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Indian LCA Tejas Or Pakistani JF-17: Who Is Winning The Malaysian Fighter Jet Contract?

safari2021

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India’s multi-role Tejas fighter has captured the imagination of the Malaysian air force for quite some time now. The 4.5 generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) later enthralled the audience when it performed at the 2019 Malaysian Air Show at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2019).

The combat jet impressed the crowd with its artful maneuvers, engaging in loops, slow speed passes, minimum radius turn, maximum rate turn, negative G turn, along with point rolls.

It was the first international performance of the indigenous Indian fighter produced by India’s state-based company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Malaysia’s air force is in dire need of new and modern combat aircraft and its ageing fighter fleets need up-gradation. The Malaysian Air Force chief Gen. Affendi Buang had said that 40% of the country’s combat fleet – which includes British, American and Russian fighters – needs urgent up-gradation.

Tejas fighter
Consequently, the country floated a global tender to procure a variety of different aircraft, ranging from fighter trainers to medium-range combat aircraft (MRCA). The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) intends to fill the operational and combat requirement gaps by ordering a certain number of combat jets in a two-stage process.

Along with India’s multi-role LCA Tejas, which has reportedly emerged as the top contender in the race, other aircraft in the fray include the Swedish Gripen, Pakistan’s Chinese origin JF-17 jet, the South Korean T-50, among others.

Who is Leading the Race?
During its 2019 air show presence in Malaysia, Tejas attracted the curiosity of the then Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammad, who experienced the cockpit of the aircraft first-hand and was reportedly impressed with the systems and design.

Former Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad inspecting Tejas at Malaysia air show (file photo)
India and Malaysia have similar operational needs and weapon types with both countries using considerable Russian and NATO systems.

The two countries even match in their military strategy and the use of defense technologies. That will offer an advantage for Malaysia if it chooses Tejas which can accommodate both Russian and Western weapon systems, with both countries operating an amalgam of the fighter aircraft from both blocs.

With India said to be offering the latest version Mk1A, which features modern AESA radar, new avionics and the capability to integrate a variety of weaponry, it will be hard for the Malaysian Air Force to ignore Tejas.

The fighter also boasts of enhanced maneuverability, aerodynamics, maintainability and pilot survivability, self-protection jammer, radar warning receiver and external ECM pod.

To sweeten the deal, India has offered to establish a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Malaysia to ensure high-rate availability of the aircraft.

At approximately $42 million per unit, Tejas is an economical choice for RMAF, considering it brings a wide range of modern capabilities to a multi-role fighter and has an operational edge over Pakistan’s JF-17 in many respects, the experts say.




Moreover, the Indian Air Force’s recent order for 83 Tejas aircraft has helped scale down the prices significantly. Malaysia is likely to place an initial order for 12 jets, and go for 24 more at a later stage.

With a team from the country visiting India for assessing the suitability of the aircraft within months, there is great competition expected between LCA Tejas, JF-17, and Korean FA-50

JF-17 vs LCA Tejas
Compared to JF-17, Tejas has a combat edge with its more potent engine, radar system, and electronic warfare suite, and not to forget the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile capability according to IAF experts talking to the EurAsian Times.

JF-17 also comes with a Russian engine, about which Malaysia’s experience has not been good when it comes to serviceability. The country also operates the Russian MiG-29s with similar engines, which are said to require significant after-sales support and maintenance.

However, Tejas is powered by a General Electric F404 engine, also used in Malaysia’s F/A-18s, which has delivered satisfying performance.

With Kuala Lampur engaged in maritime border disputes with Beijing, there’s are chances that the country could prefer the Indian or even Korean fighters over that of Pakistan.

Malaysia and China have been locked in a tense standoff in the South China sea over exploration rights, with Chinese naval vessels repeatedly harassing the former’s exploration and drilling ships and other sea assets.

Experts say that Kaula Lampur takes the Chinese threat very seriously, and this could be a major factor in deciding the top contender for its combat aircraft procurement deal.

This could explain why Malaysia has been keen on spending more time studying India’s Tejas, with a team heading again for India in the coming few months.

Nitin J Ticku a political analyst with the EurAsian Times says that buying a fighter jet is not a simple process as all these decisions are politically motivated. A country’s air force aspires to have potent fighter jets that also suits the political interest of the ruling government.

The purchase of the JF-17s would bind Malaysia with the Chinese weapons while the FA-50 or LCA Tejas would give them access to ‘trusted’ Western technology, despite being of Korean and Indian origin.

