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Source : Times Now
|Tejas, manufactured by HAL, is a single-engine and highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft capable of operating in high-threat air environments.|
New Delhi: The Defence Minister on Friday said that India has offered to sell 18 light-combat aircraft (LCA) “Tejas” to Malaysia and added that the US and five other countries are interested in the indigenously-developed single-engine jet.
In written reply to BJP MP Queen Oja and others in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a state-owned defence and aerospace company, responded to a request for information from Malaysia’s Royal Malaysian Air Force, in February, 2019 for LCA class aircraft.
Subsequently, the HAL responded in October last year to request for a proposal issued against the tender released by the Royal Malaysian Air Force for 18 numbers of Fighter Lead in Trainer – Light Combat Aircraft (FLIT – LCA) and HAL offered to sell twin-seater variant of LCA Tejas.
Besides the US, the other countries which have evinced interest in the aircraft include Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Last year, the Centre gave a contract to the HALto manufacture 83 Tejas jets for the Indian Air Force at an estimated cost of Rs 48,000 crore
Bhatt said that the Centre has taken several policy initiatives in the past few years and brought in reforms to encourage indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby expanding the production of indigenous defence equipment.
He also noted that with the initiatives, the expenditure on defence procurement from foreign sources which used to be 46 per cent of the overall expenditure has reduced to 36 per cent in the last four years.