Future Plan, RMAF Cap 55

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.

SHAH ALAM: Future Plan, RMAF Cap 55. RMAF has published a graphic of its Capability 55 program detailing its plans up to 2055. The existence of the plan was first made public during the media interview ahead of this year’s anniversary celebration.

RMAF Cap 55 plan

Based on the graphics, RMAF future fast jet fleet will be two types, a multi role combat aircraft (MRCA) and the light combat aircraft (LCA) divided into five squadrons. Based on past and current squadron strength I am assuming that the MRCA will have 36 aircraft while the LCA 54.
Cap55 fighter program

From the 54 LCA, it is likely that around 12 will be used as the lead-fighter-trainer (LIFT). You can choose your own preferred aircraft in the comments section.
cap 55 transport program

The transport squadron will be reduced to three squadrons from the current four while the type will be reduced from four to two. The first transport squadron will be for the strategic/MRTT roles while the two others will be tactical airlifters.
Cap 55 helicopter plan

Under the plan, there will be only two helicopter squadrons with the type reduce to one. There will also be one squadron of MPA, long endurance UAS and AEW. The RMAF of the future will operate nine ground based air defence radars as well as one regiment of ground based air defence (GBAD) system. As the air force did not identify the types of the aircraft and ground based systems, you can choose you preferred equipment also in the comments section.
Cap 55 GBAD

RMAF says the plan’s main impact will be the optimisation of the budget for most maximum impact. This is the first long term plan from the service which had been made public in recent memory. It goes to show that the RMAF and its sister services always had their plans despite claims otherwise.
Cap 55 air surveillance capability.

The biggest question, will the plan survives the first contact with the politicians, remained unanswered. Hopefully by October, we will have some hints, at least.

— Malaysian Defence

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73 Comments

  1. “The biggest question, will the plan survives the first contact with the politicians, remained unanswered. ”

    i put all my bets on our menhan.if he does not u turn on statement, this will be a good thing.
    other politician, their reaction to this who know…

    still its depends on budget and how the govt support. we just dont hope much.

    *Mr Marhalim, i tried to comment since Saturday and still not show. does that mean my comment failed as spam or dont approve?

  2. The question is, what will be the MRCA?
    I really hope that they will keep SU-30MKM (just because I like that plane, and if there are aircraft beauty pageant, it surely be at top 3).
    So much potential with that plane, but then, the remaining questions are we able to maintain the fleet in long term.
    In case we keep SU-30MKM, I feel we need another type of plane, to form HI-MID-LO, that is cheaper to procure and operate, like Gripen.

    With F/A-18 ex-Kuwaitis rumors, not sure whether it will be best value for the money, if we need to spend some extras to do upgrades and life extension. Depends on remaining air-frame and engines life then.
    Are our pilot comfortable with C version?
    If they prefer D version, are we able to get airworthy planes?
    I heard even US Marines are struggling to keep their fleet because lack of parts etc.
    For LCA, Hawk LIFT (T2 in RAF) will be good and ensure smooth transition for the crews.

    For transport, keep A400M and Herk. And we might adopt RO-RO with mission pallets to suite mission requirement. In other words, we can have pool of planes that can be use for multi-mission (ISR etc.)

    For rotary, EC725, no questions.

    For MPA and AEW, perhaps, if we choose Gripen for MRCA, maybe we can have a package that included these 3 type of planes? Get some discount, maybe.

    For ground air defense, what roll will RMAF take, point (short range) or aerial (medium/long range).

    All three services need to align/standardized their equipment. Like, if Navy frigate using Mica for anti-air, better for RMAF and Army to adopt to similar system.

    What about turbo-prop trainer?
    Maybe we should adopt RAF system which privatizing Elementary Flight school before pilot goes to military conversion (turbo-prop trainer like Pilatus, also privatized in-case of RAF).
    But from this level, RMAF can take over, because I see Pilatus also can be second line light combat aircraft, similar to several other countries which adopting Super Tacano, and USAF also showing deep interest with.

    My dua kupang lima duit.

  3. I appreciate about this plan. But, I have things I want to say about RMAF cap 55 and/or RMN 15 to 5..
    1. What the army plan?
    2..Should be there an integrated plan about the 3 service release by DoD?
    3. What the main goal of this plan? 4. Will the army/navy/AF are armed adequately if the whole plan is done?
    4.RMAF cap 55 and/or RMN 15 to 5 plans will take a long periode of time. It’s better if all these plan are broke down to 3 phases plans with each plan has 10 years duration. Each 10 years plan consist of weapon systems or equipments that will be bought. So, everybody can follow the progress.
    Dont let the plan only become a “sembang kencang” plan.

