Malaysia to buy 18 LCA Tejas aircraft from India, 6 other countries showed interest: Govt

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas jet flying in the sky during training in India
Light Combat Aircraft Tejas jet (MeelBijendra/Gitika)

On Friday, 5 August 2022, in the Monsoon Session, Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha that Malaysia shortlisted 18 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas jets from India and Argentina, Indonesia, Australia, America, Egypt, and the Philippines have shown interest.

In March 2019, India’s indigenous supersonic fighter jet Tejas went to Malaysia for the first time at the five-day LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace) Exhibition and it showed its merits there.

The government said that a request or initial tender for proposal issued by Malaysia for the Royal Malaysian Air Force in February 2019 was responded to by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in October 2021, offering a twin-seater version of the Tejas.

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Malaysia is facing difficulties in procuring parts for its Su-30 fighter jets due to sanctions imposed against Russia due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Malaysia is buying aircraft to replace its old Russian MiG-29 fighter jets.

In July 2022, the HAL chief R Madhavan said that India’s single-engine, delta-wing, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas jet is Malaysia’s ‘top choice’ to replace the aging MiG-29.

In February 2021, the Indian Defense Ministry ordered state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a defense PSU under the Defense Ministry, to build 83 Tejas aircraft for about Rs 48,000 crore ($6 billion) with a contract for delivery around 2023. Of the 83 aircraft, 73 are Tejas Mark-1A and 10 Tejas Mark-1A training aircraft.

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About Tejas Aircraft

The Government of India began manufacturing Tejas aircraft in 1983 as part of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Project to replace the older MiG-21 variants from the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Tejas aircraft is manufactured by the Indian state-owned aerospace and defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.

Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas flew for the first time on 4 January 2001 and in 2003 Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee named this fighter aircraft ‘Tejas’.

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