₹280 crore which, Mr. Madhavan said, was a very competitive price. The indigenous content of the aircraft was about 52%. HAL was looking at ways to increase it to 65%. It would be offering the same version that was in service with the IAF to friendly foreign countries and at the same price.

At Aero India, HAL received the Request For Proposal (RFP) from the IAF for the basic trainer aircraft HTT-40. The documents were handed over to Mr. Madhavan by Deputy Chief of the Air Force Air Marshal Sandeep Singh and V. L. Kantha Rao, Director General (Acquisition).

The RFP is for 70 aircraft with additional clause for 38 more. The certification will be given against the requirements and production will take place at HAL’s two manufacturing units at Bengaluru and Nasik.

Unmanned fighter

HAL also announced an ambitious futuristic project for the development of an unmanned fighter jet, which would be controlled by a manned aircraft called ‘manned–unmanned’ teaming and be able to strike deep inside the enemy territory called Combat Air Teaming System (CATS). A senior HAL official termed the project the “dream and future of HAL”.

It would consist of CATS Hunter, CATS Warrior and Alpha-S, all of which are unmanned systems and would be controlled by a manned mother aircraft, a fighter jet, being customised around a LCA and Jaguar aircraft. “We will be ready to fly it in four-five years time and have put in ₹ 400 crore of our own money on the CATS warrior.”

The CATS warrior would be armed and be able to strike deep inside the enemy territory, while the mothership would be in the Indian territory. It would be powered by the HAL engine that was powering pilotless target aircraft Lakshya .

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