A remarkable success of Atmanirbhar Bharat,
India has offered to set up production facilities for the manufacturing of light combat aircraft (LCA) as well as helicopters in Egypt as it pursues export opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa region.
A series of high-level engagements have taken place with the nation and the Egyptian Air Force chief is expected to visit India in a few days, during which expertise in manufacturing as well as maintenance of aircraft fleet will be showcased.
Air chief Marshal VR Chaudhari had visited Egypt in November last year and attended the Air Power Symposium and Defence Exposition in Cairo. At present, a 57-member Indian Air Force delegation is in Egypt to take part in a tactical leadership programme at the Air Force school in Cairo. The delegation includes three Su30 MKI and two C17 aircraft.
Egyptian Air Force has a requirement of close to 70 light combat jets, with a focus on local production and technology transfer. At present, the nation operates a mixed fleet of US, French and Russian origin jets and has been keen on setting up aeronautical manufacturing facilities.
Besides the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1A that is on offer to the nation, Indian manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is also pitching its range of indigenous choppers like the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) as well.
The Indian LCA is priced at around $42 million per unit, a price made possible given economies of scale after the IAF placed an order for 83 fighter jets of the Mk1A variant. As reported, India has emerged as the frontrunner for a Malaysian requirement of light combat aircraft, with a package deal on the table that would include maintenance and spares for the nation’s Russian origin Su 30 fighter jets.