Philippines eyes India's Tejas fighter jet – reports
The Philippines consider buying a range of Indian aircraft, including fighter jets and helicopters, Indian sources report.
The Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), according to the Indian news agency IANS, referring to unnamed sources close to the matter.
The memorandum was signed in the aftermath of a $368 million contract for India-made Brahmos supersonic anti-ship missiles. The deal between India and the Philippines was signed in January 2022.
The purchase of HAL Tejas fighter jet, LCH attack helicopter, as well as Dhruv and LUH utility helicopters has been reportedly discussed.
If pursued further, this would constitute the first export order for the Tejas. Numerous countries have considered purchasing the Tejas, most notably Malaysia, which received HAL’s bid in its ongoing light fighter jet tender.
Currently the Indian Air Force remains the sole operator of the Tejas.
The Philippine Air Force operates a small number of KAI FA-50, a ground attack version of Korean-made T-50 advanced jet trainers, as well as an assortment of turboprop light attack aircraft.
According to earlier reports, in 2021 the Philippine government expressed interest in acquiring the latest variant of Lockheed Martin F-16. The US State Department cleared the purchase, but no contract firmed up yet.
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