The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will not be part of the Paris Air Show even as Pakistan’s JF-17 Thunder will be participating in the show which kicked off on Monday.

The Tejas had participated in the Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA-2019) in Malaysia which was held in March and during the Bahrain International Airshow in 2016.

At the LIMA-2019 as well as the Bahrain International Airshow the JF-17 Thunder was to participate and was pitted against the Tejas and woo potential customers. However, on both the occasions the Pakistani fighter jet pulled out at the last moment.

The participation of the two Tejas aircraft at the LIMA had aroused a lot of curiosity as the Indian Air Force had said that it will also provide an opportunity to Royal Malaysian Air Force to assess the capabilities of LCA.

The participation of the Tejas at the LIMA-2019 had assumed significance as Pakistan’s JF-17 was also in contention for Malaysia’s LCA procurement program. 

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) the manufacturer of the Tejas is looking to export the aircraft.

The PSU’s Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan had said that it is looking at countries in the Asia pacific and North Africa.

“We are taking our product other air shows. Only after they evaluate and they have finalised their specification, we can comment on that,” Madhavan had said a few months ago. The Tejas had turned a lot of heads during the both the airshow. At the Bahrain International Airshow as part of the flying display the aircraft performed a series of aerobatic manoeuvres such as 8-g pull, vertical loop, slow fly past, barrel roll etc.

In Malaysia, the aircraft had evoked a lot of interest among the local air force and government officials. However for the Paris Air Show, HAL sources said that the Tejas would not be taking part in flying display or static display.

The PSU is an exhibitor with a Chalet at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Parc des Expositions from June 17 to June 23.

“We are not taking any aircraft. Only a delegation would be taking part and if any MoUs have to be signed it would be done,” said HAL sources.

Meanwhile, one JF-17 will be on flying display at the airshow while another one will be on static display.