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We report on properties of high quality ∼60 nm thick InAlN layers nearly in-plane lattice-matched to GaN, grown on c-plane GaN-on-sapphire templates by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Excellent crystalline quality and low surface roughness are confirmed by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. High annular dark field observations reveal a periodic in-plane indium content variation (8 nm period), whereas optical measurements evidence certain residual absorption below the band-gap. The indium fluctuation is estimated to be ± 1.2% around the nominal 17% indium content via plasmon energy oscillations assessed by electron energy loss spectroscopy with sub-nanometric spatial resolution.