Tejas Will Be In The Mix

HAL Tejas MK 1 LCA. Indian Air Force

SHAH ALAM: Tejas will be in the mix for the LCA contest. Indian newspaper, the Financial Express is reporting that state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will respond to a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) tender for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), likely with the Tejas Mk1 LCA.

According to the newspaper the Tejas fighter will be offered for U$41 million each. The price is slightly lower than the US&39 million per aircraft for the six T-50I contracted by the Indonesian Air Force, recently. That said the Indonesian Air Force already has 14 Golden Eagles in service.

Tejas LCA MK 1. Wikipedia Commons

The Financial Express report.

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.”


The report also stated that the Tejas was expected to compete with the Korean Aerospace KAI T-50 and Sino-Pakistan JF-17s. The others expected to be involved are the Leonardo M346 and the Yak-130. From the potential candidates, the Tejas has more than its fair share of reporting. Malaysian Defence take on the potential candidates.

For more on the LCA programme go here

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2226 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. I think every one will be pitching a price of between US$35 million to US$43 million, Anything lower will not be worth looking at really as they might be skimping somethings which they will recover during maintenance

  2. It could barely fill IAF requirements (both the number and capability wise) and yet HAL still have the gall to promote this …thing to other countries.

    They really want to save some face after Pakistan gets some export success with JF-17. Just google JF-17, literally all the negative reports came from india

  3. Hopefully we are getting the KAI T50. Since we are purchasing a cheap LCA, might as well get a quality one eh?

  4. Tejas n the MK I too. No way. If you offee the US engine jets plus AESA radar matbe. Bur this planes outdated from the beginning
    As for Korean planw, F 50 foe sure. Not T50

  5. dundun,

    Both HAL and the government want to seek an export sale as it will go some way to bring overall prices down (money to be made in after after sales as well) and has the prestige factor. In many ways Tejas is more “Indian” than JF-17 is “Pakistani”. As for which is more effective it depends on how they’re deployed.


    The LCA IS “cheap” when compared to a MRCA but it’s own really isn’t “cheap”. As for “quality” all the contenders have a certain level of “quality” (not as if they’re made in a barn); it’s the merits they respectively have and the various nuanced factors which would make each slightly mote ideal for a particular user.

  6. I read in another blog that the government is adamant it wants to pay 50% with palm oil……..that limits our options…

  7. Speaking of the Tejas, the IAF or HAL, rather, should have just buy the licence to produce the Mirage 2000s from the French, and then progressively upgrade them with Dassault assistance. From what I gather, Dassault actually offered to sell the Mirage design to India (the French were shutting down Mirage production line), inclusive of the engine as well. Going down this route would’ve save them both time and money.

  8. ASM – “buy the licence to produce the Mirage 2000s from the French, and then progressively upgrade them”

    Mirage 2000 Is a different category of aircraft; does not meet the requirements set for what eventually became Tejas.

    ASM – “oing down this route would’ve save them both time and money”

    Like with Arjun and various other things; Tejas was driven by strategic political imperatives; namely self sufficiency; improving the local industry, etc – all of which merely licence producing a foreign design (which India did in the past) wouldn’t have done.

  9. Tom Tom,

    That would indeed br the case but we don’t know if it’s true. How reliable or credible is this piece of reporting from the said blog? Also, 50 percent of the contact value is a bit high.

  10. Taiwan, Brazil and even Qatar have difficulty with Mirage 2000 excessively costly maintenance cost, with Taiwan looking to retire Mirage 2000 with its indigenous fighter aircraft, Brazil already dumped them off and opt for more F-5 instead (as a stopgap until they could get Gripen in full strength) while Qatar, at one point, was actively pushing for Mirage 2000 trade-ins in their Rafale deals.

    >Tejas is more indian than JF-17 is pakistani

    Yeah with less than 1/3 the components being domestically made, I wouldn’t call Tejas as being more indian. At least Pakistan wouldn’t hide the fact that JF-17 being a joint fighter between them and China.

