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India Confirms Tejas Light Combat Aircraft Sales Offer to Malaysia

The Indian Ministry of Defence has confirmed an offer of Tejas aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to the Malaysian government.

The offer includes a twin-seat variant of the company’s light combat model, according to a written reply presented by Indian State Defence Minister Ajay Bhatt to parliament.

India’s state-owned aerospace company formally received a request for information about the plane from the Royal Malaysian Air Force in 2019. In response, the firm submitted a bid for a proposal in 2021.

Malaysia’s Options

Despite the offer for the Tejas, July reports said that the Royal Malaysian Air Force would likely pick South Korea’s FA-50 Golden Eagle fighter over the Indian model, purchasing 36 light combat aircraft.

Aside from the HAL and South Korean planes, other candidates Malaysia is considering include Russia’s Mikoyan MiG-35 and Yakovlev Yak-130, the China-Pakistan JF-17 Thunder, and the Turkish TAI Hürjet.

The HAL Tejas

The Tejas aircraft is 13.2 meters (43 feet) long with a wingspan of 8.2 meters (27 feet) and can carry a maximum payload of 5.3 tons (5,300 kilograms).

Being lightweight (13.5 tons/13,500 kilograms), the multi-role aircraft is used in operations requiring highly agile units, such as air combat, anti-ship, offensive air support, and reconnaissance missions.

It is powered by a General Electric 404F2/J-IN20 turbofan engine and equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system.

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