Tejas Faces Setback in Malaysia

Korean Aerospace Industries TA-50. KAI

SHAH ALAM: Tejas faces setback in Malaysia. Reuters is reporting that state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chairman as saying that it faced an uphill battle in Malaysia. From Reuters:

BENGALURU, Feb 14 (Reuters) – India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HIAE.NS) is in talks with at least four countries to sell its light-combat aircraft, though it faces an uphill battle to win the contract in Malaysia, the company’s top executive said on Tuesday.

Malaysia has shortlisted the Tejas light fighter jet for an order of around 16 planes, and Argentina, Egypt and Botswana have also expressed interest, HAL Chairman and Managing Director C B Ananthakrishnan told reporters at a conference during Aero India, the country’s biggest aviation event.

He said in Malaysia there had been a “slight setback” amid stiff competition with a Korean rival.

“We have not received anything in black and white, but we are hearing that Koreans will get the order,” Ananthakrishnan said. “Notwithstanding that, still we are making out attempts to push through our product.”

As Malaysian Defence posted previously, the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) TA/FA-50 light-fighter/trainer is the only aircraft to be forwarded to the Finance Ministry for the endorsement. The contract is only waiting the decision of Prime Minister DS Anwar Ibrahim who is also the Finance Minister. If he green lighted the procurement, the LOI and LOA will go ahead. The million-ringgit question is when.

— Malaysian Defence

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14 Comments

  1. Setback likely due to political realignment from the new Govt. As usual, each time when we change Govts we change macro policies 180degrees, and whatever foreign buys; whether from France, Turkey, India, or Timbuktu, will follow the whims and fancies of whoever is in charge now. We should have moved on towards a mature foreign outlook policy that would be resistant to flipflops of our changing Govts. Whatever buys would have to be fully justified in all criterias such that a changing Govt would find it hard to reason changing for another supplier, unless they have better reasons they could justify.

    I mean even KAI would likely find it difficult to do business if those who decided to buy, will be different from those who will be receiving the jets, and will be different from the next party who might want to reduce numbers or even cancel the order.

  2. ”Setback likely due to political realignment from the new Govt.”

    ”Setback” because the RMAF did a good job presenting the case why the F/A-50 was the most suitable option and because the civil servants/politicians were also convinced. There is also the political angle. Way before the last elections the K/A-50 was already the favourite…

    ”We should have moved on towards a mature foreign outlook policy that would be resistant to flipflops of our changing Govts.”

    Overall policy does not fundamentally change. Certain things might or be revamped but overall policy doesn’t. It’s also taken that certain things with regards policy’ direction will change as is the norm with any change of government anywhere.

    ”France, Turkey, India, or Timbuktu”

    Timbuktu is in Mali.

  3. “There is also the political angle.”
    That’s what that keeps changing everytime we change a Govt.

    “Overall policy does not fundamentally change.”
    Going from USA(M109) to France(Caesar) to Turkey(Yavuz) has shown there is a fundamental change to our decision making at the whims of whom the policymakers at that time. And it all relates to the above statement. Not just this but our policy towards economy, foreign parties coming to business, expats treatment, taxation, MM2H, the emphasis or neglect flipflops everytime that many of my contacts are saying doing business in Malaysia these days is like going to hell and clawing their way back. The instabilities of Governments are fueling confusion in the civil service as they are unsure; which policies remains, which got rescinded, which new policy introduced. Sometimes branch offices from 3 different states would practice all 3! Go figure.

    “Timbuktu is in Mali.”
    You get what I mean. Timbuktu/S

  4. Nothing to do with political alignment lah, as I mentioned in other posts, in the end for the FLIT-LCA it will be the KAI aircraft. If change happens it will be for the local agent. Why should KAI be worried if the people who took delivery are not the same as the ones who signed the contract. None of the politicians will dare to change the aircraft once it is selected by the end user. The SPH was an easy thing to change as the end user have yet to open the tender process. It was open to abuse when the M109 deal was cancelled for that very reason despite what had been said.

