Monday, 25 March 2019

Tejas readies for three-way dog-fight in Malaysia with Pakistani and Korean fighters


By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 25th March 19

Two Tejas light fighters from the Indian Air Force (IAF) are in Malaysia to display their aerobatic performance at the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace Expo (LIMA-2019), which begins on Tuesday. The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be watching carefully to evaluate if the Tejas meets expectations for its Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project.

Aerospace experts believe Malaysia will choose between three light fighters: Tejas, the South Korean FA-50 Golden Eagle and the Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 Thunder, which already equips the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).

Since the RMAF is still deciding between a supersonic LCA and a sub-sonic fighter lead-in trainer (FLIT), three additional jet trainers are also regarded as contenders. These include Italian firm Leonardo’s M-346FA aircraft, the South Korean T-50 trainer and the Russian Yakovlev-130.

In January, Malaysia issued requests for information (RFI) under its LCA/FLIT procurement programme, expressing interest in acquiring an initial 12 fighters by 2021-22, with an option for 24 more in the future. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which builds the Tejas, also received an RFI and responded in March.

Of these six contenders, only the Tejas and the Yakovlev-130 will be flying in LIMA-2019, according to the flight display programme. The JF-17 Thunder is a notable absentee, given that RMAF chief, General Affendi bin Buang, while visiting Pakistan last November, had personally invited the PAF to demonstrate the JF-17 Thunder at LIMA-2019.

The Chinese-Pakistani JF-17 Thunder

However, the Pakistani fighter has registered its presence. On Saturday, at Pakistan’s National Day parade in Islamabad, the JF-17 presented an aerobatics performance before Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed, who was the chief guest.

The RMAF is procuring an LCA/FLIT under a its “Capability 55” modernisation programme, which envisages adding a single-engine, supersonic fighter to the current RMAF fleet, which consists mainly of twin-engined fighters, including the Boeing F/A-18D Hornet and the Russian Sukhoi-30MKM and MiG-29.

Kuala Lumpur has priced the procurement programme at about US $300 million, or $25 million per fighter. That is the estimated cost of the JF-17 Thunder, with the Tejas and the FA-50 Golden Eagle priced slightly higher at about $30 million each.

However, the ticket price is only one dimension of a fighter’s life-cycle costs. There are apprehensions over the JF-17’s engine, the Russian Klimov RD-33, which provides low serviceability, requires heavy maintenance and leaves a give-away smoke trail. The RMAF knows this, since its MiG-29 also use the RD-33 engine.

The South Korean FA-50 Golden Eagle fighter

In contrast, the Tejas and the FA-50 Golden Eagle both use the highly reliable General Electric F-404 engine, which also powers the RMAF’s F/A-18s. Further, the Tejas incorporates a significant amount of Israeli avionics, which also feature in the RMAF Sukhoi-30MKMs. These factors would reduce the life-cycle cost of the Tejas.

In design and materials, the Tejas is the most advanced of the three light fighters. It has an unstable design and a quadruplex fly-by-wire system controlled through an sophisticated mission computer. While the JF-17 and FA-50 are built mainly from metal, the Tejas’s fuselage and wings feature advanced composite materials, which reduces the aircraft’s weight and allows it to carry more weapons and fuel. 

The Tejas’s big drawback is the IAF’s reluctance to back it. In contrast, the JF-17 and FA-50 are strongly backed by the Pakistani and Korean air forces respectively. The PAF already flies six squadrons of JF-17s.

“It would be a travesty if the Malaysian air force likes the Tejas, but decides against it because it sees IAF reluctance to back the fighter. The sooner the IAF throws its weight behind the Tejas, the earlier it will crack the international market, where there is already drawing significant interest,” says strategic affairs expert, Bharat Karnad.

For LIMA-2019, however, the IAF and HAL have taken a formidable team of 80 personnel and four aircraft – including two Tejas, one C-130J Super Hercules and one Illyushin-76.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Malaysian PM will not buy the Teja because of the Israeli parts in the aircraft. This is the cost India will pay for friendship and arms collaboration with the apartheid state of Israel.
The Teja will be rejected for sales in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Congo, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Once again I repeat India’s collaboration with Israel comes at a cost.
India under Nehru was the leader of the non aligned block and a beacon of democracy, sadly with the right wing Modi Government it prestige amongst the majority of nations in the UN Gen assembly has diminished.

Anonymous said...

You state: Further, the Tejas incorporates a significant amount of Israeli avionics, which also feature in the RMAF Sukhoi-30MKMs.INCORRECT. suddencardiac@gmail.com-MKM do not carry any Israeli avionics

VIKRAM PRASAD said...

We need to be prepared for the Pakistan china tango....we need to augment our strike force...soon China/Pak will have stealth prowess to protect their one road infrastructure and markets in Africa and Europe.

What can we gain by exporting our TEJAS to Malaysia...when we have a squadron crisis... ENEMY AT THE GATES

Anonymous said...

Do you want to stop relationship with India to please Congo, Egypt, Sudan? Lol. BTW Azerbaijan uses Israeli weapons and so did Turkey till their terrorist PM Erdogan took over.