  4. Doesn’t mention how many of what and when by of course.

    Hardly anything worth commenting frankly.

    The rojak BM here tho…

  5. @ marhalim

    Saying the graphics as “detailing” its plans up till 2055 is stretching the fact too far. At best it is just a rough statement of what it wants in the future.

    now to the comments

    This single graphic is the plan up till 2055. That is like 37 years into the future. Even my previous post http://www.malaysiandefence.com/rmaf-2020-part-2/ is only a plan up till 2035.

    So lets see the phaseout timeline up till 2055

    Phaseout timeline
    – MiG-29 retired
    – Hawk 108/208 2023-2025 (30 years old)
    – Aermacchi MB339CM 2023-2025 (20 years old)
    – F/A-18 2031-2033 (35 years old)
    – C-130H 2038-2040 (60years /50years old)
    – CN-235-220 2038-2040 (40 years old)
    – PC-7 MkII 2038-2040 (40 years old)
    – SU-30MKM 2045-2047 (40 years old)

    Now to the graphics

    Pesawat tempur. 2 types, MRCA and LCA. 2 squadrons of MRCA and 3 squadrons of LCA. IMO, this can be done, although quite surprised as the previous requirement is for 6 fighter squadrons. So 3 squadrons of LCA, with 2 fighter sqn and 1 LIFT sqn. As for me, I prefer FA/TA-50 for the LCA/LIFT requirement. For MRCA, in the near term is best to increase our Hornets to 2 squadrons, and later replace them with 5th gen fighters post 2030. MKM to use as is up to 2047 and retire without replacement if really want to keep just 2 MRCA squadrons.

    Pesawat angkut. 1 strategic airlift, 2 tactical airlift. Strategic airlift is by default the A400M. We need at least 2 more example (for a total of 6) to have the ideal operational numbers. Both C-130H and CN235 should be replaced around 2040, that would be by newer C-130J, KC-390 or An-178. Can we get about without the CN-235 type of airlift? If TUDM says so then I suppose it would be ok. But I would prefer to resume the capability lost by retiring the Cessna 402B, with the Pilatus PC-24. It can do MEDEVAC, twin engine training, liaison and has a rough field capability, so basically where the C-130 can go, it can go too.

    Helicopter. Surprised me with the 2 squadron number. So the army needs to have like 4 transport helicopter squadrons to cover the former TUDM service. The default helicopter would be just 12 more EC225LP from civilian used stocks. For the army? cheapest is to source 2ndhand UH-60 blackhawks from australia and usa to fill up the 4 squadrons.

    C4 Aset darat. More radars. Preferably the same Groundmaster GM400 we got for sawarak. I would prefer the Vera-E system to be under TUDM, replaced with a few more newer vera-NG system, probably 2 in semenanjung, 1 in sabah, and 1 in GSP. As for GBAD, just basic SHORADS like the starstreak. Leave more potent systems to GAPU.

    C4 aset udara.
    my preferred MPA is the Saab Swordfish. UAV would be used MQ-1 Predator or Safran Patroller. AEW&C would be the ERIEYE ER radar on the Global Express platform.

  6. I hate to sound sarcastic but honestly it’s just another one of those generals’ pipe dream.The damage has been done,i predict the airforce will be a toothless one before my last breath.If these are same generals/civvies that caused the mess,then just forget about CAP55 whatever!All talk but no show!

  7. IMHO CAP 55 will turn TUDM to a “leaner” equipment operator compared to its current form. On the rotary wing component, the obvious heli is known. Will govt invest in Army Aviation while allowing TUDM to get out of heli transport business?

  8. ” It goes to show that the RMAF and its sister services always had their plans despite claims otherwise ”

    Of course, for the last 10 years RMAF has a very solid plan, its the MRCA or nothing at all. It is the most consistent plan of all services, only changing in 2018 into the CAP55.

  9. @ Romeo

    The army plan is the ” Army For Next Generation aka ARMY 4NextG ”

    What it is all about?

