Why India’s LCA Tejas Lost The Malaysian Fighter Jet Deal

According to KAI, India’s LCA Tejas has lost the Malaysian fighter jet deal to the South Korean Lead-in-Trainer-Light Combat Aircraft.

South Korean FA-50 light attack aircraft have outplayed India’s Tejas fighter jets as Seoul inked a deal to export 18 Lead-in-Trainer-Light Combat Aircraft (FLIT-LCA) to Malaysia.

The announcement was made by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, on February 24. According to KAI, the contract is valued at 1.2 trillion won ($920 million), and delivery will start in 2026.

HAL had submitted a proposal to the Malaysian Ministry of Defence for the supply of 18 Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) LCAs against a global tender which was floated by the Royal Malaysian Air force (RMFA) in 2021. India’s LCA Tejas and Korea’s FA-50 were selected among eight nations that responded to the RMFA. Other participants included the Sino-Pakistani JF-17, the Russian Yak-130, and the Italian M-346 from Leonardo.

Why did Malaysia choose FA-50 over LCA Tejas?

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The decision to buy JF-17 fighter aircraft from China and Pakistan has come back to haunt Myanmar. The JF-17 fighter jet, which has been jointly built by China and Pakistan, has become a burden for the Myanmar Air Force.

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