Srilanka tipped to be first Export Customer for LCA-Tejas?

Air craft FighterAccording to Sources close to ” India today ” a 24-hour English language television network, Srilanka plans to procure India’s indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Tejas after India recently forced Srilanka to pull out of a similar deal to procure JF-17 fighter jet developed by China and Pakistan.

The report also mentions that Srilanka and Pakistan had almost finalised the deal and signing of the contract could have happened during a three-day visit to Sri Lanka last month by Pakistan’s Prime minister Nawaz Sharif but the deal collapsed reportedly due to Indian Governments pressure. in past had reported that Srilanka plans to retire Israeli-made Kfir fighter jets and both Srilankan and Indian top officials have confirmed to ” India today ” that in next few months formal discussions will take place between both government on the possible sale of LCA-Tejas fighter jets to Srilanka.

HAL Chief T Suvarna Raju while attending Bahrain Airshow earlier this year had confirmed to Indian media reporters that India’s Indigenously developed LCA-Tejas fighter jet which had made its first International debut had received lot of inquiries regarding the fighter jet and HAL along with DRDO will hold official briefing with many interested parties on possible export of LCA-Tejas in coming few months.

LCA-Tejas recently started BVRAAM testing and successfully test fired Israeli supplied Derby Beyond Visual Air-to-Air missile for the first time and more such trials are been scheduled for next couple of days. LCA-Tejas while performing at Bahrain Airshow demonstrated expansions of its flight envelope and pulled more than 8Gs bringing it closer to FOC certification.

Indian Air force recently has placed orders for 106 Upgraded Tejas MK-1A which will be equipped with modern AESA fire control radar along with IFR probe and have better Service maintainability. According to well-informed sources close to Indian Air force will receive 6 Tejas MK-1 aircraft for FY2016-2017 and 8 aircraft for FY2017-2018 before new and improved Tejas MK-1A is ready to enter production.(IDRW)

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