Brexit and MRCA

SHAH ALAM: THE UK voted to leave the European Union on Thursday, leaving the world’s economy in turmoil. And unsurprisingly, in response to the Leave vote, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation saying he no longer want to lead the government following the Brexit.

With his resignation, the UK will soon have a new Prime Minister and Cabinet to navigate the post-EU world.

How is this going to affect the MRCA then? With the pound taking a beating in the exchange market, British kit will be considerably cheaper now – if you buy in Yen or Dollars – but that is to me the only plus-point so far.

Typhoon in the Spotlight

I am making assumptions here but I am guessing a lot of turbulence lies ahead for the Eurofighter Typhoon just as the MRCA programme is in the final lap.

Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Finmeccanica.
Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Finmeccanica.

Although much of the marketing for the Typhoon is done by BAE Systems, the UK government plays a big role though mostly in the background. With Brexit, what is certain, is the uncertainties. It is this uncertainties that may affect the Typhoon campaign.

It must noted that the chemistry between Cameron and DS Najib Razak, is one of the key reasons that Typhoon remained on the top of the MRCA short list.

Will the new guy in Downing Street be as committed as Cameron? At the moment that remained a big question as the new British government has to deal with the fall out of Brexit first.

It is likely though Malaysia will not be getting the same treatment as before.

Dassault Rafale
Dassault Rafale

Furthermore, due to Brexit, the financial guarantees offered by the current administration may well be reviewed or even cancelled. And without this financial lifeline, it is unlikely that the Typhoon offer will go anywhere.

The implications of Brexit remains complex and far-ranging says analysts and it does not only affect British but the whole world as well. This may well be the start of another financial meltdown, though for our sakes, I hoped it will not be the case. If it is, we can forget about MRCA altogether.

== Malaysian Defence

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37 Comments

  1. David Cameron did say that he want to “steady the ship” before resigning. I’m not sure what’s that supposed to mean but I’m guessing much of it will be in regards of trade and immigration. With the UK leaving, their export will suffer for a time until the situation stabilized and Cameron might negotiate with US on how UK could be a part of the upcoming TTIP. The UK would then need to find a new trade partners or strengthen existing trade partnerships, perhaps among the Commonwealth. Some say UK would look to China, but I seriously doubt that would be the case. This could be a reason to pursue the export of Typhoon more vigorously. Having said that, if the UK economy continue to stagnate post-Brexit, this could interfere with planned upgrade programs of the Typhoon as the UK have other defence program in the pipeline such as the Queen Elizabeth class carriers and Type 26 frigates.

  2. The main issue with typhoon is that it is foremost an European project, not exactly a british one. With the UK out of the EU, there is probably lots of things to be redrawn among the eurofighter nations consortium. That would make it a near future uncertainty in operating the typhoon as a fighter.

    With the UK out of the EU, this is probably the best opportunity for malaysia to highlight its commonwealth status and try to have a closer economic relationship with the UK. With the future UK borders closed to Europeans like the romanians and poles (which now supplies most of the cheap labour in the UK), it is about time for malaysia to hype our commonwealth status and take the opportunity before other commonwealth countries (like india) makes a move.

    Reply
    Typhoon comes under OCCAR which is set up under an international treaty outside EU

  3. Even we got financial guaranty, I think the cost maintain Typhoons will be much higher…

    If British situation not stable, our remaining choice are Rafale, Gripen or more MKM. Sorry no Super Hornet because Uncle Sam will full force on F35 program. I do not c future on Super Hornet if we look for new jet n long term solution

  4. The maintenance/support costs of Typhoon – if we buy it – will be dependent on a number of factors related to the planes and how many hours they fly; I fail to see how Brexit will have any impact on this. As for Britain not being ”stable” its economy is more resilient that Russia’s, yet you mentioned us possibly buying more MKMs, which is as likely as us buying JF-17s.

  5. Apart from possible mid term affects on the pound in relation to the RM; I doubt if Brexit will have any long term negative affects on Typhoon. The Brits will continue to seek sales for the type and the Europeans will do the same. Irrespective of the fact that Britain will – in the near future and not immediately – no longer be part of the EU; all the partners involved will ensure that the Typhoon programme is not affected; simply too much at stake here.

