Two contracts were signed between IAF & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for procurement of (i) 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft on 31st March 2006 to be completed by December 2011 and (ii) 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft on 23rd December 2010 to be completed by 2016.
Out of total 20 IOC aircraft (16 fighters and 4 trainers), 9 fighters have been delivered by HAL to IAF till date. The production of remaining 11 IOC aircraft (7 fighter + 4 trainer) are taken up at HAL. The aircraft is currently capable of undertaking Air Defence Operations and conventional ground attack with heavy bombs is feasible.
Production for 20 FOC aircraft, will be taken up after FOC clearance by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for which current target is December, 2018.
In order to fast track the production of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and to achieve FOC clearance given by ADA, the following initiatives have been taken:-
• For ramping up production capacity from existing 8 aircraft to 16 aircraft per annum, Government of India (GoI) has sanctioned Rs.1381.04 Crore in March, 2017.
• Enhancing production rate of LCA Tejas primarily through outsourcing of major modules to private partners with HAL moving to the role of lead integrator.
• Establishment of second line for structural and equipping activities at Aircraft Division, HAL.
• Increase in number of jigs for Front fuselage, Centre fuselage, Rear fuselage and Wings.
• Reduction in manufacturing cycle time through improved Supply Chain Management, learning and augmentation of manpower.
• Modularization of electrical looms for reduction of cycle time of aircraft looming.
Besides, 40 aircraft (20 IOC & 20 FOC), Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared acquisition of 83 LCA Mk1A for IAF for which quotation has been submitted by HAL.
Further, in order to bolster the fighter squadron strength, Government of India has also planned to manufacture fighter aircraft through Strategic Partnership model.
This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Dr. Banda Prakash in Rajya Sabha today.