In a major development, a team of Malaysian Air Force is expected to visit India within the coming two months to assess the suitability of the indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter jet, reports Economic Times.
During the visit, the Malaysian team is likely to be given a full tour of the LCA’s production facilities, test infrastructure, and a demonstration of the fighter jet’s combat potential.
India is said to be offering the Mk1A version of the LCA with modern AESA radar, new avionics and the capability to integrate a variety of weaponry to the Malaysian Air Force. The potential export order from Malaysia is likely to have an initial size of 12 fighter jets, with the option for 24 more fighter jets in the future.
According to the ET report, the Indian fighter jet has emerged as the top contender for the Malaysian Air Force as it is cheaper than Swedish Gripen, and more modern and capable than Pakistan’s Chinese origin JF-17 jet.
Besides the LCA Tejas, Gripen and the JF 17, the South Korean T 50 is also a contender for the contract.
Other than the aircraft, India is also offering the Malaysian Air force full support in training both ground and air personnel. It is also offering to build a full maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for the jets in Malaysia to ensure a higher availability rate.
It should be noted that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has already placed orders for 83 Tejas jets. The aircraft is priced at just over $42 million a unit.