India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which makes the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas fighter, has offered to establish a manufacturing unit in Egypt, in the framework of a contract for the acquisition of the 4th generation fighter.
The Egyptian Airforce (EAF) is looking for a full-fledged combat aircraft that may also be used for pilot training on occasions, and the EAF has been sending signals of its interest in the LCA for the last couple of years, an official from the Indian Ministry of Defence official told Daily News.
The Egyptian Air Force is considering replacing some of its ageing fleets of fighters and trainer aircraft, which were purchased in the 1980s and are nearing the end of their lifespan. The service has recently purchased the Sukhoi-35 and Dassault Rafale. The EAF also operates the F-16, Mirage-2000, and Mirage-III aircraft.
India is actively scouting for export potential for the indigenous Tejas, which has been competitively priced at INR3 billion (US$13.4 million) per unit. Countries from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America have evinced interest in the aircraft, the MoD official informed. The LCA Tejas recently made its appearance at the Dubai Air Show, where for the first time showcased its aerial maneuvers in the Gulf region.
Back home, India plans to buy an additional 83 of the home-made as its air force inducted the LCA Mk-I Final Operational Clearance (FOC) standard aircraft into a resurrected squadron recently.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) operationalised the Number 18 squadron—Flying Bullets with the single engine, light weight, highly agile, all weather multi role supersonic fighter aircraft. This is the second squadron of the indigenous combat aircraft. The IAF initially had ordered 20 of these fighter aircraft and the first Tejas squadron was formed in 2016 called the Flying Daggers. The IAF then placed an order of 40 more Tejas Mk-I, including 32 single-seat aircraft and eight twin-seat trainers.
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