Even as India awaits a final response from Malaysia which is in the midst of taking a decision regarding low cost fighter jets for its Air Force, later next month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will fly the indigenous Light Combat AirCraft (LCA) `Tejas’ MK-I at the Singapore AirShow.
According to the official spokesperson of the IAF, three LCA are going to fly alongside participants from across the world.
On Saturday (Feb 12, 2022), a contingent of 44 members reached Changi International Airport in Singapore. They will participate in the Singapore AirShow which is a biennial event from Feb 15-18, 2022. This airshow, considered to be amongst the top amongst the Asean countries, provides a platform for the Global Aviation industry to showcase their products.
LCA at Singapore
The indigenous Tejas will display low level aerobatics, displaying its superior handling characteristics as well as manoeuvrability.
For the IAF, this show will give an opportunity to interact with other participants from across the globe as well as interact with its counterparts from Royal Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
It will be the best platform to display the Made in India low cost fighter jet to the world. And, according to a senior officer, “The Asean member countries are looking towards India for low cost platforms. With the successful firming up of the BrahMos Missile deal with the Philippines recently, and Malaysia in the process of announcing its decision next month, there is a lot of interest in this aircraft.”
Has the IAF participated in global air shows?
Yes. In the past, according to an official statement issued on Saturday, the IAF had participated in similar Air Shows — Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in 2019 in Malaysia and Dubai Air Show-2021 and had showcased the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft as well as IAF’s formation aerobatic teams.
The first international unveiling of LCA was at the Bahrain International Air Show which was in 2016.
And in 2019, the RMAF (Royal Malaysian Air Force) had expressed interest in the LCA when the aircraft had participated for the first time in the LIMA.
Malaysia’s interest in LCA
As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, Malaysia is looking for 36 low cost fighter jets for its own air force. In early 2021, the government of that country had floated a Request for Proposal and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had responded and an evaluation process is going on.
Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online, “The process of evaluation is going on in Malaysia.”
Who are the other competitors?
Leonardo, of Italy has floated M-346FA Fighter Attack aircraft variant; Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has responded too and is floating FA-50 light attack aircraft; United Aircraft Corporation of Russia — Yak-130 combat trainer; and JF-17 of China.