Shri C.B. Ananthakrishnan, chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), announced at Aero-India 2023 that the company is in talks with Egyptian and Argentinian officials to secure a contract to supply 35 Tejas LCA Mk-1A to the country's armed forces.
India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is in talks with Egypt and Argentina to supply 35 Tejas LCA Mk-1A fighter jets to their respective armed forces.
The contract includes a complete transfer of technology to Egypt and will encourage the manufacturing of the Tejas Aircraft within Egyptian territory.
Meanwhile, Argentina plans to replace its aging fleet of Lockheed Martin’s A-4AR Fightinghawk with the Tejas LCA Mk-1A.
Chandan Kumar Nayak, a defence analyst at Global Data, says that the deal would strengthen the domestic aerospace and defence industry in India, besides helping the country achieve its vision of developing more advanced aircraft with indigenized components.
GlobalData estimates that the contracts will generate revenue of $1.5-2 billion for HAL, and if signed, the Tejas LCA Mk-1 will be the first combat aircraft to be exported from India to another nation.
HAL’s Tejas is a light multirole and single engine 6.5t fighter aircraft designed for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
Its quadruple fly-by-wire digital automatic flight control, Sagem SIGMA 95N ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system, and 23mm twin-barrelled GSh-23 gun and Derby BVR missiles make it a formidable fighter jet.
India's increase in research and development spending, coupled with the export of the Tejas aircraft, is undoubtedly a positive sign for the country's defence industry.
While India is a significant contributor to defence imports to Asian countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka, it is not commonly known to export to Egypt and Argentina.
The deal would make Egypt and Argentina the first nations to procure the Tejas LCA Mk-1, a fighter jet already in use domestically by the Indian Air Force.
It also comes a few weeks after Army Technology reported that Egypt is attempting to modernize its aircraft inventory to drive defence expenditure.
India’s focus on indigenization has reoriented local defence manufacturers to explore foreign markets, and the contracts will further strengthen their R&D and manufacturing capabilities to support indigenous programs.
With this deal, HAL's Tejas LCA Mk-1 will make a mark in the foreign defence market, and pave the way for more advanced aircraft to be developed with indigenized components.