HAL seeks Swedish Saab support to upgrade Tejas fighter jets

A high-level team from Saab will arrive in India next week to carry forward the discussion.

PTI April 14, 2016 19:14:41 IST
HAL seeks Swedish Saab support to upgrade Tejas fighter jets

New Delhi: State-run HAL is in talks with Swedish aerospace major Saab, makers of single engine Gripen fighter planes, to collaborate on the upgraded version of the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas' which will replace IAF's aging fleet of MiG combat jets.

HAL seeks Swedish Saab support to upgrade Tejas fighter jets

Tejas fighter aircraft. PTI

Senior defence sources said that while the first round of talks have been completed, a high-level team from Saab will arrive in India next week to carry forward the discussion.

"India needs about 300 aircraft of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) type. Saab's Gripen is a good fighter jet and
hence exploratory talks are on to see if they can be a technical collaborator for the upgraded Tejas," they said.

The defence ministry has set 2018 deadline for making the first upgraded Tejas aircraft.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), manufacturer of Tejas, is likely to hand over the fourth aircraft to IAF by
June end. The four aircraft will make up for the first squadron of IAF which will be used for training and familarisation.

Rather than waiting for LAC Mk II, IAF had decided to go in with an upgraded version of the existing Tejas with over 40 modifications.

IAF currently plans to acquire 120 Tejas aircraft, with 100 of these having major modifications. The force wants
Active Electrically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite, mid-air refueling capacity and beyond the vision range missiles.

As per the production plan, six aircraft will be made this year (2015-16) and HAL will subsequently scale it up to
eight and 16 aircraft per year.

Saab had offered JAS39 Gripen-E light fighter to India when the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender was announced. The bid was finally won by French firm Dassault Aviation.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had a few years ago sought Saab's help in the Mark-II version of Tejas, which will eventually be inducted into the air force.

Saab is likely to insist on a government-to-government (G2G) deal if they step in to assist India in developing and
manufacturing a light fighter plane.

The Swedish aerospace major has already submitted a proposal to make Gripen in India under the 'Make in India'
initiative.

PTI

Updated Date:

also read

Cabinet Committee on Security approves procurement of 56 transport aircraft for Indian Air Force
India

Cabinet Committee on Security approves procurement of 56 transport aircraft for Indian Air Force

The C-295MW aircraft is a transport plane of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF.

Emergency landing strips to be developed within 15 days instead of 1.5 years, Nitin Gadkari promises IAF
India

Emergency landing strips to be developed within 15 days instead of 1.5 years, Nitin Gadkari promises IAF

Gadkari and defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated a three kilometre emergency landing strip in Barmer on National Highway 925 for IAF aircrafts

DRDO herbal drug Lukoskin proves helpful for vitiligo patients with 70% success rate
India

DRDO herbal drug Lukoskin proves helpful for vitiligo patients with 70% success rate

Till now, more than one lakh patients suffering from the skin condition, also known as leucoderma, have been treated with Lukoskin, said Nitika Kohli from AIMIL Healthcare