India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ will debut at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA), Malaysia, in March this year.
Sources in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) told Deccan Chronicle that IAF pilots would fly the fighter and the two-seater trainer variant to Malaysia from the air force station at Sulur in Tamil Nadu where the No 45 Squadron (Flying Daggers) is based.
The fighter and trainer variant along with the maintenance staff and spares will move to Malaysia just as they reached Bahrain in 2016, it said. While the fighter jets flew over 2,500 km in three days to reach Bahrain for flying display, the Indian Air Force shipped the maintenance staff and spares onboard the gargantuan C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
According to the report, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) are keen to evaluate 'Tejas', priced at INR 200 crores, after eyeing the JF-17 Thunder fighter developed by China and manufactured in Pakistan.
Malaysia's defence minister is reportedly keen to fly 'Tejas' at the maritime and aerospace exhibition, sources added.
Meanwhile, HAL has commenced production of combat-ready fighter jets which meets all parameters of final operational clearance (FOC) beginning this month and the formal announcement will be made during Aero India show 2019.