HAL wins biggest-ever domestic order for supply of 97 LCA Mark 1A fighter jets

The Ministry of Defence has put out a tender for Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for procurement of 97 made-in-India LCA Mark 1A fighter jets. This deal is estimated to exceed Rs 65,000 crore and is poised to become the biggest purchase of domestically-produced military equipment by the government.

The Defence Ministry has granted the public sector company a three-month period to respond. This move is aimed at assisting the Indian Air Force in replacing its outdated or soon-to-be-phased-out MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-27s, according to a report by the ANI.

The indigenous fighter aircraft programme is expected to be a major catalyst for promoting indigenous manufacturing. According to sources cited in the report, this will offer business opportunities to small and medium enterprises present in the defence sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been actively backing the revival of HAL, which has secured contracts to manufacture various indigenous fighter aircraft, helicopters and engines during his administration. The PM had also made history by undertaking a flight in the trainer variant of the indigenous fighter, marking the first time an Indian PM has flown in a combat aircraft.

Last month, the Ministry of Defence had signed a contract worth Rs 2,890 crore with the company to upgrade 25 Dornier patrol aircraft for the Indian Navy.

On an annual basis, the shares of the public sector company have given multi-bagger returns of 159 per cent or 2,240 points on National Stock Exchange.

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