Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that his government revived the indigenous fighter aircraft project for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas which was on the verge of closure.
Without naming the previous UPA government led by Manmohan Singh, PM Modi said that there was a time when India’s indigenous fighter jet Tejas project was almost closed in files but his government revived it.
“India is aggressively working on to enhance its capabilities and capacities. There was a time when our own fighter jet Tejas project was being closed in the file. But my government believed in Indian engineers and scientists and the capabilities of Tejas. Today, it [Tejas] is flying in the sky with glory,” Modi said during a webinar on the effective implementation of Union Budget in the defence sector aimed at boosting self-reliance.
The Union government has awarded a contract worth Rs 48,000 crore to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for supply of 73 MK-1A Tejas jets and 10 MK-1 trainer aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
‘India has century-old experience in making arms, ammunition’
“We have a century-old experience when it comes to making arms and ammunition. During World War I and II, India supplied weapons and defence equipment. But post-independence, due to many reasons situation changed,” PM Modi said.
“Today, even for small arms we are relying on imports. Today we are one of the largest defence importers, which is not something we should be proud of,” the prime minister said.
PM Modi added that India has made a list of 101 important items related to defence, which can be manufactured indigenously with the help of our local industries. “A timeline has been set so that the domestic industry can plan to meet these requirements.”