    If the Typhoon programme is affected – very much doubt it will – then what about other European programmes in which Britain is involved – maybe not as involved as the Typhoon programme but still considerably involved with lots at stake. And what about defence companies like MBDA and Thales which are either partly British owned or have significant British involvement? Bear in mind that together with Germany; Britain has the largest stake in the consortium and that Typhoon benefits from significant British involvement/contribution.

    For me the main issue is whether we can cough up the funds needed to pay for Typhoon and whether the government has the political will; that and not the affects of Brexit are the major issues for us.

  6. Speaking of BREXIT, thought that PT-91M doesn’t have Active Protection System so i hope the goverment reconsider that.

  7. Marhalim

    Is PT-91M getting a powerpack upgrade and anything sort of it?.There were few pages on the net about this.

    Reply
    I guess you have to ask these few pages about it as I have no idea about it

  8. Cost is a major issue; no doubt the prices of APs may have dropped compared to previously but they are still not cheap. Another issue is whether there is enough power supply for a power hungry APS. Fitting an APS will mean that the ERA blocks on the top of the turret will have to be rearranged. By right, apart from an APS, the PT-91s can also benefit from other upgrades, including newer ERAs and chicken wire around the engine compartment and rear of the turret. Just as importantly there is a need for a dedicated simulator.

  9. The hawk 100/200 series would be cheaper by 8% to 20% following brexit if we ever consider follow on purchase. That is the only thing i can think off that comes straight from Britain

  10. There’s no need for hard kill aps.. Era block is basically doing the same job that is destroying incoming projectiles..depending on types of aps that have the shotgun effect it will endangered surrounding soldiers. Instead install soft kill aps like shtora or anything comparable to it..

  11. My shld just ditch any Euro canard and go for F35 for inter-operatabliti. Most FPDA countris will be using it.

    IAF F35A unveil. IOC next year. Very likely see action over Syria soon. By the time this platform mature, it will be one of the best fighters in history. Remember this is a “spiral development” future jet. Tat mean that ter will be constant upgreds and tests and it has abiliti to keep absorbing new tech. Due to freedom of info in US, the press seemed to latch on the part on the development loop process of tests and analysis and create negatif image. Are the defence science agency of Israel, Australia, Singapore, Japan, etc all wrong and jaournalists are right?

  12. F-35 may be good to have for Singapore and other countries, but they are in no hurry to buy them in large numbers.

    Concurrency is not a good thing because it is expensive to implement upgrades on the “operational” fleet. Remember that these “upgrades” are in many cases capability that any aircraft should have in the first place, such as the ability to fire the cannon or deploy the SDB.

    For this reason, Singapore has not announced a decision and has bought more F-15s instead of buying the F-35 right away or waiting for it to be fully mature.

    If the day ever comes for us to buy the F-35, there is no harm for us to wait or to buy another aircraft beforehand. No country can operate an entire fleet of F-35s anyway.

  13. @ tomahawk

    Yes, UK and Australia are banking heavily on F-35 for their future fighter fleet. Both countries could probably have initial operational capability by 2020.

    Singapore, although a f-35 partner country, are still holding their plans to buy the f-35. With brand new 40 f-15s and 100 newish f-16s, they can afford to wait.

    Indonesia will have their own stealth fighter, the IFX/KFX by 2025. As with most korean led projects, the IFX/KFX is progressing as per schedule.

    We are now entering the 2nd half of 2016, with 2020 looming just a few years from now. Malaysia should plan to aquire 5th gen fighters from now, and skip those eurocanards.

  14. @ am

    No country should have an all f-35 fleet. As advanced as a platform that it is, all those fancy situational awareness is nothing when your bvr missiles could be tricked by advanced DRFM jammers (you can see the enemy but cannot shoot it down) and the fight turns into a close in dogfight. Do we have an AESA frequency hopping missiles? No, so until there is one, a high agility fighter with advanced DRFM jammers could still triumph over a f-35.

    Imo a highly maneuverable fighter is still needed as a companion to the f-35. It won’t be an issue for usaf as they have the f-22. First day of war strike? Ideal for the f-35. Air superiority in contested airspace? Not so sure. That is why other countries (such as korea and Japan) are planning their own stealth fighter with more focus on kinematic performance, more like a mini f-22 rather than the f-35.

