Malaysia is likely to buy India's Light Combat Aircraft Tejas after it requested the Narendra Modi government to send the aircraft for the biannual Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), which begins on Tuesday, March 26.
Tejas, the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft of its class, was developed to meet the diverse needs of the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
Malaysia is planning to buy at least 36 light combat aircraft to complement the Air Force's heavy larger jets. Tejas is competing with the JF-17 Thunder, a lightweight single-engine aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China. South Korean F/A-50 fighter is also up for sale.
Royal Malaysian Air Force General Tan Sri Affendi Buang told Aviation International News that the country has received information on multiple fighters, including Tejas. "Tejas is comfortably the favourite amongst the contenders," Anirudh Chauhan, defence attache at the Indian High Commission in Malaysia, told The Times of India.
India has sent two Tejas along with an IAF team of 50 personnel to Langkawi. The Indian delegation also comprises Secretary, Defence Production, who is likely to hold key talks with his counterparts.
Tejas has already got a thumbs up from IAF
The Tejas fighters, manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), was up for final practice sessions by IAF before participating in the Malaysian Aero Expo. The IAF posted various videos and photographs of the LCA during the session on Twitter.
The IAF has also projected the Tejas designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in a big way by saying that it is "the world's smallest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft. It is of tailless, compound delta-wing design."
The IAF said that Tejas will show its super manoeuvrability skills in Malaysia.
#DidYouKnow : Some of 'Tejas' design features are interesting. It is the world's smallest single-seat, single-engine combat aircraft. It is of tailless, compound delta-wing design.
The aircraft will be showcasing its super maneuverability at Malaysia. #LIMA2019 pic.twitter.com/ZsWQeqQoUR
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 25, 2019
Watch Tejas - the world's lightest combat aircraft in a practice session by IAF here:
#LIMA2019 : Today was the final practise session before the opening display for LIMA 2019, commencing 26th Mar 19. IAF's Tejas (LCA) during the practise session today at Langkawi International Airport, Malaysia.@SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @LimaExhibition @hcikl pic.twitter.com/RnGk9wOkXr — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 24, 2019
#LIMA2019 : The tempo is up, the spirits are high & we are ready.
IAF contingent along with RMAF & LIMA ground support personnel have set up the flying complex for flying operations at Langkawi, Malaysia.@DefenceMinIndia @SpokespersonMoD @hcikl @HALHQBLR @DRDO_India pic.twitter.com/reUIRgHDDt
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 24, 2019
#DidYouKnow : India's indigenous supersonic Light Combat Aircraft(LCA)-Tejas & the world's lightest supersonic fighter which has already joined IAF, is for the 1st time taking part in aerial displays during 05 day Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition.#LIMA19 pic.twitter.com/56xC4TJUTh — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) March 24, 2019
Tejas has already had its share of aero show participation experiences when it first took part in the Bahrain International Air Show 2016 and most recently in the Aero Show in Bengaluru.
The IAF is expected to place an order of Rs 50,000 crore to buy at least 83 Tejas M1A variants over the next two months. It will have advanced radar and electronic warfare features. Last year, the IAF had said that it may also purchase 201 advanced Tejas MK2 fighters subject to the aircraft's performance.