IAF LCA Tejas fighter jet.

India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is preparing the third plant to produce 83 new Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mark 1A jets that the Air Force is expected to sign a contract for, during Aero-India 2021 event scheduled to take place from February 3-5.

The new plant at Doddanekundi in Bengaluru city would be inaugurated by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, sources were quoted as saying by Times of India today.

“The first phase of the operations will start in a few months after inauguration on February 2. We’ll subsequently commission the rest of the plant,” the source added.

Approximately 16 LCAs will be produced each year at the new plant besides trainers. Currently, HAL has the capacity to manufacture 8 LCAs annually. The first dedicated LCA plant and HAL’s Aircraft Division are both producing them.

The Tejas Mark-1A aircraft worth Rs 46,898 crore — 73 fighters and 10 trainers. The deal was cleared by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on January 13. It will reportedly have 43 “improvements” over Tejas Mark-1 jets.

A contract for 83 new aircraft that has been on the table for quite some time now is expected to placed in the upcoming Aero India show. “From the date of the signing of the contract, HAL will have 36 months to start delivering the first batch of aircraft,” the source added.