  15. ….. – ”With brand new 40 f-15s and 100 newish f-16s, they can afford to wait.”

    Indeed. And with just 8 Hornets and 18 MKMs we certainly can’t afford to wait. What we ”should” do are what we ”can” do can be two profoundly different things. We can just barely afford the likes of a Typhoon or Rafale [even a mere 18]: no way we can afford a F-35 at this juncture. And even if we could afford a few F-35s, the question is when will they be delivered given that priority will be given to countries that have already ordered it or a have partcipation in the programme. Note that I’ve not mentioned the PAK 50 and IFX/KFX as both are still under development. With us unlikely to buy anything Russian or Chinese – even in the future – our options will be somewhat limited – at least for a few more years – with regards to a ”stealthy” 5th generation fighter.

    The stealthy 5th generation fighters that will enter service will be only as good as the systems they are integrated with, i.e. operating as part of an integrated network. On their own, despite being ”stealthy” – which some think is a complete ”game changer” [to use a common cliche] – they won’t render older generation fighters obsolete overnight. What we should be doing before we get a ”stealthy” 5th generation fighter; is to start laying the foundations of having an integrated network; which the RMAF is doing by already having immediate plans to link the Hornets and MKMs with Link 16 and its plan – since the 1980’s – to have an AEW.

    ….. – ”India has started brahmos testing on MKI ”

    The downside is that the fuselage has to be modified to accommodate Brahmos.

    kamal – ”The hawk 100/200 series would be cheaper by 8% to 20%’

    If I’m not mistaken the 100 and 200 series are no longer in production. Focus is on selling the AJT variant.

    tomahawk – ”By the time this platform mature, it will be one of the best fighters in history.”

    Given the price it’s being offered at and the billions spend on development it better be capable! Then again, I would hesitate before calling it the ”beset” as various factors come into play.

    tylerdurden – ”There’s no need for hard kill aps”

    If there was no need; countries would not be spending millions on fielding APS. As for ERAs, the type of ERA plays a part, as does the type of ordnance used against the tank.

    tylerdurdun – ” like shtora or anything comparable to it.”

    Shtora was developed in the 1980’s to deal mainly with SACLOS missiles and will not be effective against stuff aimed at the top of a tank, including mortar rounds [ever wondered why the hatches of a Merkava 4 are so heavy that it has to be power operated?]. Even the Russians are looking at fielding an APS.

    On another subject I’ve been told that funding for the LMS has been agreed to in principle. It seems that the idea that a newly built class of ships that will replace the old and expensive to maintain and operate Laksamanas, Perdanas and Handalans has been well received by the powers that be. As I mentioned previously, RMN was always hesitant about doing more than the minimum needed to keep the Laksamanas, Perdanas and Handalans operational until a replacement could be found; especially given that there was little justification to spend good cash on hulls that are so old. And off course we also still have a pair of Vosper PCs still operational at Sandakan.

  16. …….. – ”(you can see the enemy but cannot shoot it down) and the fight turns into a close in dogfight.”

    True. Which is why the F-22 and F-35, despite being ”stealthy” and uber expensive, will still have a gun as a last resort weapon in the event there is a merge.

  17. “(you can see the enemy but cannot shoot it down) and the fight turns into a close in dogfight. ”

    but the f35 can sees the enemy and shoots it down by its superior sensor such as radar, AWAC or 360 degree optical sensor. It does not need to turn to face the enemy to shoot the enemy at all. People keep forgeting tat. And it yet to be proven if this so call DRFM can triumph over the latest AESA. Perhap when Isreali F35 start shooting down enemy aircraft in middle east.

