The state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is expected to respond to the Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for Lead-In Light Fighter / Trainer Aircraft to replace several inventories of aircraft serving in these two roles, including the BAE Hawk 108 and 208 light combat aircraft fleets and Aermacchi MB-339CM trainers by end of September with a customizable offer.The Malaysian Air Force has shortlisted the Indian jet as a contender for the contract of its 36 new Light Combat Aircraft. Industrial sources to idrw have confirmed that HAL is likely to offer its UTTAM AESA Fire Control Radar (FCR) instead of the Israeli origin ELTA’s EL/M 2032 based FCR in its bid that the Malaysian Air Force won’t agree to since Kuala Lumpur does not have an official diplomatic relationship with Israel.India already has decided to switch to Indian-made UTTAM AESA FCR and already has developed Mk1 and Mk2 variants of the radar for the Tejas Mk1A and LCA-AFMK2 programs. HAL will switch to UTTAM AESA FCR from ELTA’s EL/M 2052 AESA FCR from the 21st unit of the Tejas MK1A that goes into production from 2023. HAL is working on an export variant configuration of the Tejas Mk1A that will be offered at vanilla flyaway per unit cost of $41 million and is upgrading its Nashik facility to be used as an Export production line that can produce 5 LCA-Tejas per annum over 16 per annum production capabilities in its two LCA Divison production line in Bengaluru for IAF.The main contenders against the Tejas include China-Pakistan’s JF-17, South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle, Russian YAK-130, and the BAE Systems’ armed Hawk. China-Pakistan’s JF-17 along with South Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft were seen as the front runner in the tender process but things have changed rapidly after 16 People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes intruded into the Malaysian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) over the South China Sea this year and the relationship between two countries is at downslide ever since.
SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK