SHAH ALAM: Delayed, FLIT-LCA. Back in June, I wrote that RMAF chief Gen Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan said in an interview with Perajurit that a physical evaluation on the selected aircraft for the FLIT-LCA programme, will be conducted this June 22 and the contract is scheduled to be issued on August 22. He was quoted as saying that six aircraft will be delivered in stages in 2025.
Note that the interview is still live on the Perajurit, so there was no mistake on its part. Anyhow, as you are aware today is August 29 2022, and there has yet to be any announcement on the contract as per the interview, which was supposed to be August 22 (last Monday).
The thing is I have been told by multiple sources that no firm decision has been taken on the FLIT-LCA unlike the MPA and MALE UAV. And the time-line for a firm contract remained hazy. This is of course good news for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for its entry, the yet to be flown, Hurjet. This was also probably the reason, state-owned Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL) decided to open its regional office in Kuala Lumpur.
Of course, even HAL decision cannot be compared with the way how the Turkish had gone about in lobbying the government and including the King (see main picture) on behalf of its defence industries.
Will or did it work? I have no idea as only time will tell. To be honest, I was bit peeved as the answers to my questions to the RMAF chief did not include the June and August contract timeline. The answer I got was six aircraft were offered for the tender, namely, the KAI FA-50; HAL Tejas; JF-17; the TAI Hurjet; Yakovlev Yak-130 and the Mikoyan Mig-35D. However, I must say I am bit relieved now.
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