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It’s Official! India’s LCA Tejas Loses Malaysian Fighter Jet Contract To South Korean FA-50 Fighter Jets

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South Korean FA-50 light attack aircraft have outshone India’s Tejas fighter jets as Seoul sealed a deal to export 18 Lead In Trainer-Light Combat Aircraft (FLIT-LCA) to Malaysia.

The announcement was made by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, on February 24. According to KAI, the contract is valued at 1.2 trillion won ($920 million), and delivery will start in 2026.

It anticipates that Malaysia will eventually acquire 36 units in total. KAI won the contract with Malaysia’s defense ministry by outbidding competitors such as Tejas from India, JF-17 from Pakistan, MiG-35 from Russia, and Hürjet from Turkey.

Malaysia’s FA-50s will have several improvements, including the ability to perform air-to-air refueling and an expanded weapons capability.

KAI president and chief executive Kang Goo-young noted that this export results from increased cooperation between the governments of the two countries.

KAI said that the company would serve as a long-term partner through defense collaboration, effective delivery, and operational support of the FA-50.

FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft, South Korea
FA-50 Light Combat Aircraft, South Korea
KAI credited the success to the superior quality of its aircraft and the follow-up support, Korean Times said.

Encouraged by the recent success, KAI strives to expand its international business to other parts of the world, including Australia and the United States.

Last year, the country inked a contract to export 48 FA-50s to Poland. KAI’s sales increased significantly in 2022, jumping from 2.56 trillion won to 2.78 trillion won. It intends to increase the sum to 3.83 trillion won this year.


After Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia, this is the fourth aircraft contract KAI has inked with a South-East Asian nation.

With the latest agreement, KAI is believed to have sold 68 KT-1 basic and T-50 advanced trainer jets and FA-50 aircraft. Besides that, it has secured contracts to supply 222 aircraft to countries such as Iraq, Poland, Peru, and Senegal.

Nonetheless, the achievement is the most recent example of the South Korean defense industry’s expansion, which has dramatically seized several big weapon export deals.

South Korea’s Growing Footprint

Malaysia, which has long needed to modernize its fast jet fleet, commenced the FLIT-LCA requirement in June 2021.

The country launched the tender to acquire Lead In Trainer-Light Combat Aircraft as part of the air force’s Capability 55 plan, released in 2018 and outlined the air force’s objective to achieve an ideal force structure by 2055.

The requirement quickly attracted proposals from several countries. Besides the FA-50, contenders for the contract included the Turkish Aerospace Hurjet, Chengdu-Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17, Russia’s MiG-35, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Tejas.

The FA-50 and Tejas were the two final shortlisted candidates in the race, with the South Korean aircraft ultimately prevailing over the Tejas.

The company plans to secure 1,000 worldwide FA-50 sales over ten years, according to Lee Bong Keun, vice-president and general manager of KAI’s international business division, who spoke to FlightGlobal at the Farnborough Airshow in July 2022.

KAI T-50 Golden Eagle - Wikipedia
KAI T-50 Golden Eagle – Wikipedia
This figure covers the demand for extra training aircraft from the US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy and the desire for “red air” aircraft to participate in aggressor training missions.

The FA-50 Fighting Eagle is developed by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and US defense company Lockheed Martin. The popularity of this aircraft has also encouraged foreign businesses to increase their collaboration with South Korean firms.

For instance, Germany-based Airbus Defense and Space has already proposed a “win-win strategy” to Seoul to increase exports of South Korea’s FA-50 Fighting Eagles and other fighters to Western European nations.

Also, Airbus declared that it would increase the volume of parts it buys from South Korea from the current 700 billion won ($529.3 million) annually to over 1 trillion won.

Nevertheless, the East Asian country has already made a name for itself as a primary weapons exporter to other nations, including Australia and India.

Several European countries, notably Turkey and Poland, have purchased mobile howitzers and small guns from South Korean defense companies in the last few years.

The South Korean aerospace industry is also working on the KF-21 stealth fighter, which is anticipated to attract considerable attention from several nations in the coming years.
 
It was clear that they will choose FA 50 over Jf17 and Tejas
Please do not compare Tejas in the same category as Jf17 because Jf17 has its market developed by few nations already. Tejas is STILL trying to BREAK DA ICE with its 1st order yet to be materialized. With the poor record Hal dhruv exports to South America I don't think any nation in right mind will order anything from HAL industries.

However FA-50 is different type of fighter when compared to Jf17. Jf17 is different kind of fighter to that of FA-50.
 
An obvious choice, and a damn good one. The FA-50 is a fantastic bird.

Congratulations to South Korea for proving once again that it is indeed best Korea, and also to Malaysia on this fantastic acquisition.
 
Both are the same capable aircrafts, jf17 is developed by china but not inducted by herself. Yes. It is a good for market purpose who can not afford the 1st tire aircrafts i.e Rafale, EU fighter, etc.

The same goes to HAL Tejas, both are not a first tire aircrafts. They are just fighting to sell in third countries'.
Uninformed comment. The JF17 is not even in the same league as a Tejas. The Block 3 is already operating with technologies that Tejas isn’t slated to get until the MK2, while the MK1A is still a few years off from even flying in the IAF. The testing and production phase of just the MK1A is taking more time than the entire development of JF17 from block 1 to 3.

The MK1A is at best comparable to the JF17 block 2, which FYI will have been ins service for OVER A DECADE before the MK1A rolls out.

And the comment about China is stupid, they don’t use the aircraft because they don’t need it, they have different requirements, much bigger airspace and different adversaries (USA), they require heavier aircraft. Keep in mind china still has aircraft in its Air Force that are much older and less capable than the JF17 (F7, JH7 etc), so it’s not that they don’t buy the JF17 because it’s not capable enough, but simply because they need bigger aircraft. So this stupid rhetoric Indians always come up with of China not using the jet simply falls on its face.