  18. Tomahawk
    “And it yet to be proven if this so call DRFM can triumph over the latest AESA.”

    This DRFM jammer can be used to jam the missile’s seeker instead of the aircraft’s. Yes there are plan to equip missiles with AESA seekers but none fielded just yet. Other than that, a skilled pilot who is aware of an incoming missile could dodge it, especially if he’s flying a highly maneuverable aircraft. That’s one of the reason why the US did not adopt the ASRAAM and instead improve the sidewinder with thrust vectoring thus the aim9x. One thing about the F35 is that it is not a full spectrum stealth fighter as the F22, lower frequency radar (L band and the likes) can be used to detect it. China has an L band AESA AEW and the russian are developing an L band AESA module to be equipped at the wings of their su35 and the upcoming pak fa. The F35 radar is not even as powerful as the F22’s apg77 due to size limitation though i think a more powerful radar could be developed in the future. Not needing to turn to face the enemy to shoot is not a unique capability with the proliferation of HMD, off boresight seeker and lock-on after launch missiles. Not saying that stealth is not useful but technology are catching up to stealth. And you have both opposing parties fielding stealth fighters, engagement might favour the fighter with better kinematics performance and of course the better trained pilot.

  19. We will be getting such a miniscule amount (around 18, yes?) of Typhoon, it will just a drop in the ocean. Brexit will not affect anything apart from the exchange rate!

  20. @ tomahawk

    Read my comments carefully… Of course DRFM my not fool the most advanced aesa radars. But it could fool almost all current bvr missiles with active radar seekers. That’s why I say you could see the enemy (with your aesa, AWACS and what not) but you cannot shoot it down bvr (as your missile seekers are fooled by DRFM jammers) and will be forced to merge and go into close in dogfight.

    In a close in dogfight, it would be a 50-50 chance of any fighter regardless of stealth capabilities (as most are now equipped with HMS, IRST and good IR missiles). A fighter with excellent kinematic performance (like the MKM) could triumph over something like the sluggish f-35.

    The sap-518 jammer on MKM is optimised not to fool main radars, but bvr missile radar seekers especially the amraam.

  21. Let join Japan and their stealth fighter Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin or the ATD X program production was forecast to start roughly in 2017

  22. With the present administration of ‘Buying British’ with Nottingham University ties.The MRCA project with Typhoon as the main contender will probably become true if and when the country has fundings for it.However, it is (the Typhoon) very costly airplane to be honest.

    Maaf zahir batin dan Selamat Hari Raya Puasa untuk para pembaca sekalian.

  23. In a WVR engagement who fires first will make the major difference. Granted, since the 1990’s the majority of engagements have been WVR but the fact that aircraft still retain their guns is telling.

    Tomahawk – ”Perhap when Isreali F35 start shooting down enemy aircraft in middle east.”

    And if an F-35 gets shot down by an older gen fighter or by a SAM designed decades ago will we be quick to say that the F-35 is a failure?The F-35 is great and after all the billions spent it should be! What we shouldn’t be doing is assuming that it [and the F-22] will automatically triumph over all opponents just because it’s ”stealthy”, 5th generation and ”high tech” ….

    Tom Tom – ” it will just a drop in the ocean.”

    When one only has 8 Hornets and 18 MKMs; adding another 18 fighters to the equation makes a big difference. Before we start talking about actual scenarios first understand that with just 26 front line types, the RMAF has difficulty meeting its peacetime operational commitments.

    Adoi – ”Let join Japan and their stealth fighter Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin”

    Do we have the cash to join this programme? Assuming we had the cash; will the Japs allow us and do they need our participation? Will they share all the technology with us? How does it benefit Japan? Lets be realistic.

    Lets stick to whats currently operational and what will be operational soon; rather than stuff that has yet to complete development, let alone enter service or be available for export. And lets do away with the tendency to assume that just because it’s ”stealthy” and super super high tech; that it will render overnight stuff like Typhoon, Gripen, Rafale, etc, etc, obsolete. Since the 1980’s to the present, I’ve read of many things that were supposedly to be ”game changers” [a cliche people overuse].

  24. The possible death of the Typhoon offer is of little consequences at times when Malaysia is struggling with its finances and political scandals, and cannot make a decisive commitment. Malaysia cannot afford it at the moment anyway. It will hopefully forced RMAF to come down from its “Euro-canards or bust” high horse, and start looking at options more fitting to the nation budget… No shame in operating what Malaysia can afford without straining its finances, especially since all the Euro options involved going into deficit/ “financing” to procure…

  25. The RMAF top brass may (i am just speculating) prefer The Typhoon and/or The Rafale but based on our existing financial capability it seems we could only afford the Gripen..even that may not be the E/F version but more the C/D version if we want 18 frame.

