India’s Tejas Becomes Malaysia’s First Choice For Its New Fighter Jets; Rejects Russian, Chinese And Korean Jets

India’s Tejas light combat aircraft has appeared as the first option for Southeast Malaysia to replace its fading fleet of fighter jets. The Chairman and MD of HAL, R Madhavan, said to the reporters that Malaysia has smalled down on the LAC Tejas notwithstanding the tough competition from China’s JF-17 jet, South Korea’s FA-50, and Malaysia has narrowed down on the Indian aircraft notwithstanding the stiff competition from Russia’s Mig-35 as well as Yak-130, China’s JF-17 jet and South Korea’s FA 50.

 India has provided to put up an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility in Malaysia for its Russian-origin Su-30 fighter fleet as it is facing difficulties in getting spares for the aircraft from Moscow, given western sanctions against Russia.

India’s Outstanding Weapon: LAC Tejas

Tejas is India’s light combat aircraft, a native aircraft. ‘Tejas’, the light combat aircraft jet, was developed to replace India’s fading Russian MiG fighter jets and expand India’s native aerospace capabilities and “Atam Nirbhar Bharat” gave wings to these historical deals between India and Malaysia.

Tejas is a single-engine multi-role fighter jet, a light combat aircraft and the smallest supersonic fighter jet. It is also supplied to carry air-to-surface, air-to-air, precision-guided, and standoff missiles and weaponry. Its satellite-abetted passivity navigation system makes it a fourth-generation fighter jet.

India has also worked on the MK 2 version of the Tejas fighter jet and a determined $5 billion project to develop a fifth-generation fighter jet. This shows a bright future for the Indian armed force aviation industry.

Why Malaysia Denied Russian, Chinese, Korean and Turkish Jets For Indian Tejas?

According to Madhavan, the Malaysian government also stared at South Korea’s FA-50, China’s JF-17, Russia’s MiG-35 and Yak-130 jets. The HAL chairman and MD, Madhavan, said Tejas is a ‘much superior’ aircraft.

Tejas is a lighter aircraft than China’s JF-17, with a more powerful engine and cargo-carrying capacity. HAL director said that Tejas also modified and upgraded to become more acceptable for the Kuala Lumpur requirements.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Future Plan For Indian Air Force

In February 2021, the ministry of defence affairs secured a Rs 48,000 crore deal with HAL to acquire 83 Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF). According to the delivery roadmap, the HAL would start delivering the aircraft (Mk-IA variant) to the Indian Air Force in 2025, and all 83 fighter jets will have to be handed over by 2030.

Bright Future Of Tejas In the Global Market

The Turkish fighter jet Hurjet was also in the race and made an excellent offer to Malaysia, proposing a partner status to produce the aircraft experimental TF-X and recommended manufacturing its utility helicopter, Gökbey.

HAL chairman and MD of HAL, Madhavan also stated that Kuala Lumpur would give a “positive signal” to other buyers of the Tejas and improve its overall export potential. In June, Economic Times reported that India has offered to set up an LCA and helicopter manufacturing facility in Egypt. It was indicative that India also intends to explore the export opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa, which currently operate largely mixed fleet from western countries.