You can keep saying “China made the Jf17” but the truth is that the indigenous content of both the aircraft is actually about the same (JF17 is marginally higher by number parts but lower by cost of parts). Nobody is debating that the Indian industry isn’t ahead of Pakistans either, just that Tejas is a failure from said industry, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if PAF buys aircraft from China or Timbuktu, as long as they’re doing their job, which they most definitely are.


PS: JF17 was NOT part of this aircraft tender for the RMAF. Only the L15 was from China. The RMAF were looking for LIFT-type aircraft, hence the L15, The M346, the FA50 and other such aircraft being part of the tender instead of actual full fledged fighters, if anything it’s another blemish on the Tejas that it ended up on a tender for LIFT equivalent aircraft instead of fighters.
 
Uninformed comment. The JF17 is not even in the same league as a Tejas. The Block 3 is already operating with technologies that Tejas isn’t slated to get until the MK2, while the MK1A is still a few years off from even flying in the IAF. The testing and production phase of just the MK1A is taking more time than the entire development of JF17 from block 1 to 3.

The MK1A is at best comparable to the JF17 block 2, which FYI will have been ins service for OVER A DECADE before the MK1A rolls out.

And the comment about China is stupid, they don’t use the aircraft because they don’t need it, they have different requirements, much bigger airspace and different adversaries (USA), they require heavier aircraft. Keep in mind china still has aircraft in its Air Force that are much older and less capable than the JF17 (F7, JH7 etc), so it’s not that they don’t buy the JF17 because it’s not capable enough, but simply because they need bigger aircraft. So this stupid rhetoric Indians always come up with of China not using the jet simply falls on its face.

You can keep saying “China made the Jf17” but the truth is that the indigenous content of both the aircraft is actually about the same (JF17 is marginally higher by number parts but lower by cost of parts). Nobody is debating that the Indian industry isn’t ahead of Pakistans either, just that Tejas is a failure from said industry, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if PAF buys aircraft from China or Timbuktu, as long as they’re doing their job, which they most definitely are.


PS: JF17 was NOT part of this aircraft tender for the RMAF. Only the L15 was from China. The RMAF were looking for LIFT-type aircraft, hence the L15, The M346, the FA50 and other such aircraft being part of the tender instead of actual full fledged fighters, if anything it’s another blemish on the Tejas that it ended up on a tender for LIFT equivalent aircraft instead of fighters.

Uninformed comment. The JF17 is not even in the same league as a Tejas. The Block 3 is already operating with technologies that Tejas isn’t slated to get until the MK2, while the MK1A is still a few years off from even flying in the IAF. The testing and production phase of just the MK1A is taking more time than the entire development of JF17 from block 1 to 3.
both comes in same league, technology both are having some advantage and disadvantage against Each other but both are almost equal and come in same category. But emotionally, Jf 17 3 can even beat to rafale and F 22 fighters.



The MK1A is at best comparable to the JF17 block 2, which FYI will have been ins service for OVER A DECADE before the MK1A rolls out.

Nah, The same above said lines.. f35 is never better than Mig21," it does not mean that due to flying hours, Mig 21 is better... Yes, it adds a minor benefit and nothing more.

And the comment about China is stupid, they don’t use the aircraft because they don’t need it, they have different requirements, much bigger airspace and different adversaries (USA), they require heavier aircraft. Keep in mind china still has aircraft in its Air Force that are much older and less capable than the JF17 (F7, JH7 etc), so it’s not that they don’t buy the JF17 because it’s not capable enough, but simply because they need bigger aircraft. So this stupid rhetoric Indians always come up with of China not using the jet simply falls on its face.
The same applies to India, which does not desire fighters like the HAL Tejas and JF-17 as its principal aircraft because China has considerably more advanced aircraft. This is one of the reasons the HAL Tejas Mk1a interceptor fighter will be employed, even though it has an ASEA radar and an Astra missile with a 160 KM range.

You can keep saying “China made the Jf17” but the truth is that the indigenous content of both the aircraft is actually about the same (JF17 is marginally higher by number parts but lower by cost of parts). Nobody is debating that the Indian industry isn’t ahead of Pakistans either, just that Tejas is a failure from said industry, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if PAF buys aircraft from China or Timbuktu, as long as they’re doing their job, which they most definitely are.

Concerning indigenous development, Pakistan's JF-17 is only comparable to India's Su-30 MKI. Nothing more, nothing less.

Hal Tejas mostly wil be deployed to western borders since PAF has more or less equally capable aircrafts
 
Both are the same capable aircrafts, jf17 is developed by china but not inducted by herself. Yes. It is a good for market purpose who can not afford the 1st tire aircrafts i.e Rafale, EU fighter, etc.

The same goes to HAL Tejas, both are not a first tire aircrafts. They are just fighting to sell in third countries'.
The thing I agree with you both Pakistan & India are trying to sell their products abroad.
 
Does anyone in India really believe that Malaysians or anybody would choose Tejas fighters over Korean fighter of JF 17 if it entered the contest ?
 
Does anyone in India really believe that Malaysians or anybody would choose Tejas fighters over Korean fighter of JF 17 if it entered the contest ?
Only Pakistani and Chinese will not believe :P
 
Please do not compare Tejas in the same category as Jf17 because Jf17 has its market developed by few nations already. Tejas is STILL trying to BREAK DA ICE with its 1st order yet to be materialized. With the poor record Hal dhruv exports to South America I don't think any nation in right mind will order anything from HAL industries.

However FA-50 is different type of fighter when compared to Jf17. Jf17 is different kind of fighter to that of FA-50.

Break the ice? It still has to detach itself from the samosa on wheels truck.
 

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