The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has opened the international tender for the supply of new Light Combat Aircraft / Fighter Lead-in Trainer (LCA/FLIT) for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) on 22 June 2021.
According to the MINDEF’s tender announcement, bidders can start procuring the tender documents starting 29 June 2021, with a tender clarification scheduled on 28 July 2021, and the bid submission on or before 22 September 2021.
This new requirement for new LCA/FLIT aircraft are meant to replace ageing assets of the RMAF including 7 Aermacchi MB-339C and 10 BAE Systems Hawk Mk 108 FLIT aircraft.
British defense media outlet Jane’s mentioned in their report that the RMAF may be looking for 8 of the new aircraft to be configured as Fighter Lead-in Trainers to replace the MB-339C, while the other 10 aircraft would be configured as Light Combat Aircraft.
The RMAF has a requirement for 36 new LCA/FLIT aircraft under its “Capability 55” programme, to be procured in 2 batches of 18 aircraft each to equip 1 FLIT and 2 LCA squadrons.
Among those expected to submit their bids are Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), with the T-50 Golden Eagle family of LCA/FLIT aircraft, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) with their Pakistani-Chinese JF-16 Thunder LCA, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with their Tejas LCA, Boeing-Saab’s T-7 Red Hawk, Leonardo M-346 Master, and the Yakolev Yak-130 from Russia.
Malaysian defense sources mentioned that the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle and the PAC JF-17 Thunder are expected to be favourites, although the project being procured through public tender may be dependent on pricing and commercial factors rather than overall capability.
Source: Asia Pacific Defence Journal