    PELAN PEMBANGUNAN STRATEGIK ARMY 4NEXTG INI DIBANGUNKAN SECARA HOLISTIK UNTUK MEMBOLEHKAN TENTERA DARAT BERUPAYA BEROPERASI DI DUA (2) WILAYAH SECARA SERENTAK. BAGI MENCAPAI MATLAMAT STRATEGIK INI, ARMY 4NEXTG DIRANGKA DAN DIBANGUNKAN BERDASARKAN KEPADA LIMA (5) MATLAMAT KEUPAYAAN BERIKUT:

    1. KEUPAYAAN DETECTION.
    2. KEUPAYAAN SURVIVE AND STRIKE.
    3. KEUPAYAAN SUSTAINMENT.
    4. KEUPAYAAN PROTRACTION.
    5. KEUPAYAAN NATION BUILDING.

  10. Well, the damage is done so now it is up to the power up there to decide the next step…… All these plan or even better plan than this comes to nothing when you do not give the fund…… Rather than continuous setting aside fund….. We love to give one off and then go around claiming credit all is fine…

    If indeed we were to fulfill the plan, then the we should do the reorg for the lower fruit easy picking first like transport – a400m and C130 then the CN 235 be transfer to fill in the MPA requirement. More can be purchase later
    Indeed the F18s including those of Kuwaiti could now fill 2 MRCA squad…. Now we need proper long term budget planning to acquire LCA brand new for the next 5 years… Then comes the time to replace the F18s – I believe we will have more choices then.
    For the UAV, just work with Turkey.
    For Heli, the choice is obvious..
    Can be done within 5 to 10 years….. If we remain grounded, not ambitious, proper planning and funding

  11. Army has great plans but how would they plan to achieve the headins like keupayaan detection?

    Reply
    It must be noted plans made public are sanitized for obvious reasons

  12. Plans are always good. It shows strategic thinking and objectivity towards role accomplishment.

    At the end of the day (as always) everything depends on Govt’s Affordability and financial Sustainability to maintain Operational Readiness state. Over the years, this has been a perennial limitation in almost all military procurement exercises.

  13. Nice in graphics, low in details. Unlike TLDM 15 to 5 plan, CAP55 doesn’t layout the number of birds needed except for the squadron count. Neither does the plan covers the fate of Pilatuses trainers.

  14. “I really hope that they will keep SU-30MKM (just because I like that plane, and if there are aircraft beauty pageant, it surely be at top 3).”

    It looks even better on radar.

  15. @ mohd nazir lazim

    ” I heard even US Marines are struggling to keep their fleet because lack of parts etc ”

    They have plenty of parts but they are lacking something more important, low houred airframes and time to SLEP their now piling up airframes. We have low houred airframes and access to aquire additional low houred airframes. Even with those high houred airframes the us marines are planning to use them up till 2030. There is no worries for us to use the hornets up till 2030 as the main users are also using them up till then.

    @ mirsy

    ” Well, the damage is done so now it is up to the power up there to decide the next step… ”

    All this talk is nothing. The important plan is to have something like what the navy has, a breakdown of what platforms to get in each RMK. We also need to see the priority list of RMAF.

    If up to me my priority list are

    Priority list
    1. MPA/ISR
    2. additional hornets
    3. LCA/LIFT
    4. AEW&C
    5. 5th gen MRCA

    ” All these plan or even better plan than this comes to nothing when you do not give the fund ”

    We have the fund. But when you insist to buy (or plan) something over the allocated fund you will get nothing in return. If 10 years ago the airforce firmly said no to MRCA and pushed for MPA, LCA and MKM overhaul budget instead, we would already flying those MPAs and already had LCAs on order and first few MKMs completing their overhauls.

  16. Wow, 2055… what a “grand strategy” for the great unknown… Don’t want to sound cynical but at the current pace of financial and geopolitical happenstances around the world, who can say in what state RMAF or even the nation will be in by the aforementioned timeline. RMAF is rehashing the more realistic RMN’s 15-to-5 plan and extending the timeline into the oblivion, essentially saying and promising nothing but hot air and baseless “can-do faith”. Sounded more like shopping cart wish-lists than any solid proposal of how to actually afford them.

