Two contracts were signed between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., (HAL) for procurement of (i) 20 Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) standard aircraft (16 IOC fighters and 4 IOC trainers) on 31st March 2006 to be completed by December 2011 and (ii) 20 Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft (16 FOC fighters and 4 FOC trainers) on 23rd December 2010 to be completed by December 2016.
At the time of placement of IOC order in 2006, it was expected that Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), who is the Programme Management Agency will obtain IOC in 2008 after which delivery was planned till December 2011. However, IOC has been achieved by ADA in December 2013 that too only for 16 fighter version IOC aircraft, after which only, HAL could take up production and first IOC fighter aircraft was delivered in 2016-17. Till date, out of total 16 IOC fighter aircraft, 12 fighters have been delivered to IAF. HAL plans to deliver the balance 4 IOC fighter aircrafts by March, 2019. ADA has handed over Drawing Applicability List (DAL) and Equipment Standard of Preparation (SOP) documents, for FOC configuration to HAL on 31st December, 2018 duly cleared by centre of Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) to go ahead with the production of FOC fighter aircraft. Accordingly HAL has taken up the production of LCA, FOC fighter aircraft.
The production of 8 trainer aircraft (4 each in IOC &FOC contracts) would be taken up only after design clearance from ADA.In order to fast track the delivery of LCATejas, the following steps 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.
- Establishment of second line for structural and equipping activities at Aircraft Division, HAL.
- Increased the number of jigs for Front Fuselage, Centre Fuselage, Rear Fuselage, Wings & various sub-assemblies and established contracts for outsourcing to private partners.
- Reduction in manufacturing cycle time through improved supply chain management, learning and augmentation of manpower.
This information was given by Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr. Subhash Bhamre in a written reply to Dr. R. Lakshmanan in Rajya Sabha today.