  5. ”Going from USA(M109) to France(Caesar) to Turkey(Yavuz) has shown there is a fundamental change to our decision making at the whims of whom the policymakers at that time.”

    I was referring to overall policy. You referenced decisions on procurement which is not ” fundamental change” as you put it. ”Fundamental change” would indicate a complete new course with regards to direction/policy. I will also point out that companies are fully aware that decisions made by previous governments can be altered or reversed by new governments; not only here but elsewhere.

    ”You get what I mean. Timbuktu/S”

    Oh I get what you mean. Merely pointing out and being fastidious that it should be ”France, Turkey, India, or Mali”.

    ”Go figure.”

    Telling me or yourself?

    The decision to go for the K/A-50 was made way before the General Election [it was no secret] and has as much to do with a new government as Bug’s Bunny has involvement with Wonder Woman. The new government has zero to do with it …

  6. “Going from USA(M109) to France(Caesar) to Turkey(Yavuz)” shouldn’t be counted as fundamental changes since each of it are at it core are NATO standard 155mm gun.

    KAI biggest competitors are from Boeing/Saab & Leonardo. Since the latter 2 aren’t competing & unless PMX want to make a fundamental changes and bought a jet with Chinese & Russian parts & weapons in it then the contract is pretty much in KAI bag. Hopefully the signing would be done at LIMA by may.

  7. Zaft – ”shouldn’t be counted as fundamental changes since each of it are at it core are NATO standard 155mm gun.”

    ”Shouldn’t be counted as fundamental changes” because those are not changes with regards to policy/direction. Those changes are regarding the procurement of kit in which changes can and do happen. ”Fundamental changes” would mean we are revamping our decades long non aligned policy or our longstanding ties with certain countries or are adopting a defence policy which is unlike the one we’ve long had – we aren’t doing that.

    zaft – ”in it then the contract is pretty much in KAI bag.”

    Due to political reasons Tejas was seriously looked at/considered so the claim that ” the contract is pretty much in KAI bag” is untrue; wasn’t given. The KA/50 was always the RMAF’s favourite but it did face competition and as you know the political angle plays a part .

    The KA/50 has been the preferred and leading contender for months now and just like the recent change in army leadership has nothing to do with the fact that here’s a new government in place as was suggested by someone else.

  8. It’s Malaysia’s loss and Korea’s gain… Tejas will surely get a much bigger order from a country which listens to its armed forces and not politicos….

  9. It is a win for both MY and South Korea. It was the RMAF that decided on the FA-50, if it was up to the politicians, it would be the Turkish Hurjet.

  10. Neo-“Tejas will surely get a much bigger order from a country which listens to its armed forces and not politicos”
    The Tejas is competing in the same market as the FA-50 and so far its been rather disappointing, besides in this case the politicians did listen to the RMAF, so are you implying that the RMAF are the incompetent ones instead for selecting the FA-50?

  11. neo – ”It’s Malaysia’s loss and Korea’s gain… ”

    Absolute bollocks. Why on earth should the RMAF be the first export customer for Tejas and the K/A-50 is a much more advanced state of development than Tejas.

    neo – ” Tejas will surely get a much bigger order from a country which listens to its armed forces ”

    From the onset the RMAF identified the K/A-50 as its most suitable and preferred option yet here you are spinning nonsense. If you have a hard on for Tejas fine; it’s not a bad platform from a platform centric perspective but get the right narrative.

  12. Tejas isn’t bad but it’s not exactly what we looking for. Delta wing configurations while fast is inherently unstable thus make it a bad platforms for LIFT duties from the get go. Not exactly NATo standard jet which would impared it network centric abilities & interoperability, unproven reliability & capabilities as tejas is the first of it kind Vs a jet build on top of LM IP with design not to dissimilar to the F5s nor we are looking forward to shooting brahmos, phyton & derby Infact it’s in our best interest to bought something that can shoot JSM,amraam & sidewinder.

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