Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Will diplomatic tensions between India-Malaysia affect HAL's offer to sell Tejas jet?

Financially struggling Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is eyeing to win the contract of supplying indigenously developed Tejas fighter jet to Malaysia, according to reports. The development has come amid worsening diplomatic relations between India and Malaysia after Mahathir Bin Mohamad, the Malaysian Prime Minister, sided with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue at the United Nations.

According to a report by the Print, Tejas is one of the shortlisted aircraft by the Malaysian Air Force for the supply of 36 new Light Combat Aircraft. It will be HAL's first foreign sale if it manages to win the contract.

The Malaysian Air Force is expected to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the new contract in the year 2020. Besides Tejas, the other contenders participating in the process include China-Pakistan's JF-17, South Korea's T-50 Golden Eagle, Russian YAK-130 and the BAE Systems' armed Hawk.

Moreover, Swedish Gripen - which is also in the race to supply 114 medium multi-role combat aircraft under the Make in India initiative to the Indian Air Force (IAF) - is also participating in the bid.

HAL sources have confirmed that Tejas will be transformed as per the requirements given by the Malaysian Air force. In September, a Malaysian team had visited HAL headquarters and deliberated with the officials on the project.
19/11/19 Ashish Shukla/IBTimes
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