Indian Tejas LCA appears to top Malaysia's tender for new fighter aircraft

India Tejas LCA Malaysia
HAL Tejas LCA fighter aircraft.

A Malaysian delegation will soon travel to India to assess whether the Indian-made HAL Tejas LCA fighter aircraft meets all the requirements to join the Malaysian Air Force (MAF) fleet.

According to The Economic Times, Malaysian officers could travel to Bengaluru within two months to take a full tour of the LCA's manufacturing facilities and see a demonstration of the aircraft's combat capabilities.

Local media say the Indian aircraft tops the list of contenders in Malaysia's tender for a new fighter as it is cheaper than the Saab Gripen and more modern and capable than the JF-17. The latter two types had previously emerged among Kuala Lampur's main options. However, we do not completely agree with this news as Tejas is a not fully mature platform and the MAF may prefer a proven jet.

India is offering Malaysia the latest Tejas Mk1A variant which boasts enhanced manoeuvrability, aerodynamics, radar signature, maintainability and pilot survivability, as well as a modern AESA radar, self-protection jammer, radar warning receiver and external ECM pod. The Indian proposal also provides for the opening of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Malaysia to ensure high-rate availability of the aircraft.

New Delhi has been trying to sell its aircraft in Malaysia for about three years. In 2019, the IAF sent two Tejas fighters to the LIMA Air Show in Langkawi in an effort to place the type there. India and Malaysia have also engaged in joint exercises and training programs as part of plans to enhance their defense cooperation.

The Tejas is currently the cheapest candidate. Its price dropped to approximately $ 42 million per unit following an order for 83 units from the Indian Air Force. In addition to Gripen and JF-17, the South Korean T-50 is also battling Tejas in Melesia. Although Pakistan has also heavily promoted its JF-17, it is likely to be handicapped by its Chinese origins as Kuala Lampur has ongoing maritime border disputes with Beijing.

Kuala Lampur plans to initially purchase 12 jets with an option for an additional 24.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.