By the end of September 2021, the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is expected to respond to a Request for Proposal (RfP) from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). The Malaysian Air Force has sent out a global request for low-cost light fighter aircraft.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top officer has confirmed to Financial Express Online “The Company will be responding to the RfP from RMAF for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) `Tejas’. And it has to be sent at the end of September.”
As has been reported earlier this year, on the sidelines of the 13th edition of Aero-India, R Madhavan, chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has told Financial Express Online that “Several Southeast Asian and Middle East countries evinced interest in the indigenous LCA `Tejas’ Mk 1A fighter aircraft.”
“At a vanilla price of just Rs 309 crore per aircraft, the export version of the fighters are going to be different from those which are going to be inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF),” he added.
While the aircraft will be exported at the price of Rs 309 crore (making it the cheapest fighter globally), there will be extra charges for the services to be provided overseas.
The RMAF had first expressed interest in `Tejas’ LCA from HAL in 2019. For the first time ever `Tejas’ showcased its might during the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia.
The South Asian country has invited proposals from various competitors including: FA-50 light attack aircraft developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI); M-346FA Fighter Attack aircraft variant developed by Leonardo, of Italy; Yak-130 combat trainer aircraft developed by United Aircraft Corporation of Russia; and JF-17 of China.
India’s ‘Tejas’ had its first international exposure during the Bahrain International Air Show back in 2016.
More about the LCA Programme
Because of the government’s efforts, the Tejas program has received a major shot in the arm in boosting the Atamanirbhar drive in the aerospace and aeronautics.