Fulcrums Will Go On?

SHAH ALAM: 17th Squadron – the Bats – which flies the Mig-29N Fulcrums is among the four RMAF squadrons to be awarded colours on February 29th. The announcement of the squadron colours ceremony was made through RMAF official Twitter account this afternoon.

Apart from the 17th Squadron, the others to be awarded are the 16th Sqdn; 18th Sqdn and the 20th Sqdn (Hercules C-130H). The 16th flies the Beechcraft B200T MPA, 18th the F/A-18D Hornets and the 20th the Hercules.

Announcement of the colours ceremony. TUDM
Announcement of the colours ceremony. TUDM

The colours will be conferred by the Sultan of Pahang, the Colonel-in -Chief of the RMAF at the Subang airbase.

The Bat of the 17th Squadron is proudly displayed on Mig-43-03.
The Bat of the 17th Squadron is proudly displayed on Mig-43-03.

The colours award to the 17th Sqdn is interesting, as of now, the RMAF have not officially made its stand on the future of the Fulcrums. And the colours award does not necessarily mean that Fulcrums will fly beyond 2016. They could decide to retire the fleet in 2017 and have the colours as part of the Fulcrum exhibition in RMAF new museum! AFAIK, the 19th Squadron which was the senior Fulcrum was never awarded the colours.

RMAF Beechcraft B200T of the 16th Squadron.
RMAF Beechcraft B200T of the 16th Squadron.

What I wrote in the post Selamat Jalan Fulcrum remained valid as most of the local support network developed since the introduction of the aircraft in 1995 have been shut down, apart from ATSC Sdn Bhd. The colours ceremony may well be the last hurrah of the Fulcrums.

Hercules M30-12, one of the planes of the 20th Squadron.
Hercules M30-12, one of the planes of the 20th Squadron.

Interestingly RMAF own webpage do not list out the 17th as one of the active flying squadrons. It lists the 19th Squadron. The 16th Squadron is also not listed by the way.

Hornet M45-08 from the 18th Squadron getting ready to take off for  firing trials of the FZ rockets last year. FZ picture.
Hornet M45-08 from the 18th Squadron getting ready to take off for firing trials of the FZ rockets last year. FZ picture.

=Malaysian Defence

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