South Korean FA-50 Fighter Jet Wins Malaysian Fighter Jet Contract, Disappointment for India’s LCA Tejas
Feb 25, 2023
Korea Aerospace Industries’ (KAI’s) FA-50 fighter aircraft has bagged a US$920-million deal for exporting 18 light combat aircraft to Malaysia. The aircraft was in competition with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL’s) Tejas LCA Mk-1 for the contract.
According to The Korean Times, KAI CEO Kang Gu-young and Datuk Muez bin Abd Aziz, secretary general of Malaysia’s defense ministry, signed the deal for the airrcraft in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
The deal continues a run of success for KAI. The company’s aircraft has been in demand in South-East Asia, with contracts already signed with Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia In September last year, the company signed a deal with Poland’s Ministry of National Defencefor the delivery of 48 FA-50 light attack aircraft. As part of the contract, the first 12 jets are to be delivered this year while the rest will be delivered from 2025 to 2028.
According to The Korea Times, the FA-50s for Malaysia will be modified to have an aerial refuelling system and expanded payload capacity. The first batch of the aircrft is expected to b delivered to Malaysia from 2026.
For HAL, the attention now shifts to Indonesia and Egypt, among the two countries that have have shown interest in the Tejas.
At the recent Aero-India 2023, HAL chairman C.B. Ananthakrishnan said that the company is in talks with Egypt and Argentinian officials for the supply of the Tejas LCA Mk-1A to the nation’s armed forces. If the deal materalises, the company will supply 35 Tejas LCA Mk-1A to Egypt, as well as provide a complete transfer of technology (ToT) for the country to produce the aircraft locally.
According to Ananthakrishnan, two teams from the Argentine Air Force recently visited HAL and flew the LCA.