 

VkdIndian

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JF-17 has a combat radius of 1500 kms. This figure has been quoted on it’s thread by quite a few FMs. While that of Tejas is mere 500 km. Considering that both the aircraft are of similar class and capabilities ( Blk3 vs MK 1A) JF-17, should win the contract on this single parameter.
1500 Km of combat range is a phenomenal capability and puts it far ahead of SAAB JAS-39 and even F-16.
This kind of combat range even in certain basic configuration appears very good. What is that configuration would be interesting to know.
 
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razgriz19

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Considering both Tejas and JF17 has a very similar internal fuel capacity i highly doubt the quoted range for both fighters would be that different. JF17 has shirt legs just like Tejas. It's the downside for having a light weight fighter
JF-17 has a combat radius of 1500 kms. This figure has been quoted on it’s thread by quite a few FMs. While that of Tejas is mere 500 km. Considering that both the aircraft are of similar class and capabilities ( Blk3 vs MK 1A) JF-17, should win the contract on this single parameter.
1500 Km of combat range is a phenomenal capability and puts it far ahead of SAAB JAS-39 and even F-16.
 

Ghost Hobbit

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Considering both Tejas and JF17 has a very similar internal fuel capacity i highly doubt the quoted range for both fighters would be that different. JF17 has shirt legs just like Tejas. It's the downside for having a light weight fighter
JF 17 combat range is obviously misleading.
 
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JF 17 combat range is obviously misleading.
If JF-17 would be using 3 drop tanks then it can else using internal fuel its difficult for any fighter of its class to have such a high combat radius of 1500km.
Malaysian team coming to India to evaluate Tejas.

Biggest advantage that Tejas has is CATS program and BrahMos missiles and Astra series of BVRAAMS which can be exported to Malaysia.

3FB7640E-5794-4A80-9499-771AC65F3C65.jpeg
 
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If JF-17 would be using 3 drop tanks then it can else using internal fuel its difficult for any fighter of its class to have such a high combat radius of 1500km.
Malaysian team coming to India to evaluate Tejas.

JFT has 1300 km combat range not 1500 km range with endurance of 3 hours with 2 drop tanks and with air to air loadout, 2 SD-10/2 SRAAM
 

VkdIndian

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Considering both Tejas and JF17 has a very similar internal fuel capacity i highly doubt the quoted range for both fighters would be that different. JF17 has shirt legs just like Tejas. It's the downside for having a light weight fighter
I also think the same. Considering that both have very similar dimensions etc they should have similar combat range.

Any country looking at these would also consider factors like country of origin of subsystems, operating costs, servicing schedule, life of sub systems etc. If these factors are close enough then political angle may play the final call. If China is the reason Malaysia is buying the fighters then any Chinese origin aircraft can be deemed out of equation.
 
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VkdIndian

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Biggest advantage that Tejas has is CATS program and BrahMos missiles and Astra series of BVRAAMS which can be exported to Malaysia.
These aspects may play a role but would depend on, if the interested party sees a value in these programs. ASTRA program does have a lot going for it though.
 

TheSnakeEatingMarkhur

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Considering both Tejas and JF17 has a very similar internal fuel capacity i highly doubt the quoted range for both fighters would be that different. JF17 has shirt legs just like Tejas. It's the downside for having a light weight fighter
Jf17 has 1350 km
Tejas has 500 km
JF 17 combat range is obviously misleading.
And how will you back it up ? 🤔🙄 apna teetar ee.. bss rehnde de yaar
Malaysian team coming to India to evaluate Tejas.

Biggest advantage that Tejas has is CATS program and BrahMos missiles and Astra series of BVRAAMS which can be exported to Malaysia.

View attachment 735547
On flip side it can be a headache if they have to rely on india for weaponry.. with JF17 its way easier to integrate their own weapons as JF17 has a specific weapon integration department..
 
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Jf17 has 1350 km
Tejas has 500 km

And how will you back it up ? 🤔🙄 apna teetar ee.. bss rehnde de yaar

On flip side it can be a headache if they have to rely on india for weaponry.. with JF17 its way easier to integrate their own weapons as JF17 has a specific weapon integration department..
F-16 carries more fuel and has a much efficient engine, yet has half the combat radius of JF17.
 

alikazmi007

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Looks like our Indian friends are being a bit zealous about the competition between the Jf-17 and Tejas, for RMAF. Looks like the real competition is between Jf-17 and the TA-50. Tejas is not even in the game!

 
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You are wrong mere dost JF17 carries around 615 Gallons of feul internally while F16 carries 450 gallons
Really? Ek minute
Looks like our Indian friends are being a bit zealous about the competition between the Jf-17 and Tejas, for RMAF. Looks like the real competition is between Jf-17 and the TA-50. Tejas is not even in the game!

The original media who posted that news has deleted it and a Malaysian Aiforce Team is arriving in BanGalore to test Tejas.
 

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