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Indian state-owned aerospace and defence enterprise, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is actively engaging with Philippine military and government officials to explore potential export opportunities. This initiative may pave the way for the export of a range of Indian aerospace products, including the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), and Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) to the Philippines.

The groundwork for this collaboration was laid last year when HAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) in April. This agreement opened the door to potential exports of India’s indigenous aerospace solutions, including the LCA, LCH, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), and LUH.

The Philippines, a nation with a strategic interest in bolstering its defence capabilities, needs light combat aircraft to enhance its air defence. HAL officials have recognized that, given the country’s size and requirements, the Philippines may not necessitate heavy or medium fighters. Consequently, HAL sees an opportunity to provide light combat aircraft that align with the specific needs of the Philippine Air Force.

The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), developed by HAL and inducted into the Indian Air Force, is renowned for its class-leading performance and capabilities, making it a highly attractive option for the Philippines.

The Philippine Air Force is no stranger to international defence collaborations. Currently, it operates a fleet of 12 FA-50PH supersonic trainer aircraft, which were built in South Korea. These aircraft have played a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s air defence capabilities.

HAL’s engagement with the Philippines underscores the growing interest in Indian aerospace products in the international market. The Indian aerospace industry has gained recognition for its technological advancements, quality, and cost-effectiveness. As both countries continue discussions, this collaboration has the potential to strengthen defence ties and offer the Philippines access to advanced and proven aerospace solutions from India.

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