Tejas Steals Sino-Pakistani ‘Thunder’? Malaysia Shifts Interest From JF-17, May Buy 30 Indian LCAs

Swarajya Staff

Jan 09, 2019, 08:34 PM | Updated 08:34 PM IST

India’s LCA Tejas. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
India’s LCA Tejas. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In what is being seen as an endorsement to the Indian Tejas’s quality, Malaysia may be shifting its interest from the Sino-Pakistani JF-17 ‘Thunder’ to India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and is reportedly keen on buying 30 such planes.

Kuala Lumpur has asked New Delhi to send a Tejas fighter plane to the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2019 (LIMA’19) which is Malaysia’s premier defence exhibition, as reported by Business Standard.

Malaysia switching to the Indian fighter instead of the one developed jointly by China and Pakistan will be the second setback to Islamabad after Sri Lanka earlier backed away from the JF-17 despite expressing interest in it.

The Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), though not fully developed, is considered far deadlier than the JF-17 Thunder fighter by many experts.

The current version of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Tejas might be slightly costlier than its Pakistani counterpart with the former priced at $28.5 million and the latter at $25 million. However, Tejas reportedly offers better performance compared to the Pakistani jet, which has been developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra.

Tejas excels JF-17 in the technologies that are utilised in it, including lightweight composite material body, sophisticated quadruplex digital flight control system, microprocessor-based utility controls and the superior American GE-404IN engine among others.

The Malaysian Air Force is already flying Sukhoi-30MKM, which is modelled on the IAF’s Sukhoi-30MKI.

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