India-made light combat aircraft Mark 1A to be equipped with indigenous systems

Amid the government’s push towards indigenisation in the military, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will equip its made-in-India Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark 1A fighter jets with ‘Uttam’ radar and ‘Angad’ electronic warfare suite, replacing the imported systems installed earlier.

The IAF has already commissioned 83 LCA Mark 1A fighter jets, with plans to order an additional 97 in the near future. “The Uttam Active Electronically Scanned Array radar and Angad electronic warfare suite are in the advanced stages of development. They will be ready for integration with the LCA Mark 1A aircraft soon,” defence officials told Indiatoday.in.

The current replacement plan, starting from the 41st aircraft in the order of 83 LCA Mark 1A fighter jets, includes an Indian-made electronic warfare suite and AESA radar. Different laboratories of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are executing the projects.

The ‘Uttam’ radar, currently in the development phase, has presented very promising results and is also being contemplated for use in high-end fighter jets.

The move to retrofit the LCA with home-grown weapon systems is expected to save millions in foreign exchange while simultaneously creating employment opportunities in the defence sector.

In line with the IAF plans, these made-in-India aircraft will replace the ageing MiG-series fighter jets in its fleet, sources said. They suggested that these plans have been submitted to the Defence Ministry and other relevant stakeholders in national security.

Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari recently held a review meeting with all affiliated parties, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), regarding the indigenous fighter jet programme.

Edited By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Oct 16, 2023


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