Malaysia TUDM FA 50 order credit KAI 640TUDM chooses FA-50

On 24 February 2023, Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI) announced it has been awarded the Malaysian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) aircraft tender.

The value of this deal is reported to be USD 920 million and is for an initial batch of eighteen KAI FA-50 Fighting Eagle fighter aircraft with an option for eighteen additional aircraft at a later stage. Deliveries to the Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM, Royal Malaysian Air Force) are set to begin in 2026.

The competition was a close race between the Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Tejas and the FA-50, with the latter closing the deal.

Malaysia is the fourth Southeast Asian export customer for the FA-50, after Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. The new order a major deal for KAI, who are actively trying to get a larger market share in this segment and signing this Malaysian deal is an important milestone.

It appears that the proven track record with its neighbouring countries has helped to pull this deal across the line. The Malaysian export version is further modified with better weapons capabilities and air to air refueling capacity.

Photo by YunjaeKim (via

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