Business & Defence

LCA Tejas vs Hurjet: Turkey Makes Malaysia An ‘Irresistible’ Offer

Story Highlights
  • According to Kotil, TAI has already constructed an engineering centre in Malaysia that it hopes to transform into an avionics hub. The firm is keen to make more lucrative promises to Malaysia, including transferring some of the country's most powerful defence equipment.
  • The competition to supply Malaysia with light combat aircraft (LCA) is heating up, with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) offering collaborative manufacturing on its Hurjet trainer and a number of other front-line military jets.

The competition to supply Malaysia with light combat aircraft (LCA) is heating up, with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) offering collaborative manufacturing on its Hurjet trainer and a number of other front-line military jets.

TAI president and CEO Temel Kotil presented plans for collaborative manufacture at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, claiming that it is backed by TAI’s investment in the Southeast Asian country.

According to Kotil, TAI has already constructed an engineering centre in Malaysia that it hopes to transform into an avionics hub. The firm is keen to make more lucrative promises to Malaysia, including transferring some of the country’s most powerful defence equipment.

TAI is currently supplying the Malaysian Armed Forces with the Hürjet advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft, as well as the Anka medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (MAF).

According to the source, Turkey is also seeking to make Malaysia a partner in its initiative to develop its next-generation fighter plane, the Turkish Fighter Experimental (TF-X)/National Combat Aircraft.

According to Kotil, it also went so far as to offer Malaysia the opportunity to produce components for its T625 Gökbey utility helicopter. This helicopter will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces in 2023, although TAI is willing to sell it to foreign bidders.

Tejas vs Hurjet

The Malaysian Ministry of Defense (MoD) issued a tender in June 2021 to allow the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s acquisition of 18 Light Combat Aircraft/Fighter Lead-In-Trainer (LCA/FLIT).

Turkey is rumoured to be making attractive proposals to Malaysia in order to win the LCA contract, which has a total of six bidders. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are the frontrunners for the contract.

On CNN Türk, Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil, General Manager of Türk Aerospace Industries A.S., spoke about Jet Training and the HÜRJET Light Attack Aircraft. The HURJET is on its way to Malaysia, according to Kotil, because TAI has a strong position in Malaysia’s tender.

In November of this year, the business stated, “Hopefully, we’ll be able to sell 18 HÜRJET to Malaysia.” When Turkish Aerospace Industries offered to build 15 of the total 18 planes in Malaysia, with the first three being built in Turkey, the competition had skyrocketed.

This collaborative aircraft manufacturing offer could help Malaysia achieve its goal of creating its own aerospace industry. HAL, on the other hand, may set up logistics facilities in the country.

HAL’s managing director, Madhavan, stated that the company is willing to improve the jet to meet Malaysian regulations, citing flaws in the Hurjet aircraft.

HAL’s managing director, Madhavan, stated that the company is willing to improve the jet to meet Malaysian regulations, citing flaws in the Hurjet aircraft.

Tejas is now in service with the Indian Air Force and is nearing completion. Hürjet, on the other hand, is still in the works and will take another year to complete.

In his press conference, Kotil also addressed this issue. He added that the Hürjet will take to the skies soon and that the Turkish Air Force will receive 16 aircraft starting in 2025.

Strong defence partnership with Malaysia 

Ankara wants to form a long-term defence alliance with Malaysia. Even if its proposals for Malaysia’s Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programmes are not awarded, a representative from the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) said during the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 expo in Kuala Lumpur that it is committed to forming industrial ties in Malaysia.

Rather than generating new business, TAI expects its Malaysian division to take business from Turkey. This will allow the company to expand to the point where it will be able to offer new customers with Hürjet avionics and software.

In addition, Kotil believes that the company’s experiences could benefit Malaysia’s aerospace industry, despite the Malaysian government’s policy in this area. “We spent 20 years manufacturing aerospace products and want to bring that experience to Malaysia,” added Kotil.

TAI also plans to manufacture and assemble aircraft components such as avionics in Malaysia, according to him. “By the end of this year, we hope to have roughly 100 engineers in the Cyberjaya office, which opened in November 2021,” he added.

Meanwhile, TAI and Negri Sembilan’s Norfolk Southern Corp (NS Corp) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of NS Aerospace Valley (NSAV) and unmanned vehicle valley (UVV) in the state.

The partnership will focus on improving aerospace component manufacture, maintenance, repair, and overhaul, as well as developing skilled workforce and transferring technology.

These circumstances have the ability to tip the balances in favour of Turkey. On the other hand, the country’s responsibility is to develop the Hurjet on time, which includes finishing all testing on time.

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