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For LCA Tejas, India’s HAL Establishes Its First Overseas Branch In Malaysia

Story Highlights
  • In light of the aforementioned circumstances, HAL's office in Kuala Lumpur will focus on marketing HAL's assortment of goods and services throughout South East Asia, not just in Malaysia.
  • In the presence of Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar, Major (R) Mohd Husairi Bin Mat Zain of Forte Drus, the official representative of HAL in Malaysia, and Ravi K, GM, LCA, HAL, signed the Memorandum of Understanding

Indian defence companies are breaking through barriers and entering the international market. In a first, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s largest military public sector undertaking (DPSU), has announced that it will open an office in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). This is a crucial step since, despite entering the very competitive global defence market late, the defence sector has seen a major increase in the export of military hardware.

Building on endeavours and various policy thrusts to promote defence export, India records its highest-ever defence exports in 2021–2022, totaling Rs. 12,815 crore and Rs. 1,387 crore in the first quarter of 2022. Exports of defence goods had a record gain of 54.1% over the previous year, with the private sector contributing 70% and the state sector the remaining 30%.

With a presence in Malaysia, HAL will be better able to capitalise on new business prospects for the Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) LCA and other RMAF requirements, such as Su-30 MKM and Hawk modifications. It will strengthen India’s commitment to assisting Malaysia’s defence forces and industry in maintaining a viable aerospace and defence sector in Malaysia. Tejas is a single-engine, multi-role supersonic fighter that is very manoeuvrable. Tejas is outfitted with modern avionics.

The defence ministry authorised a deal with HAL last year for the purchase of 83 Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force for 48,000 crore (IAF). The Mk-IA form of the jets will begin to be delivered by HAL to the IAF in 2025, and all 83 jets would need to be turned over by 2030, according to HAL officials. At the same time, India unveiled the Tejas MK 2, which would incorporate features of a fifth-generation combat jet. An ambitious $5 billion effort to create a fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft has also been started by the government on top of that (AMCA).

In response to a global tender released by RMAF, HAL had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), Malaysia in October 2021 for the supply of 18 FLIT LCAs. Despite fierce competition from China’s JF-17 jet, South Korea’s FA-50, Russia’s Mig-35, and the Yak-130 fighter jet, Malaysia has reduced its search to the Indian aircraft.

The Malaysian authorities are anticipated to announce the final tender winner soon. LCA Tejas has a decent probability of being chosen for the proposal because it satisfies all the requirements set forth by RMAF.

Additionally, HAL is able to provide the necessary support to the RMAF for the Su-30 MKM fleet, which is experiencing low serviceability concerns as a result of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine situation. HAL is one of the main producers of Su-30 aircraft of Russian origin. HAL can assist RMAF in modernising its Hawk fleet. The RMAF may eventually introduce further HAL platforms like the HTT-40, Do-228, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), etc.

In light of the aforementioned circumstances, HAL’s office in Kuala Lumpur will focus on marketing HAL’s assortment of goods and services throughout South East Asia, not just in Malaysia. Additionally, the office will help the RMAF and nearby air forces in the area run their current assets more efficiently.

In the presence of Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar, Major (R) Mohd Husairi Bin Mat Zain of Forte Drus, the official representative of HAL in Malaysia, and Ravi K, GM, LCA, HAL, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

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