SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), one of India’s premier aerospace and defence companies, is actively pursuing opportunities for the export of Tejas Mk1A fighter jets to multiple countries. This move comes in response to the growing confidence in the Made in India fighter jet by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which has already placed significant orders for these advanced aircraft. As India’s Tejas program gains momentum, several nations have expressed interest in procuring the Tejas Mk1A for their air forces, presenting a promising avenue for international collaboration.
The Tejas Mk1A, a versatile and capable fighter jet, has gained considerable recognition and acceptance within the Indian Air Force. The IAF’s initial order of 73 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets signifies a high level of confidence in the aircraft’s performance and capabilities. The impending order for an additional 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets further underscores the IAF’s trust in this homegrown fighter.
Building on the IAF’s endorsement, HAL is actively engaging with several countries to explore export opportunities for the Tejas Mk1A fighter jets. The potential export destinations include South American countries Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, and the Philippines.
Argentina is considering the procurement of 15 fighter jets, and HAL has offered the Tejas Mk1A as a contender for this requirement. However, it is worth noting that the United States and Argentina are reportedly close to finalizing a deal for the supply of Ex-Danish F-16 MLU fighter jets, which could influence Argentina’s final choice.
Egypt is in the market for 20 Light Category class fighter jets for its air force. India has extended an offer to supply its LCA-Tejas fighter jets for this requirement. However, the competition is stiff, with South Korean KAI’s FA-50 fighter jets also in contention for the contract.
Nigeria has expressed interest in procuring 16 to 18 fighter jets. While India has offered the LCA-Tejas Mk1A for this requirement, it’s essential to consider that China has already supplied Nigeria with 3 JF-17 fighter jets and operates previously Chinese-supplied Chengdu F-7 fighter jets. Winning orders from Nigeria would require significant diplomatic efforts, particularly considering the country’s close ties with China.
HAL has also proposed the Tejas fighter jet to the Philippines, which is looking to bolster its fleet with advanced Anti-Ship Missile (AShM) capabilities to counter regional challenges. India faces tough competition from other global aerospace giants, including Saab Gripen E, Lockheed Martin with its F-16V, and South Korean KAI with its FA-50 fighter jets in the Philippines.
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