Sri Lanka has expressed interest in purchasing India’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, an indigenously built fighter jet which had been in the making for several years, an Indian report said last week. Sri Lanka had recently rejected Pakistan’s JF-17 aircraft built with Chinese help, while Egypt had last year signed a contract for 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets.

The Press Trust of India reported that Sri Lanka, apart from Egypt is interested in the current version of the Tejas and not the upgraded one which will be rolled out later.

However, state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the manufacturer of Tejas, is focusing on delivering the aircraft to the IAF first, the report noted adding that enquiries by foreign countries came during the Bahrain air show in January, the first time that Tejas flew outside the country.

Tejas is perhaps the world’s smallest lightweight, multi-role single engine tactical fighter aircraft.