  26. @ kerberosWXIV, kamal areif

    I have been saying something similar for quite sometime.

    For peacetime taskings of quick reaction alert, air patrolling, air defence, close air support, you don’t need super high tech planes to do those tasks. You need adequate numbers, low operating costs and fighters that could perform all those basic tasks, as a supplement to the mkm the we already have.

    Recently saab offered Botswana 18 gripen c/d for around usd1.4-1.6bil. A fleet of 40 FA/TA-50 could be had for that kind of money, enabling tudm to replace mig-29,f-5e, mb339cm and hawk with 1 common fighter platform.

  27. You supplement something when you have adequate numbers. One can’t supplement a front line type with a secondary type if one doesn’t have enough front line types to meet current commitments!
    At the moment we don’t need another low end type as we already have a low end type in the form of Hawks. No doubt, the F-50 can do a lot of things but the fact remains that the RMAF, in line with its [current] specific requirements; has no need for the likes of an F-50; it does however have a need for a full fledged MRCA. It has nothing to do with pride [as some mistakenly assume] or a burning desire to waster the taxpayers ringgit but with actual requirements [which people tend to overlook] : this won’t change regardless of how often a particular subject may be mentioned. On paper the F-50 indeed can be used by the RMAF as a LIFT [no doubt here] but does it fulfill the RMAF’s LIFT requirements or are some assuming that just because the F-50 fulfills the requirements of others, that it will automatically fulfill ours too? And as a dedicated LIFT; how does it compare with the likes of a AJT and M-346. As I don’t have a clear answer, I won’t speculate.

    Kerberos – ”The possible death of the Typhoon offer ”

    Let me say this again : Brexit and its long term affects will have ZERO impact on the Typhoon programme and ZERO impact on it being offered to us. As a programme; Typhoon is just too important, too much effort has been placed in the progamme and Britain [along with Germany] has a majority stake in the consortium.

    kerberos – ” It will hopefully forced RMAF to come down from its “Euro-canards or bust” high horse, ”

    Before making such assumptions; first make it a point to understand what the RMAF’s actual requirements are. Just because you or anyone else may disagree with certain things; doesn’t mean the RMAF is wrong or doesn’t know what its doing. It’s easy for us to Google this and that and make assumptions when we’re not fully aware of the whole picture and of stuff that may be happening away from the public eye.

    The RMAF is in a ”damn if you do” and ”damn if you don’t” situation : many lifelong civilians have different opinions [nothing wrong here] about what the RMAF should do and what it shouldn’t but whatever the RMAF ultimately does will still invite criticism : there’s no pleasing everyone, especially those who think or are convinced they know best. It’s also easy for some to say that the RMAF doesn’t need a ”high tech” fighter for peacetime duties. The problem here is that the RMAF has to cater for a whole range of possible contingencies and has to maintain some level of deterrence against possible external threats [regardless of how slim those threats are].

    kamal arief – ”The RMAF top brass may (i am just speculating) prefer The Typhoon and/or The Rafale”

    That is the million ringgit question : which is the RMAF’s preference? For reasons that will be obvious for those who have been in the scene for long or for those who have long observed the defence scene; the RMAF will not make its preference public; yet.

    Regardless of whether we can afford it or not; the RMAF is doing its job by pressing for what it needs. It’s the government’s duty of care to ensure that the armed services [within reason] have the tools to do the job they are responsible for. The idea that we should go for a ”low end” fighter now and go for a full fledged MRCA in the future [when the economy is better] is wishful thinking as it totally fails to take into account that the introduction of a ”low end” fighter now will lead to another very long delay with the MRCA programme, i.e. ”why do you need a new fighter [i.e. a full fledged MRCA] when we already bought fighters [i.e. a ”low end” type] a few years ago ”[never mind that the fighter bought a few years ago don’t offer the full desired capability]. That’s how things work and yes; it has happened before, many times, when providing the pen pushing bureaucrats at the MOF and EPU with justification as to why funding should be provided for equipment ”x” or ”y” ….

