Chief of state-run aerospace behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) R Madhavan speaking to ” Business-standard” has that Tejas Mk1A and Tejas Mk1 Trainer offered in response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for Lead-In Light Fighter / Trainer Aircraft meets all the requirements of RMAF including Mid-Air refueling Probe, BVR along with OBOGS (On-board oxygen generating system ) also RFP conditions that mandate the aircraft be 30% localized and delivered within 36 months from the date of the contract.

HAL has offered Tejas Mk 1A fighter at a vanilla price of just $41.5 million per unit and Tejas Mk1 Trainer at a vanilla price of just $37.6 million per unit. since RMAF wants eight of these platforms to be primarily configured for lead-in-fighter training, while the remaining 10 would be a single-seater for which it is expected to pay $900 million for 18 fighters at an average cost of less than $50 million per fighter.

Possibly feeling Price heat from LCA-Tejas, Madhavan has said that the Chinese have offered JF-17 at a 30% discount that possibly could mean China is somewhat agreed to offer the jet at a loss since Single JF-17 Block III per unit cost is around $55.6 million per unit with 30% discount factored in it could come down to $ 38.92 million per unit, exactly behind Tejas Mk1A single-seater on offer to RMAF.

Last month, Business and financial publication Magazine ” The Edge Malaysia” in its report had claimed that Pakistan has not responded to Malaysia’s Ministry of Defence (MinDef) tender that was issued on 22nd June this year and on the last date (22 September), RMAF received bids from six companies but not from Pakistan.

JF-17 in or Out?

RMAF is not so impressed with the JF-17 jet on offer due to the lack of a Mid-Air refueling Probe certification that is still pending and also due lack of an onboard OBOGS system and not so impressive performance of its KLJ-7A active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the biggest hurdle seems to be the Russian supplied RD-93/93MA powerplant that has not so impressive record with RMAF on now grounded Mig-29 jet fleet.

Bejing- Kula Lumpur Tiff

Earlier this year RMAF had scrambled an unspecified number of Hawk 208 light-attack/lead-in trainer aircraft to confront a squadron of 16 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft after entering Malaysian airspace near the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Since this incident relationships between both countries have been on a downward spiral.

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