In order to pursue the Middle East and North Africa market for its exports, India has offered to establish production facilities for the production of light combat aircraft (LCAs) as well as helicopters in Egypt.
Over the past few weeks, Egypt and India have engaged in a series of high-level engagements, and Egypt’s air force chief will be visiting India in a few days in order to showcase expertise in aircraft manufacturing and maintenance.
As part of his visit to Egypt last November, the Air Chief Marshal attended the Cairo Air Power Symposium and Defence Exposition. Currently, 57 members of the Indian Air Force are in Egypt for a tactical leadership programme at the Cairo Air Force School. 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, according to the sources. In addition to operating a mixed fleet of US, French and Russian-origin jets, the nation has been pursuing the establishment of aeronautical manufacturing facilities.
Apart from the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1A, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is also offering a range of indigenous helicopters, such as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).).
“Be it the fixed-wing requirement or the rotary-wing requirement, India is offering to jointly set up production facilities there. There is a significant demand in that region for such aircraft and Egypt will be a good base,” sources said.
Based on economies of scale after purchasing 83 Mk1A variant fighter jets, the Indian LCA is priced at $42 million per unit. 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.