LCA Tejas to get its first export order?

LCA Tejas could get its first export order soon. The HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), which is the developer and manufacturer of the aircraft is pitching for its sale to Malaysia. The Royal Malaysian Air Force announced its intent to procure around 18 LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) or LIFT (Lead-In Fighter Trainer) aircraft last year. This was to replace Malaysia’s aging MiG-29 fleet and provide support to its SU-30 MKM and F/A 18 fleets.

LCA Tejas, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter Jet
Image Courtesy:

Currently, Tejas is the favorite and the front-runner in this tender. The other fighters which are competing for this tender are Russia’s MiG-35, China’s L-15 Trainer, Turkish Hurjet, Korea’s FA-50 and Italy’s M-346. Out of these, two platforms have been short-listed as top contenders. One is LCA Tejas and the other one is Korea’s FA-50.

Russia’s MiG-35 has been deemed not suitable for this tender because it does not belong to the Light Combat Aircraft category. Another problem according to experts is that procuring aircraft from Russia could prove to be problematic due to American sanctions on Russia.

MiG-29 Fulcrum, Fighter Aircraft, Fighter Jet
Russia’s MiG-35 Fulcrum (Medium weight category aircraft). Picture Courtesy:

China’s L-15 is out because Malaysia is buying the jets to counter Chinese aggression. On the other hand, Turkey’s Hurjet has not even conducted its first flight. Italy M-346 is mainly a trainer. So, its does not meet the requirements.

The remaining one is South Korea’s FA-50. This aircraft is also the top contender in this tender.

Why Tejas has an edge!

Tejas has the best radar, engine, payload capacity, range and weapons package offered by any aircraft in this category.


Tejas has an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) Radar which is the most advanced offered by any aircraft in this tender). These radar have better detection, resistance to jamming and efficiency compared to other regular radars.


Tejas has a Pratt and Whitney 414 engine, which is an American engine. Its efficient, powerful and reliable. Moreover, its the same engine equipped on Malaysia’s F/A-18s.


Tejas has the most versatile weapons package offered by an aircraft even in other weight categories. It can be equipped with Russian, American, Israeli and even Indian weapons. It can fire 5th generation python-5 air to air missiles.It can fire standoff weapons to laser guided bombs.

MRO offer for Malaysia’s Su-30 MKMs:

This is one of the main reasons Malaysia’s is attracted towards Indian offer. India has offered Malaysia MAINTENANCE, REPAIR and OVERHAUL for its Su-30 MKM fighter jet fleet which is facing spare parts shortage lack of maintenance from Russia due to Russia-Ukraine war.


Many military experts believe that Tejas might win this tender. The only thing that can go wrong for Tejas is that the anti-India sentiments in Malaysia can flare up political tensions.This might lead to its rejection. But, experts say that chances of its rejection are negligible.

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