According to a report in the ” Janes Intel” Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) offer of LCA-Tejas has a “fair chance” of winning the bid as it has met “all the parameters sought by RMAF [Royal Malaysian Air Force] in its Fighter Lead-in-Trainer (FLIT) program. The report also indicates that it is facing some serious competition from the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) developed FA-50 that has been offered at a relatively lower cost with similar sensor packages.

According to an estimate by Janes, LCA-Tejas has been offered at $32 million per unit and FA-50 at $26.5million per unit. Koreans have now offered an off-the-shelf AESA radar and in-flight refueling capability on the aircraft as demanded by the RMAF even though they are yet to be tested out.

LCA-Tejas at $32 million is the most expensive jet that is on offer other than the Mig-35 that is unlikely to be cleared by RMAF due to its history with the Mig-29 type. Ex-Kuwaiti F-18 Hornet is on sale and since it is already operated by RMAF that too has emerged as an option but it will be an expensive jet to be used for the Pilot training

Malaysia’s FLIT program intends to acquire an initial batch of 18 light combat aircraft as part of the RMAF’s Capability Development 2055 plan in the first batch and another 18 jets in the second batch times in 2025.

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