India’s defense ministry has approved the purchase of 83 indigenously-built Tejas Mk1A light combat aircraft (LCA).
The clearance came a day after aircraft manufacturer HAL announced the first flight of a full operational capability (FOC) standard Tejas on March 17.
While India already has 40 initial-configuration Tejas aircraft on order from HAL, the Defence Acquisition Council decision from March 18 paves the way for procurement of 83 of the more advanced Mk1A versions of the aircraft.
The DAC proposal will now be placed for consideration of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
India started work on the Tejas program in the 1980s with the aim of replacing its MiG-21 fighters. The single-engine aircraft will be operated by both the navy and the air force, with a total of over 300 units intended for procurement.