Anonymous said...

As an Indian, I agree. India needs to stop supporting an apartheid state like Israel!

Once a big war starts, Israel will be the first nation to be wiped out from the map by the aggressive Persians. Then India will rely on which nation?

Russia is neutral when it comes to Indo-Pak. Saudi, Iran, Malaysia, Turkey, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal all are Pro-Pakistan. Who will help India, Myanmar & Bhutan?(Both if which have awful armies)

Unknown said...

There is a juish lobby in America no one can challenge Israel till America is there.

Anonymous said...

@ unknown: yes, u r so right, its called the orange juish lobby, and they r behind a world-wide conspiracy to introduce orange juish to every country...soon, we will all b drinking orange juish, instead of water.......thank the lord i'm not the one to realise this...unknown, we r brothers-in-arms...soon i will reveal details of the apple juish lobby....

Anonymous said...

This is the best thing I’ve read in a while...I wish more people could respond to asinine comments with humor. Well done!

Iz said...

Anonymous Anonymous said... "The Malaysian PM will not buy the Teja because of the Israeli parts in the aircraft. This is the cost India will pay for friendship and arms collaboration with the apartheid state of Israel."
==> Israel is not an Apartheid state. BTW, do you know where Intel and AMD processors are produced? BINGO, ISRAEL! Practise what you preach, stop using computers, they're Israelis!
Oh, BTW, the Dassaults' are a Jewish family ;-)

"The Teja will be rejected for sales in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Congo, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Venezuela and Zimbabwe."
===> Azerbaijan is a big client for Israeli weapons. Although they'll be deprived from it, Turkey was into the F-35 program... There is a part of Israel in all F-35 : the wings, and some other stuff, including that if the software ends working correctly, it'll be thanks to Israel. Congo is Christian, Sri Lanka is Buddhist, I don't think India wants to get US sanctions after selling weapons to crazy Iranian shitlamists, even China or Russia don't sell them aircraft.
President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed he told his military personnel to only buy intelligence gathering and military equipment from Israel. "Israel does not place limits on exporting weapons", Duterte explained at his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem.
On 4 fighter jets in Sri-Lanka, 1 is an Israeli Kfir.
After the jihadist attacks, IMHO, they won't support Fakestinians who all vote for Hamas...


"Once again I repeat India’s collaboration with Israel comes at a cost. India under Nehru was the leader of the non aligned block and a beacon of democracy, sadly with the right wing Modi Government it prestige amongst the majority of nations in the UN Gen assembly has diminished"
===> As there was the return of political Islam since those days, Indians are in the same place as Jews on the shitlamists kill list : at the 1st place. Christians and Buddhists and commies are #2...

Israel is now the #7 world's arms seller.
USA buy+sell arms from/to Israel and is the #1 arms sellers, period.
France made Israel both able to kick Arabs' butts and also able to roast the whole Mid-East with nukes. France sells weapons to most of countries you pointed.
BDS doesn't works, baby.

India can do better than aiming sales at the bankrupt countries you tell about to sell aircraft!
With the Dassault/Safran/Thales proposed mods on Tejas, it becomes even better than if Mirage-2000 became 5th generation while Rafale is now available to order from India.
Since China can eventually seek leverage on France to prevent sales to Taiwan and even the US hesitate, well, Taiwan has looottsa ageing F-16.
Israeli Knesset already said : "F-35 is too expensive to purchase and maintain! No further orders! An alternative solution must be found"...
India is #1 client for Israeli weapons and Israel's F-15 and F-16 are getting old!!!
150 DRAL-made Rafales and 150 rafalised-Tejas would do the job for IDF...


Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia :
I'd consider proposing a squadron or 10-12 to commonly use w.the 3 Baltic states
Brazil : pad $9.1B for 28 Gripen-E that still aren't delivered. Bribes have been proven. Must be feasible to talk'em out of the contract and have Saab repaying.
Brunei : no jets but lots of oil.

Japan has lots of ageing aircraft, moreover F-35 may end with orders cuts... May happen with other countries : even USAF wants to cut purchases.
Greece is too low on money to buy Rafales but maybe Tejas???

Iz said...

Argentina, Croatia, Bolivia, Guyana, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico , El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Botswana, Tunisia, Togo, Senegal, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Niger, Ivory Coast, Chad, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Czech, Cameroon, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Chengdu, Bahrain, Austria, Angola, Albania, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Gabon,Slovakia, Myanmar, Serbia, Romania, Portugal, Poland, Namibia, Mozambique,Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Swiss, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Zambia...

Morocco has many ageing F-5 and Mirage F1, F-16V is VERY expensive, they initially wanted Rafale but French finances ministry considered Morocco was already owing 2 much money to France (not the only Rafale sale these idiots ruined!)
Spain : F-18A are ageing and they're trying to get rid of a part of their Typhoons due to maintenance costs.
Thailand could be interested by a Tejas-M since Harriers are dead.
Since USAF wants to stop buying F-35A, welll...
If ever US sanction India about S-400, India can consider selling to Cuba and Venezuela.

Fakestinians must go. Enough of their lies.