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IAF to place order for 20 LCAs soon: Mukherjee

August 18, 2005 16:48 IST

The Indian Air Force will soon place orders for the first batch of 20 Light Combat Aircraft with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.

"Orders for 20 aircraft will be placed.... and then at a later stage, orders for an additional 20 will also be placed. A decision will be taken shortly," Mukherjee said during Question Hour.

Also read:  The sad tale of the LCA

Denying reports about 'problems' between the Aeronautical Development Agency and HAL over the LCA, he said 'the government will ensure that there is no difference in approach between the HAL and ADA.'

However, he said transfer of technology to the HAL for production of the LCA was 'progressing in coordination with the ADA and there are no problems in this regard.'

The ADA was authorised to design and develop the LCA since the beginning and the HAL's role in producing these warplanes came later.

Seven LCA prototypes were to be developed and 3,000 hours of testing were required, Mukherjee said, adding that 2 techno-demonstrations had been held.

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