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Why did Tejas not win the RMAF tender? Here are four potential reasons.

Malaysia eventually decided on the FA 50 and signed a contract to purchase 18 light combat fighter aircraft.

Argentina asked India to remove the uk parts from Tejas

The Tejas and FA 50 were the two remaining finalists for the contract with the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and extensive negotiations were held with each company. However, Malaysia eventually decided on the FA 50 and signed a contract to purchase 18 light combat fighter aircraft.

India was one step ahead of the contract when both businesses set their offerings according to Malaysia’s specifications, but Malaysia still went with the FA 50. Let’s have a short understanding of the reasons why Tejas lost the RMAF contract.


1. FA 50 is a more popular fighter than Tejas

Particularly in some countries with ties to South Korea, the FA 50 has great popularity. Currently, the main operators are Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, Thailand, Colombia, and Poland. Recently, Poland placed an order for 48 aircraft, and Slovakia has expressed interest in purchasing 10 aircraft.

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The Lockheed Martin company created this aircraft, which was released in 2001. It has a payload capacity of 4.5 tonnes and a top speed of 1800 km/h. Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin make up the majority of its avionics. The majority of weaponry, including AIM, AGM, JDAM, and many others, are present. Therefore, the majority of nations opt for these jets since they are the most manoeuvrable and have good economic relations with South Korea.

2. Political issues and marketing tactics

Every defence agreement involves substantial financial transactions, and most of the time politics is a factor because Malaysia will hold elections the next year. If the current administration gets re-elected in the upcoming elections, the agreement is anticipated to be implemented. It is anticipated that Malaysia would have early general elections before the current Parliament’s term expires in July 2023.


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The majority of the time, government influences push the deal forward, but on the other hand, KAI has done its very best to implement a marketing plan and maintain public and press contacts with numerous top media outlets. Both aircraft are superior, but when a lot of backup power was needed to sell products or influence a purchase, the south Korean FA 50 caught the RMAF’s interest.


Malaysia and South Korea recently reached a trade agreement at a summit of 14 nations, and a number of other circumstances that changed the wind’s direction toward the South Korean FA 50 made it easier to land the aircraft.

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HAL, also known as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, significantly contributes to this. Without a doubt, HAL produces outstanding fighter jets, but the business struggles with marketing. This might have been the factor that led Malaysia to reject the HAL-built Tejas light combat aircraft in favour of the F-20 planes that South Korea was interested in selling.

3. Use of components made in Israel.

Malaysia opposed the radar that was built in Israel. Tejas has provided a number of packages for this tender, which no aerospace manufacturer gave to Malaysia. Tejas was committed to fitting the home-built Uttam radar, which is comparable to the AESA radar. nevertheless, because there is an Israeli component, which may discourage interest. Both aircraft have an aerial refuelling probe: the Mark 1A has one on the starboard side of the forward fuselage, and the FA 50 has one as well. both of which have the same kind of payload capacity.


4. Tejas is still in competition and has the potential to power other nations.

Tejas has created aircraft in collaboration with numerous international businesses and built them on the HAL platform, which has experience in many different types of aircraft. It also boasts Indian-made combat and utility helicopters. A further benefit for any customers is that they can obtain those weapons via the Tejas aircraft because the majority of its weaponry is powered by Russia, the USA, France, and Israel. HAL will also include any ammo the user requests. The cost per unit for the Tejas and the FA-50 are around $28 million and $30 million, respectively. Despite the Tejas’ lower price than the FAI, it did not win the tender.

However, after the Tejas mark2 aircraft was introduced, its popularity increased significantly. It has some newer, more sophisticated features and is an improved version of the Mark1. The Tejas’ flight control system can control the majority of global and ammunition technologies, which is a major benefit brought on by collaboration-related advancements. weaponry systems from Israel, France, and Russia have been tested.


The chance to purchase military equipment from India at lower costs, particularly maintenance assistance for the Su 30 MKi helicopter and other civilian aircraft, is being lost. and a majority of the defence equipment are Brahmos weapons systems that were produced in India.

There are many pieces of news as been published on Tejas vs fa 50 but now it has found its end. even it is also compared with the Tejas vs f16 aircraft.


lets us what you think about this deal in the comment section.


He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)