Indian aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is set to place a bid for Malaysia’s light combat aircraft programme.

According to The Indian Express, HAL will respond to a request for proposal (RFP) next month by proposing 18 LCA Mk1 A fighter aircrafts for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

Notably, Malaysia launched a tender process in June this year for 18 jets under the Fighter Lead-in Trainer and Light Combat Aircraft (FLIR-LCA) requirement.

HAL chairman R Madhavan told the publication that Malaysian authorities have shown interest in its LCA Tejas Mk-1A aircraft.

He told The Indian Express: “There are many countries which are showing interest in LCA Mk-1A. Malaysia has issued the RfP and we are responding to it. It has to be sent in the third week of September.

“We stand a very good chance. There are eight more contenders including the US, China and Russia.”

The LCA Mk-1A is a fourth-generation fighter aircraft. It is equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and an electronic warfare (EW) suite. It is also capable of air-to-air refuelling (AAR) and firing advanced beyond-visual-range (BVR) missiles.

Earlier this year, the Indian Government signed an Rs480bn ($6.57bn) deal to procure 83 Tejas MK1A aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Deliveries will begin in 2024.

Recently, HAL placed a $716m order with GE Aviation for 99 F404-GE-IN20 engines that will power the Tejas jets. The deal also includes the delivery of other associated services.