A Malaysian Air Force team is expected to visit India in near future to assess the adequacy of the light combat aircraft (LCA). The Malaysian team is likely to visit Bengaluru within two months and will take a full tour of the LCA production facilities, test infrastructure as well as a demonstration of its combat potential.
LCA has emerged as a top contender for the Malaysian Air Force since it is being offered at much cheaper rates than the Swedish Saab IN ALL IN 1 Gripen and is more modern and capable than the China-Pakistan origin JF 17, said the officials aware of the matter.
India is offering the LCA MKIA version, with a modern AESA radar, new avionics, and capability to integrate a variety of weapons, for the potential export order and is confident that the aircraft will be an ideal fit for the Malaysian need. The initial requirement is for 12 jets, with options for 24 more in the future. Besides complete training support, India has offered to create full maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility for the LCA fleet in Malaysia to ensure a high rate of availability.
LCA is a locally developed system that has recently been ordered in large numbers by the Indian Air Force. It is priced at just $42 million per unit. This will make it the most lucrative aircraft on offer to Malaysia in the global scenario, said the people aware of the matter.