India has emerged as the frontrunner for a Malaysian requirement of light combat aircraft, with a package deal that would include maintenance and spares for the nation’s Russian origin Su-30 fighter aircraft.
According to Indian media, the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Tejas light combat aircraft has emerged as the top choice for Malaysia as the nation looks at replacing its ageing fleet of fighter aircraft which include Mikoyan MiG-29s, Boeing F/A-18D Hornets and BAE Systems Hawk Mk.108/208s. The two sides are now holding negotiations to take forward the procurement process.
Malaysia has narrowed down on the Indian aircraft in the face of strong competition from China’s Chengdu JF-17, South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 and Russia’s MiG-35 and Yakovlev Yak-130, according to HAL’s chairman and managing director R Madhavan.
by David Oliver