The Indian Ministry of Defence has confirmed an offer of Tejas aircraft from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to the Malaysian government.

The offer includes a twin-seat variant of the company’s light combat model, according to a written reply presented by Indian State Defence Minister Ajay Bhatt to parliament.

India’s state-owned aerospace company formally received a request for information about the plane from the Royal Malaysian Air Force in 2019. In response, the firm submitted a bid for a proposal in 2021.

Malaysia’s Options

Despite the offer for the Tejas, July reports said that the Royal Malaysian Air Force would likely pick South Korea’s FA-50 Golden Eagle fighter over the Indian model, purchasing 36 light combat aircraft.

Aside from the HAL and South Korean planes, other candidates Malaysia is considering include Russia’s Mikoyan MiG-35 and Yakovlev Yak-130, the China-Pakistan JF-17 Thunder, and the Turkish TAI Hürjet.

The HAL Tejas

The Tejas aircraft is 13.2 meters (43 feet) long with a wingspan of 8.2 meters (27 feet) and can carry a maximum payload of 5.3 tons (5,300 kilograms).

Being lightweight (13.5 tons/13,500 kilograms), the multi-role aircraft is used in operations requiring highly agile units, such as air combat, anti-ship, offensive air support, and reconnaissance missions.

It is powered by a General Electric 404F2/J-IN20 turbofan engine and equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system.

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