To improve its defence capabilities, Malaysia is looking for additional fighter aircraft. Since last year’s tender, the fighters are still being finalised. Many aerospace businesses from other countries applied for the contract; the top two were from Turkey and India, though the officials have not yet confirmed this.
Given its low acquisition cost and good technical ratings, India is the front-runner for Malaysia’s order of 18 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The offered package agreement also covers upkeep and spare parts for the country’s Sukhoi 30 fighter jets of Russian descent.
The pledge made by India to maintain Malaysia’s Sukhois in flight-ready condition is supported by the sizeable spares store and technical expertise of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
South Korea and China are also vying for the contract, despite not having back-end agreements with Russian manufacturers to work on Sukhoi jets.
Final decision will probably be made between governments.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) made the announcement that it is offering Malaysia joint production on a number of front-line military aircraft during the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 expo in Kuala Lumpur. TAI’s Hürjet, which is under development, is submitted a bid for the Light Combat Aircraft/Fighter Lead-In-Trainer (LCA/FLIT) programme of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a tender in June 2021 to fund the purchase of an initial 18 aircraft. Although it is still in development, the Hürjet will fly for the first time soon and the Turkish Air Force will get 16 of them starting in 2025. Hurjet might also go through testing that has been verified in flight, which might take longer. The Tejas aircraft, which were made in India, may deliver fighters in a 2 years, though, if the HAL secures a deal immediately.
The 19 Su 30 MKM fighters that Malaysia deploys are extremely similar to the Su MKI version that India uses.
According to the Economic Times, the dual package has been discussed, and a final decision will probably be made between governments.
Ordering spare parts and other supplies for outdated military equipment is becoming more and more challenging for a number of countries who possess Russian weapons.
Turkey’s Hurjet vs India’s Tejas
Hurjet is still in the development phase, whereas Tejas is already operational in the Indian air force. Tejas has a variety of offers for weapon packages, and since India has good diplomatic relations with other countries, some of its weapons have been jointly developed with foreign manufacturers. Hurjet is also offering some weapon packages, but they will be less in number than those offered by India’s HAL.
Tejas In order for Malaysia to improve its features with the HAL in the future, it is competing with other nations to release its Tejas Mark2 fighter, which is set to launch next year. China, Korea, and Russia all made offers to Malaysia. HAL Tejas is more inexpensive in their country when compared to other nations because of its price.
India offer Updates Radar and Avionics
A contemporary AESA radar, updated avionics, and the potential to incorporate a variety of air to air to ground weapons are all included in the LCA that India is offering to Malaysia.
Astra air-to-air missiles with a range beyond optical range have also been ordered by the Indian Navy and Air Force.
Teams from Malaysia visited India to examine the LCA offer, and to assure better servicing, the Indian side offered to build up an overhaul facility for the LCA fleet in Malaysia.
The India LCA costs $42 million; the cheap price has been made possible by economies of scale after the Indian Air Force ordered 83 of these jets as part of the Make in India programme.
India’s offers to maintain Malaysia’s Sukhoi 30 fighter with HAL expertise and currently available Russian spare parts are open to India, but it maintains that doing so will result in more powerful defence fleet for Malaysia and a successful deal for both nations. Tejas fighter jet offers India’s strength which lies mostly in its arsenal of aircraft and weapons, which has elevated it to the top of Malaysia’s list of priorities. And even under the new contract, it can provide LCA and Dhrvua helicopter.
There are several indications that Malaysia may choose the Tejas for its defence squad, however Malaysia has not yet officially released it.