Made In India, LCA?

SHAH ALAM: Made in India, LCA? Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chairman R. Madhavan said the company was looking to export its Tejas LCA to Southeast Asia and Middle East countries soon. The export drive was boosted with the contract for 83 Tejas signed between HAL and the Indian Air Force on Feb 3.

The $6.5 billion deal is for 83 Tejas – 73 MK1A single seaters and 10 MK1 dual-seat trainers. Although the reports were ambiguous about its potential Southeast Asia customer it must be noted that only Malaysia had sought the RFI for the Tejas in the region.

HAL Tejas LCA. HAL

It is interesting to note that the HAL chairman told the media that the cost for a Tejas LCA was $42 million and $38 million for the trainer for the export market. For comparison, the Philippines in 2014 bought 12 Korean Aerospace FA-50PH light attack jets for $421 million or around $35 million per aircraft.

One of the two Tejas landing at the Langkawi airport in 2019. Alert 5 photo.

Indian newspaper the Print reported that the Tejas faced challenges in the export market

The main challenger for the Tejas Mark 1A, in terms of exports, is the joint Sino-Pak product, JF-17.

Defence officials, however, argued that the Tejas has superior performance since it has a better engine, radar system and electronic warfare suit, besides an edge in weaponry like the Beyond Visual Range missiles.

Refusing to name countries that have shown interest, Madhavan said they are from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Sources in the defence establishment, however, said half a dozen countries, including Sri Lanka and Egypt, have evinced interest in the aircraft.

HAL is looking at setting up logistics facilities in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka to woo the countries to buy Tejas and military helicopters.

This is because having logistics facilities is key to selling the products and ensuring after-sales services.

HAL Tejas LCA. HAL

Tejas as most of you were aware was exhibited at the LIMA 2019 and it is likely that the aircraft would be again be featured at LIMA 21 if the event would have taken place this March.

Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten performing a display at LIMA 2019. Zaq Sayuti.

— Malaysian Defence

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