Highlights

Tejas is a single engine and highly capable multi-role fighter aircraft.
6 other countries have also shown their interest in Tejas fighter jet.
India is also working on building a stealth fighter jet.

New Delhi. India has offered to sell 18 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) ‘Tejas’ to Malaysia. The Ministry of Defense gave this information on Friday. Along with this, the ministry said that Argentina, Australia, Egypt, the United States, Indonesia and the Philippines have also shown their interest in this single-engine fighter jet. Built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Tejas is a single engine and highly capable multi-role fighter aircraft, capable of operating in high-threat air environments.

In February last year, the Defense Ministry inked a Rs 48,000-crore deal with HAL for the purchase of 83 Tejas fighter jets for the Indian Air Force. India has started work on an ambitious USD 5 billion project to develop the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) along with the Mk-II variant of Tejas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is keen to reduce India’s dependence on foreign defense equipment and is also making diplomatic efforts to export jets. There are design and other challenges with the Tejas fighter aircraft and for this reason it was once rejected as too heavy by the Indian Navy.

The Defense Ministry told Parliament that Hindustan Aeronautics had in October last year responded to the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s request for a proposal for 18 jets, offering to sell a two-seater version of the Tejas. “Other countries – Argentina, Australia, Egypt, the US, Indonesia and the Philippines – have also shown interest in Tejas fighter jets,” India’s Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt told Members of Parliament in a written reply.

The Union Minister said that the country is also working on building a stealth fighter jet, but he refused to give a deadline citing national security concerns. Britain said in April that it would support India’s goal of building its own fighter jets. India currently has Russian, British and French fighter aircraft.

Tags: fighter jet, Malaysia

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