Source : The Print
|HAL officials during the signing of an MoU in Kuala Lumpur. (ANI Photo)|
New Delhi: Eyeing a possible deal for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Malaysia, the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for opening its first international marketing and sales office in Kuala Lumpur.
“The office in Kuala Lumpur will enhance HAL’s ability to secure the deal while also enabling them to fulfil other requirements of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) like the upgradation and servicing of the Russian Su-30s and British Hawk trainer aircraft,” a statement from HAL said.
The move comes as Malaysia looks at Tejas as a Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) aircraft for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
HAL had submitted a proposal for supplying 18 FLIT LCAs after the Malaysian Ministry of Defence issued a global tender in October 2021. (moved up) The winner of the tender is expected to be announced soon and HAL expects to win as it meets all the technical parameters.
Given the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the serviceability of the RMAF’s Su-30 fleet has been difficult. Since HAL is one of the largest producers of Su-30s, it can easily extend servicing capabilities to Malaysia, the statement added.
According to sources, HAL is also looking into supplying spare parts to the RMAF for the Su-30s.
The office in Kuala Lumpur will act as a fulcrum to expand the services of HAL in all of South-East Asia and will not be limited to Malaysia.
The office in Malaysia will be the first one dedicated solely to focus on marketing and business development, sources said. However, the office in Kuala Lumpur will not be HAL’s first office abroad. It has offices in London and Moscow but these are primarily to liaison for existing deals for Hawk trainer aircraft and Russian fighters.
HAL is also in talks with Egypt for a possible sale of the LCA Tejas. India has offered to set up a production facility in Egypt, sources told ThePrint.