There have been a series of high-level engagements with the nation and the Egyptian Air Force Chief is expected to visit India in a few days, during which expertise in aircraft fleet building as well as maintenance will be demonstrated.
Air Chief Marshal VR Chowdhury had visited Egypt in November last year and participated in the Air Power Symposium and Defense Exhibition in Cairo. Presently, a 57-member Indian Air Force delegation is in Egypt to attend the Strategic Leadership Program at the Air Force School in Cairo. The delegation consists of three Su30 MKIs and two C17 aircraft.
Sources said the Egyptian Air Force needs around 70 light combat aircraft with a focus on local production and technology transfer. Currently, the country operates a mixed fleet of jets of US, French and Russian origin and is keen on setting up aeronautical manufacturing facilities.
Apart from Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk1A, which is an Indian manufacturer for the country
Ltd. is also offering its range of indigenous helicopters like Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
“Whether there is a need for a fixed wing or a need for a rotary wing, India is offering to jointly set up production facilities there. There is a great demand for such aircraft in that region and Egypt would be a good base.”
The Indian LCA is priced at around $42 million per unit, which is made possible by the 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 the Malaysian requirement for light combat aircraft, with a package deal on the table that will include maintenance and parts for the country’s Russian-origin Su 30 fighter jets.