SHAH ALAM: Its looking likely that the Korean Aerospace (KAI) FA-50; Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Tejas LCA and the Sino-Pakistan JF-17 will be one of the aircraft selected as RMAF next generation FLIT-LCA. This is the likely outcome after RMAF chief Gen Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan in an interview with Perajurit that a physical evaluation on the selected aircraft 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. (In the interview no aircraft make was mentioned)
Tejas LCA MK 1. Wikipedia Commons
The interview is likely done ahead of the RMAF 64th anniversary on June 1. Anyhow, why did I said that the FA-50; Tejas and JF-17 will be among the ones selected? Well, in the written answers to my questions ahead of the anniversary, RMAF stated that six aircraft were put forward for the FLIT-LCA tender namely, the FA-50; Tejas and JF-17 and three others; the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) Hurjet; Yakovlev Yak-130 and the Mikoyan Mig-35D. As both the Russian planes are under sanctions while the Hurjet prototype will only fly next year, its obvious that only the three aircraft mentioned earlier will be the ones to be selected.
AVIC/PAC JF-17. Internet
It must be noted in the written answers, RMAF did not specify the final candidates of the FLIT-LCA tender nor confirmed whether Hurjet was dropped from the final list as it remained a prototype. RMAF also stated that it planned to buy 18 FLIT-LCA in the current RMK though it is not consistent with the statement made by the RMAF chief to Perajurit. Perhaps the next 12 will be contracted for next year or the year after. If this is indeed the way of the procurement going forward, it will kill off any talk of local assembly.
A mock-up of the TAI Hurjet. Daily Sabah
My guess it will be the FA-50 as I had mentioned before. Both the Tejas and JF-17 are strong candidates but the South Korean plane is the most logical one, it has the biggest user base and are in service much longer than the other pretenders. I stand to be corrected of course. I had previously said that there were only four aircraft that entered the FLIT-LCA tender.
PAL Aerospace/De Havilland Dash 8 400 P-4 MPA. PAL Aerospace.
Anyhow, in the Perajurit interview, Mohd Asghar Khan also said that the full report of the MPA tender will be forwarded to the Defence Ministry’s procurement committee on June 22 for a decision. In the written answers to Malaysian Defence. RMAF stated that validity period of the MPA tender has been extended to September 9, this year. The tender validity was supposed to end on June 3 (tomorrow). This will be the second time the tender’s validity is extended, the first one was done late last year, which allow it to be continued until June 3.
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