Mustang Why in news?
Opa-locka Malaysia has 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 and the Yak-130 plane
- 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.
- 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.
- If the deal is sealed, then it will give a “very good signal” to other prospective buyers of the aircraft and boost its overall export potential.
How is Tejas better option than others?
- It is learnt that the Chinese JF-17 was cheaper but it could not match the technical parameters of the Tejas Mk-IA variant and the offer of maintenance of the Su-30 fleet as proposed by India.
- Tejas is a much superior aircraft compared to JF-17 and FA-50 and that the selection of the Indian aircraft would provide Malaysia with the option to go in for future upgrades of the fleet.
- Tejas, manufactured by HAL, is a single-engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.
- In February last year, the defence ministry sealed a ₹48,000 crore deal with HAL for the procurement of 83 Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India has started work on the MK 2 version of the Tejas as well as on an ambitious $5 billion project to develop a fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).