New Delhi, August 5
Among the countries that have evinced interest in Tejas, the light combat aircraft (LCA), are the US, Australia, Malaysia, Egypt, Indonesia, Argentina and the Philippines, the Ministry of Defence informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Friday.
The single engine plane is manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a defence PSU under the Ministry of Defence.
In case of Malaysia, the HAL has responded to a Request For Information received from Royal Malaysian Air Force, Malaysia, in February 2019. Subsequently, in October 2021 a Request For Proposal was issued against tender by Malaysia 18 jets, the HAL had offered the twin-seater variant, said Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State in the MoD. Malaysia is procuring the aircraft to replace its ageing fleet of Russian MiG-29 fighter planes. The number of aircraft that Malaysia is looking at procuring is not immediately clear.
To a separate question on whether the government proposes to manufacture a stealth fighter jet, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said “yes” and added the “autonomous flying wing technology demonstrator” has been successfully tested by the DRDO.