Tejas is an indigenously developed single-engine light combat aircraft.
New Delhi: A parliamentary panel headed by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has expressed “serious concern” over Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd’s “failure” to provide the required number of Tejas aircraft to the Air Force, adversely affecting its combat potential.
The Public Accounts Committee report tabled in Lok Sabha on Friday, said there were huge delays in the development and induction of the supersonic fighter jet.
The report comes at a time the Congress has been sharpening its attack on the government for French company Dassault Aviation overlooking the state-run HAL while choosing Reliance Defence Ltd as an offset partner for making Rafale fighter jets.
This resulted in two LCA squadrons not materialising and the IAF having to upgrade several aircraft, including the MiG-BIS, MiG-29, Mirage-2000 and Jaguar aircraft at a cost of Rs 20,037 crore, the report said.
Tejas is an indigenously developed single-engine light combat aircraft. The programme to design, develop and manufacture the LCA was sanctioned by the government in 1983.
The phasing out of MiG-21s had to be revised and the IAF is operating with 35 squadrons as against 42 squadrons sanctioned. The MiG-21 and MiG-27 squadrons would be retired over the next 10 years, the committee, headed by Mr Kharge, observed.
The panel comprised 22 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, including from Trinamool Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal, Biju Janata Dal, Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party.