Malaysia’s Air Force to get India’s Tejas LCA? Kuala Lumpur looking to buy 36 jets

By: |
November 17, 2021 6:19 PM

Highly placed sources have confirmed to the Financial Express Online that, “Presently the ASEAN nation Malaysia is in the midst of evaluating the Request of Proposal (RfP) it had floated earlier this year for getting the light fighter jets for its Air Force.”

HAL’s LCA had its first international exposure was in the Bahrain International Air Show which was in 2016. (Credit: India Air Force from Dubai)

India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft “Tejas’’ is in the forefront of Malaysia’s requirement of 36 low cost light fighter aircraft for its Air Force.

Highly placed sources have confirmed to the Financial Express Online that, “Presently the ASEAN nation Malaysia is in the midst of evaluating the Request of Proposal (RfP) it had floated earlier this year for getting the light fighter jets for its Air Force.”

In a couple of months, the RMAF will decide which fighter jet it wants to add to its fleets.

Who all received the RfP?

As was reported earlier, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Malaysia had floated a global tender for acquiring light fighter aircraft. The RfP had been sent to various competitors including: M-346FA Fighter Attack aircraft variant which has been developed by Leonardo, of Italy; FA-50 light attack aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI); Yak-130 combat trainer aircraft developed by United Aircraft Corporation of Russia; and JF-17 of China.

Out of the five who responded to the RfP, only India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, JF-17 joint venture of China and Pakistan and FA- 50 of Korean Aerospace Industries were down selected.

India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had responded to Malaysia’s proposal. “The proposal sent from HAL is expected to make the cut as it meets all the parameters and is low cost,” a top officer explained to Financial Express Online on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this year, talking about the price of the LCA, on the sidelines of the Aero-India in Bengaluru, the HAL’s CMD R Madhavan, “Per aircraft is pegged at a vanilla price of just Rs 309 crore. However, the export version of the aircraft is going to be different than those being produced for the Indian Air Force.”

Globally, the LCA export version is the cheapest fighter jet globally and there will be extra charges for the services that HAL will provide outside India and it can be customized.

When did Malaysia reach out for LCA?

In 2019, the RMAF had expressed interest in the LCA when the aircraft had participated for the first time in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in the ASEAN nation Malaysia.

HAL’s LCA had its first international exposure was in the Bahrain International Air Show which was in 2016.

Will it be Tejas, FA-50 of KAI or Chinese JF-17?

The RMAF is assessing all the specifications and the features of the three down selected competitors.

More about Tejas

This has been manufactured in India by HAL and designed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for IAF and Navy. And the IAF has recently placed an order for 83 fighters from HAL. This is according to HAL the world’s lightest supersonic fighter and has the capability to carry Beyond Visual Range Weapons (BVR), air-to-surface, air-to-air, precision-guided and standoff weapons.

An advanced Fly-by-Wire (FBW) fighter can be refueled mid-air. And it is a 4+ generation fighter and comes with a glass cockpit with Satellite aided Inertial Navigation System.

It also has the capability to carry air to ground munitions and attack system which can be used to hit targets over land or sea. With a maximum speed is supersonic at all altitudes and has ‘g’ limits +8/-3.5 and a service ceiling of 50,000 feet.

With a wingspan of 8.20 meter, its length is 13.20 meter, and height 4.40 meter.

JF-17 jointly built by China and Pakistan

It is a single engine, multi-role fighter. According to Pakistan Air Force (PAF) it can carry highly agile imaging infrared short-range missile, beyond visual range active missile, air-to-sea missiles, anti-radiation missiles, runway penetration bombs, laser-guided weapons. JF-17 has a height of 15.5 feet, length of 49 feet, and a wingspan of 31 feet. It will have a helmet-mounted display and sight system.

FA-50 of KAI

This aircraft is based on the T-50 supersonic advanced trainer platform, and is being offered as an efficient and affordable supersonic advanced light fighter jet.

The weapon systems on board the aircraft are all made in South Korea.

Export of LCA

If and when the LCA gets exported, the programme will get the much needed boost. It will also help HAL get international recognition globally for its capabilities and the product will also get validated.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1India extends a helping hand to Africa; Ready to send vaccines and medical supplies
2India and Uruguay talk SSA and steps to strengthen trade and investments
3Pentagon report on strengthening US bases in Guam, Australia aims to encircle China: Official