  11. Lee -“. Bur this planes outdated from the beginning”

    How is it “outdated”? In what way exactly? It’s design, cockpit architecture: growth potential?

  12. Azlan,

    I would argue that the Mirage 2000 can fulfill whatever requirements the Tejas is supposed to do, among which is to replace the MiG-21s (based on the wiki article of the subject). Although to be fair, Tejas’ development started in the 80s, just as the Mirage 2000s were entering service, so it was quite unlikely that the French were willing to give up their newest design so quickly.

  13. As much as I also dont prefer the Tejas due to its “immaturity” in operational service, Tejas is really a 4th Gen offering on a fully unstable flight design with full quadruplex digital flight controls, full glass cockpit etc. This will give it much better growth potential for the future as compared to JF-17 which is essentially a 3G offering very much based on proven technologies adapted from the MiG21. On reliability side of course I would bet on the JF-17 as it has been in operational service on Pakistan AF for quite a number of years in perhaps 6-8 squadrons if I am not mistaken.
    The Tejas on other hand is still far from that, some report even suggesting that even the composite fuselage/wing panels not being interchangeable between different batches of a/c or even a/c in same batch made at different times! However this may changes as they get ready to roll out Mk1A where the initial teething issues have been sorted out.
    However having said that I would doubt if either of these will qualify as being suitable for LIFT as compared to FA/T-50..as I dont believe that either have fully ready synthetic training systems like full mission simulators and the Ground Based Training System (GBTS) that has already been developed by KAI and their US partner Lockheed Martin for the T-50.

  14. ASM- “1 would argue that the Mirage 2000 can fulfill whatever requirements the Tejas is supposed to do”

    On paper of course it can – on paper a B-52 can do some of what a F-18 is intended to. Ultimately the Indians also had reasons behind Tejas and Mirage 2000 didn’t fit the overall bill.

  15. Dundun,

    Both Tejas and JF-17 contain a large amount of foreign gear; expected. The key difference however is that HAL did actually design the aircraft and it contains various Indian produced gear. This is unsurprising given that India has a more advanced tech/industrial base compared to Pakistan; has dabbled in aviation far longer and more than intensively and has lots cash…

    If indeed only 1/3 of the stuff is Indian what’s the percentage for JF-17? Also 1/3 is a a lot.

    The Pakistanis actually do hide the fact that some of their stuff is Chinese : Al Khalid and all their so called “local” IRBMs and cruise missiles are Chinese. Even Anza and Bakthar Shikan are respectively the QW-1 and Red Arrow (TOW 1).

  16. Nat,

    Ideally either the F-50 or M-346 will be selected. Having said that from a combat perspective it’s how we develop things at a systems level and not a platform level which will determine things.

    This Boi,

    Why?? What does the Yak-130 do which others can’t?

  17. Far,

    Apple, JF-17 and Mikoyan. Which is better? Shouldn’t be asked in first place and can’t be answered.

  18. It is not about quality….
    Tejas or JF17 is the front runner because there is a high chance they will accept palm oil as payment. Only India and Paki are willing to accept barter.

    Talking and comparing about quality or else are useless. That discussion only matter if we can pay in cash.

    Again user, RMAF, must accept what is given to them.

  19. Romeo – “It is not about quality”

    It’s about politics, affordability, requirements and the type of compromises willing to be made ..

    Romeo – “Tejas or JF17 is the front runner because there is a high chance they will accept palm oil as payment”

    Incorrect ….

    First of all they are not “front runners” (at least not yet) but “contenders”. Secondly both wee included because of politics; we want to be friends with everyone.

    Romeo – “ RMAF, must accept what is given to them.”

    It’s precisely that line of thinking/attitude which has left us in the rut we’re in with the taxpayer and end user later paying the penalty as was the case with the Fulcrum and Flanker. The RMAF knows fully well what suits its requirements and what doesn’t. Last thing we need is a repeat of it being forced something which will come back and eventually plague us at a later date ..

