Source – Swarajya staff
State-owned Defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited HAL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The MoU was signed by Ravi K, GM, LCA, HAL and Major (R) Mohd Husairi Bin Mat Zain of Forte Drus, the official representative of HAL in Malaysia,i in the presence of Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.
B N Reddy, High Commissioner of India in Malaysia, Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary (Defence Production) and others were present on the occasion.
The office in Malaysia will help HAL in tapping the new business opportunities for Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) LCA and other requirements of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) like Su-30 MKM and Hawk upgrades, the company said in a statement.
It will reinforce commitment of India in supporting the Malaysian Defence Forces and industry for sustainable aerospace and defence landscape in Malaysia, the company said.
HAL had submitted a proposal to Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Malaysia during October 2021 for supply of 18 FLIT LCAs against a global tender issued by RMAF.
The final winner of the tender is expected to be declared soon by Malaysian authorities.
According to the company, LCA Tejas stands a fair chance of selection in the bid as it meets all the parameters sought by RMAF.
Further, being one of the largest producer of Russian origin Su-30 aircraft, HAL has capabilities to extend the required support to RMAF for Su-30 MKM fleet which is facing low serviceability issues due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, the company said.
It should be noted that India’s light combat aircraft, Tejas, has emerged as the top choice for Malaysia as the Southeast Asian nation looks at replacing its ageing fleet of fighter jets.
Malaysia has reportedly narrowed down on the Indian aircraft notwithstanding stiff competition from China’s JF-17 jet, South Korea’s FA-50 and Russia’s Mig-35 as well as the Yak-130 plane.
As part of the package, India has offered to set up an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) facility in Malaysia for its Russian-origin Su-30 fighter fleet as it is facing difficulties in procuring spares for the aircraft from Russia in view of Western sanctions against Moscow.
HAL can support RMAF for upgrading their Hawk fleet as well. Other HAL platforms like HTT-40, Do- 228, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Light Combat Helic pter (LCH) etc, have the potential to be inducted by RMAF in future.
Considering the above factors, HAL’s office in Kualalumpur will take up market promotion of HAL’s range of products and services not only in Malaysia but in the entire South East Asia, the company said.
The office will also contribute in increasing serviceability of existing platforms being operated by RMAF and for neighbouring Air Forces in the region, it added.