According to Nirmala Sitharaman”provisions for Tejas Mk-2 are being made,” making it absolutely clear that “we are not ditching” the Tejas. Significantly, when asked whether the government now believed the next-generation variant of the Tejas would be as capable as the Gripen and F-16, Ms Sitharaman responded positively stating that this would be a reality once a series of modifications were carried out.
Two year ago indian air-force start looking for new single Engine fighter jet to met its single engine multi-role fighter jets requirement . India showed interest in buying Gripen for SAAB or F16 from Lockheed Martin .
Saab joined hands with Adani group to manufacture Gripen fighter jets in India on the other hand Lockheed Martin & Tata group signed an agreement to jointly build the F-16 Block 70 fighter in India . But now after the statement by indian defence minister the future of Gripen and F16 seemed Unclear .
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that she wants Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to scale up the production of Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), asserting that the government will not “ditched” the Tejas project for any other fighter jet. Right now Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is producing around eight Tejas annually .Nirmala Sitharaman wants the HAL to increase the number to 18 planes per year. The HAL is investing Rs 1,300 crore to augment the existing infrastructure so that production of Tejas can be increased to 24 aircraft per year by 2021.
Nirmala Sitharaman also thinks that new variant of Tejas Fighter Mk-2 will be better than F16 or Gripen .She further added that Tejas fighter had serious export potential
The government of india has announced that it is going ahead with the purchase of 83 Tejas jets in a contract worth more than Rs. 33,000 crore.
Last year in our article we raised serious concerns on low production of tejas jet as compare to Pakistna JF17 fighter jets .pakistan is producing 30+ jf17 block 2 anuallly and now Pakistan Aeronautical Complex is moving forward toward JF17 block 3 . PAC recently rolled out its 100th JF17 thunder
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is lacking on the production of Tejas in past which forced IAF to consider f16 or Gripen .If future HAL tejas should raised its production other eventually IAF will move toward other options