Next week a high level delegation from Malaysia is expected to head to India for holding talks related to the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Top sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “A high level delegation headed by senior officials from Malaysia is heading to New Delhi to hold discussion with Ministry of Defence and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) officials.”
The meeting is important as later this year, according to sources “In September or October the government of the ASEAN member country is expected to make a final choice related to their procurement of Light Combat Aircraft.”
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is looking to procure lighter fighter jets. And in 2021, it had issued a Request for Proposal (RfP) to five countries including – India, Italy, Russia, China and South Korea.
Also Read: Malaysia’s Air Force to get India’s Tejas LCA? Kuala Lumpur looking to buy 36 jets https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/malaysias-air-force-to-get-indias-tejas-lca-kuala-lumpur-looking-to-buy-36-jets/2371179/
And out of these five contenders India is one of the countries to be down selected with its offering of LCA, and the other two are China which had fielded JF-17 and FA- 50 of Korean Aerospace Industries.
What will the team discuss in India?
When in India the team will have discussions with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) related to the whole package, maintenance, spares, training and much more.
The Indian side has also offered to set up an overhaul facility in that country to ensure that the maintenance and servicing is provided within less time.
Financial Express Online has reported earlier that HAL’s offering of LCA has met the parameters in the RfP and is also low cost. And when the final decision is taken by Malaysia it will be a government to government deal.
Cost of the Export Version of LCA
Per aircraft is pegged at a vanilla price of Rs 309 crore for the Indian Air Force (IAF) which has placed an order for 83 LCA. This was announced by R Madhavan, CMD HAL.
He had also said that the export version of LCA will still be the cheapest fighter aircraft globally and HAL will take extra charges for the services which will be provided outside the country and the aircraft will be customized based on the customer’s specifications.
The version of LCA offered to the Asean member country will be equipped with latest avionics, modern AESA radar, and will have a capability to integrate different weapons including air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.