The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the government’s aerospace and defence company, for the first time stepped out of the country to open its first office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to offer services to south east Asia.

The move comes at a time when India has pitched the Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) LCA for Royal Malaysian Air Force. The HAL’s general manger LCA Ravi K has signed an MOU with Major (R) Mohd Husairi Bin Mat Zain of Forte Drus, the official representative of HAL in Malaysia for opening an office in Kuala Lumpur. The presence will help the public sector undertaking in tapping the new business opportunities for Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) LCA and other requirements of Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) like Su-30 MKM and Hawk upgrades. Defence secretary Ajay Kumar and Additional Secretary (Defence Production), Sanjay Jaju were present in along with other officials for the event.

Capabilities to offer

“It will reinforce commitment of India in supporting the Malaysian Defence Forces and industry for sustainable aerospace and defence landscape in Malaysia”, the HAL said. Later, Kumar also tweeted to say that he met “Malaysia’s Secretary General Minister of Defence, Muez Abdul Aziz, and discussed greater defence cooperation in various areas including defence industry”.

The HAL stated that being one of the largest producers of Russian origin Su-30 aircraft, it has capabilities to offer support to RMAF for Su-30 MKM fleet facing low serviceability issues due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Similarly, the HAL can help RMAF for upgrading their Hawk fleet as well. “Considering the above factors, HAL’s office in Kuala Lumpur will take up market promotion of HAL’s range of products and services not only in Malaysia but in the entire South East Asia,” HAL said in a statement.

Growing bilateral military relationship

The growing depth in military cooperation among the two countries was also reflected in the four-day bilateral exercise Udarshakti among Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), and the four-day visit of Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Bin Mohd Sany, Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy, to India from August 16, at the invitation of Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy.

The exercise which culminated at the RMAF Air Base Kuantan on August 16 provided both the Air Forces an opportunity to share each others’ best practices. “The culmination of the exercise was marked by a traditional closing ceremony and a seven aircraft formation flypast of Su-30MKI & Su-30 MKM aircraft over the air base. The IAF team will now fly to Darwin, Australia to participate in Ex PITCH BLACK-22,” said the defence ministry.

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