The Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 fighter jet, in contention of Malaysia’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project along with India’s Tejas, will not be participating in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) to be held in Malaysia next week.
According to the official list of participating aircraft released by the organizers, the JF-17 will not be present in the static and flying displays. The Tejas, however is listed in the flying display along with the Russian YAK-130, another Malaysian LCA project contender.
The absence of the Pakistani aircraft, thought a key contender for the Malaysian LCA procurement, has surprised LIMA watchers. The Malaysian air force chief, Affendi Buang, who had visited the IDEAS show in Karachi in November had extended an invitation to the Pakistani air force to demonstrate its aircraft at LIMA.
However, a Malaysian source told defenseworld.net that the reason for the Pakistani no show could be that the aircraft is expected to be demonstrated on the occasion of the Pakistani National Day on March 23 where the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed is the chief guest.