India to Offer Tejas MK1A Modified for Maritime Strike to the Philippines

Discussions are ongoing between the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp. (PADC) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) over the acquisition of modified LCA-Tejas MK1A aircraft for maritime defense capabilities.

The LCA-Tejas MK1A is a multi-role light fighter aircraft currently in production. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is considering adapting the aircraft to conduct maritime strike missions by adding modifications.

One such addition is the integration of the BrahMos-Next Generation (NG) Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM), which has anti-ship and land attack variants, and the Naval Anti-Ship Missile Short Range (NASM-SR). HAL’s pitch to the Philippines also includes improved radar for better performance regarding anti-surface and anti-ship missions.

The Philippines uses the South Korean FA-50PH lead-in jet trainer/light jet aircraft. Given the increase in Chinese naval activity in the region, a need for a more capable airframe is necessary.