  28. So says the gurus here. I personally think RMAF should either go Russian (again!) which is unlikely, or buy Swedish. The latest Saab offer bundles the Gripen C/D and the Global Eye AEW – something we need in equal parts. The Gripen is adequate for the task at hand and AEWs greatly increased our awareness and reaction time to any developing crisis.
    No, no Typhoon or Rafale will join RMAF. Why buy these types minus an all-seeing eye in the sky, so to speak.

  29. @ azlan

    supplement
    noun
    something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole.

    If you have enough of something, you don’t need supplements. Your weird reasonings made me feel that you have something to gain personally if the typhoon or rafale is chosen.

  30. ….. – ”nounsomething added to complete a thing”

    Thanks for the lesson, I tend to get confused with my nouns.

    …… – ”If you have enough of something, you don’t need supplements. ”

    And with 18 MKMs and 8 Hornets we have ”enough”? 1ith just 26 MKMs/Hornets we have ”enough” to ensure that at any one time we have ”enough” operational air frames to meet QRA, training and operational commitments? What I said about ”supplementing” was in reference to the fact that we don’t have enough MRCAs to begin with.

    ….. – ”Your weird reasonings made me feel that you have something to gain personally if the typhoon or rafale is chosen.”

    On the contrary, it’s is you who are so personally enamored about F-50 to the extent that you dismiss anything that doesn’t suit your line of thinking. My comments on the MRCA and the various reasons given are not something I conjured up out of the blue or from Googling but based on actual requirements : requirements that you ignore or dismiss because they don’t include an aircraft you’re personally enamored of. As for my ”weird’ reasonings; they may be ”weird” to you but I got them from people who actually do what we discuss for a living and those in the industry. Just because they sound ”weird” to you or because you might not understand them doesn’t mean they are ”weird”.

    As for your claim that I have something to gain; let me repeat this [yet again] : I couldn’t care less whether Gripen, Rafale or Typhoon is bought as long as we get the systems that are needed to bring out the best of what these aircraft can offer as in this day and age it’s not the platform [as long as the contenders are in the same category] but the systems that count. Yet here you are suggesting I have something to gain ….. I wish I did have something to gain!! I have been very critical of the PT-91 : by your line of logic I might have something to personally gain in the form of surplus Leopards if we buy them?

    Since you didn’t get it the first few times around let me repeat this [no I’m not trying to sooth your feelings] : I have nothing against the F-50, it offers great capabilities at a great price but it does not suit the RMAF’s requirements : period/full stop. The RMAF’s requirements clearly call for a full fledged MRCA; not a light weight aircraft marketed by it’s OEM as an ”advanced trainer and light attack jet” and this is not going to change. Also, at present the F-50 has yet to be integrated with the whole range of air to air and air to ground ordnance as well as the various systems that we would need in the event that we buy it in place of a full fledged MRCA.

  31. Muhd,

    You have a point but does the RMAF want a single engine platform?
    From what I’ve heard, the RMAF’s preference is still for a twin engine platform : right or wrong, that is it’s preference; it has it reasons for this. And will the political leadership want a platform that is already operated by a immediate neighbour? Personally I have nothing against operating an MRCA which is already operational with a neighbouring country but then again; the politicians and RMAF might think differently.

    At the moment, the intention is to first get an MRCA and then press for funding for an AEW and LIFT. As there are already plans to fit Link 16 [which despite what someone previously said, is available to us] to the MKMs and Hornets; it would be safe to say that whatever MRCA we get will also be fitted with Link 16 with minimal delay. The next step off course would be an AEW to be linked to both the MRCAs and ground based sensors. Sure it makes more sense to buy an MRCA/AEW package but if Gripen is out of the picture then we can only hope that the pen pushers an the MOF and EPU will be convinced of the need for an AEW to go with the already bought MRCAs.

    My main dislike with going Russian again is the need to integrate the aircraft with the various non Russian systems that we would need for the aircraft to meet our requirements; integration means more cash being spent – we learnt this from the MKM programme.

