Butterworth, Kinrara and More

SHAH ALAM: Butterworth, Kinrara and more. As RMAF celebrates its 59th anniversary today (June 1, 2017), Malaysian Defence can confirm that the plan to redevelop the Butterworth airbase has been cancelled.
In February 2014 it was announced that a public listed developer, TSR Capital was negotiating with the government to the develop the airbase through a land swap.

The company will redevelop the land with several GLCs and a replacement air base will be build. They even identified the site for the new air base.

“Highway to the danger zone”. Three Royal Australian Air Force 77 Squadron F/A-18A Hornets taxi towards the take off area at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth during Exercise Bersama Lima 16. CA

Since the matter was made public, the proposal came under fire from both sides of the political divide in Penang and within the last two years, it seemed that the matter had died a natural death. However, when I last checked with those in the know at the Defense Ministry at LIMA 17, I was informed the proposal was still active.
Royal Malaysian Air Force F/A -18 D Hornets,18th Squadron takes off during exercise Cope Taufan 2016, at Butterworth Air Base, Malaysia, July 20, 2016. U.S. Air Force

However, in a written reply to questions submitted for the RMAF’s anniversary, the air force stated:

The existing LOI for the redevelopment of Butterworth airbase has been terminated on April 13, 2017, by the Defence Ministry. Presently there is no new proposal to redevelop the Butterworth air base.

The next project in the pipeline is the relocation of Kem Kinrara with TCB Ventures Sdn Bhd. The contract is still under negotiation between the Government and TCB Ventures Sdn Bhd and is expected to be signed in the near future

A Google Map of the Kinrara Camp with its surrounding. From http://tohairforce1981.blogspot.my

The redevelopment of Kem Kinrara and other camps located in main urban areas are inevitable due to the rapid urbanisation. Kem Kinrara, for example, is now the least developed the part in what is now known as Bandar Kinrara.In the past, the camp was the focal point of Puchong town, considered a rural hamlet of Petaling Jaya. The redevelopment of the camp will be a welcome relief for the residents (and big money to the developer) though it must be said that the facility had been there since the 1950s.
MIG-29N M43-03 at the Snake’s pit (QRA hangar) at Kuantan AB in 2014.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Fulcrum for Sukhoi parts barter trade is not expected to be carried out. The air force wants to continue to fly the Fulcrums.

RMAF has reviewed the way forward of MIG-29N operation and has decided that this platform will continue to be operationalized until the procurement of the new MRCA is realised. Therefore, the discussion on selling MIg-29N to Indian Air Force will not be continued for the time being

RMAF EC-725 M55-05 at low level during the demonstration at Labuan airbase for the media day.

At the RMAF Media Day at Labuan airbase on May 25, 2017, RMAF chief Jen Affendi Buang was also asked about the Fulcrums and he answered that the Fulcrums will be back in service. He did not mentioned numbers apart from saying that “we will make sure that we have sufficient airframes to conduct the priority missions and not compromise our sovereignty.”
A four ship of MiG-29 aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force(RMAF) aerobatic display team the “Smokey Bandits” perform during the 2012 Singapore Airshow on Feb. 15, 2012. The RMAF feature the worlds only female MiG-29 pilot, Maj. Patricia Yap Syau Yin.

It is likely that as in the last 10 years or so, 10 Fulcrum airframe will be made flyable with at least five aircraft available for flying on a daily basis. This is similar to decision to reactivate the F-5 fleet in around 2009 and 2010. RMAF finally retired the F-5s, without fanfare in 2014. From the reply

The F-5/RF have been retired in 2014.

Two Kuwait AF F/A-18C seen here with a couple of F-16s. Internet.

And as for the Hornets to be acquired from Kuwait under the deal brokered by the Saudis? In the written reply

Its still on study between the two governments. No firm decision on it yet

I was informed that the offer will not be accepted as we need to pay for the airframes and likely the upgrades. This may changed if somehow we could wrangle them for free like the deal for the Japanese P-3C Orions.

Kawasaki P-3C Orion

As I had assumed the RMAF was finally consulted on the offer made to RMN. Affendi, at the Media Day press conference, said that an RMAF technical team will be sent to Japan to evaluate the airframes to be donated.

— Malaysian Defence

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