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06 Jul 2020, Edition - 1819, Monday

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Coimbatore

Cabinet clearance awaited for MK-1A manufacturing

Covai Post Network

Coimbatore : Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL) is awaiting approval for manufacture of LCA Mk-1A, the improvised version of Mk-1 to be supplied to Indian Air Force (IAF), a top official said Wednesday.

The approval should have been received earlier, but was delayed due to Covid-19 situation and the company is expecting approval during
the third quarter of the financial year, HAL Chairman and Managing Director, R Madhavan told reporters at Sulur, on the sidelines of handing over Tejas Mk-1 FOC to IAF.

HAL has an order of 83 such fighter and once receive approval it would start supplying by 2023, in 36 months, he said.

Similarly, another version Mk-2 is under design stage, which will be more advanced than the previous variants, he said.

Stating that FOC variant will reduce the maintenance man hours and turn around time resulting in enhanced support to IAF Missions, Madhavan said that 16 more such FOC fighters will be delivered soon, by increasing the manufacturing capacity from eight to 16.

When asked about setting up an assembling unit in Coimbatore, which is having a Defence Manufacuting corridor, Madhavan said that of the more than 2,000 vendors, the city has a major share and there was no no plan to set up a unit so far.

To another question on exports, the official said that HAL is very much interested in supplying to other countries.

Air officer Commander in Chief Southern Air Command, Amit Tiwari, who was present, said that IAF has enough war planes and there was no no shortage as such. 

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