  32. @ …

    I think it wishfull thikining on ur part..that ur jammer can result in no kill at bvr or can see but cannot shoot down. U r seriousli under estimate that abiliti of modern anti aircraft misile and continous upgred and tech. Latest Amraam version, Derby-I and Meteor were designed to beat such jammer and with comprehensif datalinks for target acquisition and re-acquisition.

    Not even the jammer makers i read make such claim. It may reduce possibiliti but it depend on the technologi superioriti of foe. I still have doubt over ruskies claims any day.

  33. tomahhawk – ”I still have doubt over ruskies claims any day.”

    I still have doubts about any claims made by anyone ….

    I’ve learnt long ago to read between the lines and look for what’s not mentioned, as opposed to what’s mentioned, when reading OEM marketing literature. With regards to Russian stuff, the prevailing view amongst many [a view encouraged by Western OEMs] is that Russian stuff at the end of the day [despite how advanced] is almost always inferior to Western stuff : a great untruth; as proven in several conflicts in which Russian stuff outperformed their Western equivalents [in the closing stages of the Iran/Iraq war for example, it was found that the RWRs on the MiG-25s were way superior to any of the Yank equivalents operated by the Iranians and even the French equivalents fitted on Iraqi Mirages].

    It’s just that we don’t hear about stuff like this often. We hear more about how certain Russian/Soviet equipped armies fared badly against armies using Russian kit; when in reality it wasn’t the Russian kit that lead to failure but flawed tactics, training, etc.

  34. Eurofighter is also a NATO program managed under NETMA. Brexit has no affect on the program at all. Aircraft price is unaffected also, and as we all know, Aircraft Unit Price is only Up front cost, it is the through life cost that is what needs to be looked at. there is now a lot of open source data showing UK Typhoon ( Tranches 1, 2 and 3 in total) being more than 40% cheaper to operate than Rafale and 20% cheaper than F-18 while getting more than 85% available on the line. As I understand it, this is through BAE support system which is also offered to RMAF. French Government themselves publish that FAF Rafale are only 48% serviceable through 2014-15, so I need 18 Rafale to get 8-9 flying, but only need 12 Typhoon to get same!

    Also, Rafale offer F3R Standard to Malaysia. Is this in service today with anyone? No! Typhoon Tranche 3 is already flying with 5 Air Forces and being built for Oman and Kuwait Better to have aircraft with many of the same type flying around the world to ensure long support. Rafale so far only with France, Egypt and soon Qatar.

    If spending a lot of money then Offset very important. We know British Aerospace (BAE) done very good for Malaysia with Hawk and bringing all the Airbus work to CTRM and others. Rafale still haggling with India on offset as not interested to share technology.

    The new British PM was before the Home Secretary so already got relationship with Defence Minister here and Home Affairs Minister, so overall Brexit no problem for Malaysia. With weak ££ maybe even get cheaper and get some new Hawk AJT to replace MB339 and Hawk 108. Can probably run AJT for same OE as Macchi and Old Hawk and better Pilot standard. Also new Hawk can be armed with things like Brimstone same as Typhoon. Keep 208 as got Radar and upgrade coming. We can’t get deal like this from others and could fix many problems at same time 👍

  35. Typhoon being 20 percent cheaper to operate compared to the F-18 [Super Hornet or legacy F-18s?] surprises me. The RAF has publicly revealed that Typhoon is more expensive to operate than its ADVs/F3s, which were notoriously expensive to run and maintenance intensive. I feel that the Rafale’s current serviceability rates are of no immediate concern to us given that over time the French will improve the percentages. Also, in our context, can we really match the serviceability rates of the Armee de lair and the Royal Air Force given that both have more resources than us when it comes to ground support infrastructure in terms of equipment, spares and ground support personnel? Both also benefit from the fact that Rafale and Typhoon are local products; in that the OEMs are local and are close by. If a Rafale or Typhoon in RMAF service were to have issues that can’t be solved at squadron or depot level [AIROD]; we’d have to rely on help from Dassault or BAE Systems and that help will take some time to get here.

    You raise some good points but unfortunately, the decision will not be based so much on the actual merits of the aircraft or even on practicality or logic but on political factors. Off course the answer that all of us here are very interested in finding out is what is the RMAF’s actual preference at this point in time?

    Reply
    RMAF preference? an unofficial poll says its even across the three twins!

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