  20. @Romeo
    If given the bad options, TUDM still has the right to say no and not proceed, similar to how ATM cancelled the M109 deal. If only those options were on the table for TUDM, then perhaps those Kuwaiti Hornets weren’t such a bad deal after all.

    But hey, they could also take the PH route of NOT buying anything and shout that they are saving lotsa money. And if questioned why no planes to intercept intruders, they could always blame it on someone else, hmm.

  21. no cash, if you want to go to the best elevator, yes fa50 with weapons from the usa Tejas certainly has a lot of problems until mk2 will be born it will be better jf17 is cheap with good logistical support capabilities, but for electronics it is very showy, especially from china propaganda

  22. Uncle – “ yes fa50 with weapons from the usa”

    It’s a bit more than that ..

    Uncle – “ jf17 is cheap with good logistical support capabilities”

    Neves mind about it being “cheap” : is it ideal as a LIFT? Does it suit RMAF requirements?
    Commonality and integration will also be an issue. Also, how can you say for certain it has “good logistical support capabilities”?

    Bear in mind that what we buy now will have a tremendous impact for years to come …
    No point buying “cheap” now only to have up pay more later. There are legitimate reasons why the RMAF won’t touch Chinese gear with a barge pole and why for some countries buying Chinese suits them.

  23. After weighting all the options as well as the politics and costs involved the government should and does have the final say; as should be the way. The problem is when politics/national interests (including placing priority in the local industry) takes precedence; Jernas, PT-91, Fulcrums, Flankers, Laksamanas, etc.

    The result is what we have now: a MAF whose actual capabilities don’t reflect all we’ve spent on it. Now wanting aged pre owned
    F-18s which will get older when they arrive and will cost an arm and leg to maintain is an occasion where a service and the government are in agreement. As I pointed out before; how the present government handles the LCA, MPA and UAS programmes will be highly indicative of whether things are changing or whether we’re just repeating the same mistakes.

  24. Azlan,

    Tejas design is still Cold War mentality, suitable for high speed high altitude missions. I doubt it would be suitable as a FLIT jet as per RMAF requirements.

    imho the Tejas program is dragged too long to the extent the missions they are designed for are getting lesser and lesser. It’s a new world since the beginning of Tejas program.

  25. CH – “Tejas design is still Cold War mentality, suitable for high speed high altitude missions.

    What you described isn’t necessarily of a “Cold War mentality”. and depending on the circumstances is still very applicable today.

    CH – “I doubt it would be suitable as a FLIT jet as per RMAF requirements”.

    I didn’t suggest it would be.

  26. Although the chief of Air Force announced there will be a single platform for the role of FLIT and LCA, but due to one or two candidate like the Tejas and JF-17 are best in multi role as LCA and might not be good for the FLIT, and others candidate like the YAK-130 and M-346 Master are designed for Advanced trainer role much suit for the FLIT, and in the end of the tender IF the submission result come out with many reason other than politic, barter trade, price, offset, performance of the plane and many many etc. Do you think RMAF will consider select 2 aircraft type for 2 difference role of FILT/LCA like previous we have the MB339 and the Hawk again?

  27. P K Lo,

    Only a single type will be selected. The RMAF has to make compromises/trade offs. What makes a great LIFT might not make a great LCA. The choices we make will carry forward for a very long time.

    The MBB-339 is not a LIFT.

  28. I think i dont mind TUDM getting Tejas as we can tailor it to use European avionics and radar if we dont want the Israeli stuff and unproven Indian Uttam radars.

  29. SgWay,

    You might not mind but (1) We’ll be the first export customer (not an ideal situation) (2) Tejas isn’t a LIFT (3) Why should we repeat mistakes of the past and fork out vast sums for integration (no economics of scale and avoidable) and certification when we can buy something else?

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