    A funny observation, with RMAF apparent ‘determined resolve’ not to have anything to do with the MiGs anymore, why are they even featured in the plan as if they were still operational? Another funny point is the choice of the silhouette of E-7A Wedgetail as the representation for ‘future’ AWAC. I fear the MPA and AWAC project is going to suffer the fate of the MRCA, with RMAF again aiming for unaffordable and unachievable platforms…

  17. TUDM perlu ada ini untuk lebih firepower

    MRCA
    -Super Hornet
    -Rafale
    -F22 Raptor (kalau us bagi jual)
    -Eurofighter Typhoon
    -T1 Hawk (FLIT)
    -Super Tucano (latihan / kegunaan lain)

    Helikopter
    -EC725 perlu ditambah banyak ganti nuri
    -Blackhawk untuk kegunaan Pasukan Khas TUDM (Paskau) – 12 buah
    -Nuri S61N perlu ditamatkan beri kepada agensi lain (PDRM / APMM)

    MPA
    -Tugas ini perlu diberikan kepada TLDM
    -P3C Orion
    -AEW&C lebih layak untuk ini sesuai dengan fungsi TUDM menjaga ruang udara Malaysia

    4C
    – Perlu diaktifkan kembali Rejimen TUDM berstandard infantry khusus untuk GBAD dan Radar

    UAV, Drone etc
    -Predator
    -Global Hawk
    -Reaper
    -Nyamuk (produk tempatan)

    Pengangkut
    -Tambah A400M jadi 12 buah
    -Beli C130J Super Hercules ganti existing Hercules yang ada
    -Transfer existing Hercules TUDM kepada Tentera Darat untuk Army Airwing dan juga untuk army gunship support.
    -Boeing 737 AEW&C

    Sekian cadangan 20 sen dari orang awam macam saya yang tak tau apa-apa tentang tentera

    Terima kasih kerana sudi membaca komen saya.

  18. With 2 squadron of MRCA in sight, I think we would just go for F-35A. At least it will integrate with neighbouring countries F-35 should necessity arises.

  19. If we leave it to the politicians, we will be the next NZ. Our defense will rest entirely on our ground forces. They will say why bother, we are not at war with anybody.. good, use the money to build the 3rd national car project! Yeah..that will bring more money to the country, perhaps after that with the technology gained we can build our own defense equipment, or with the profit from selling cars we can finally buy the shiny new MRCA. Or better still, hire mercenaries. Then there will be no worries on the running cost.

  20. 2055 is 37 years into a bleak future for RMAF.

    The past and present state of affairs will surely tell us what the future holds
    Somehow, the planners have big dreams but lack the funding and expertise to see thru the projects.

    Russian jets were acquired with great fanfare.. Mig 29s and F18s around the same time.

    While the Hornets are still flying with a sting, the Fulcrums are in a sorry state.

    And now the Flankers… they seem to be more for airshows impressing than real operations… and now also as revealed by the DefMin, only 4 are operational… all a big joke.
    Neighbouring RSAF has 5 full Squadrons of 100 MRCA… which are kept in too top condition and always up to date.

  21. In malay the army requirements could be better put as:

    1. KEUPAYAAN DETECTION.
    This is better put as Keupayaan Mengesan. How? Vintaqs, ESM, radars, UAVs, Cyber.

    2. KEUPAYAAN SURVIVE AND STRIKE.
    Keupayaan Bertahan dan Menyerang Balas. How? Doctrine.

    3. KEUPAYAAN SUSTAINMENT.
    Keupayaan Menyelenggara. How? More COTS and MOTS. Preventive maintenance, stock spare parts.

    4. KEUPAYAAN PROTRACTION.
    Keupayaan Melanjutkan Perang. How? More ammo stocks, doctrine, political will.

    5. KEUPAYAAN NATION BUILDING.
    Keupayaan Bina Negara.

  22. More on GBAD.

    My opinion?
    Leave this to GAPU, with TUDM and TLDM maintaining basic self defence capability of Starstreaks.

    How?
    Recapitalisation in RMK13 2026-2030 with VL-Mica replacing the Jernas, LG Next1 Chiron replacing the Iglas and new MR-SAM capability with HQ-16

    RMK13 2026-2030
    16 HQ-16 USD0.3bil
    36 VL-MICA USD0.25bil
    60 LIG Next1 Chiron MANPAD USD0.1bil (replacement for IGLA)

    31 RAD GAPU HQ-16 x16 4bti
    32 RAD GAPU Starstreak rapidranger x6, LML-NG x18, 4Bti mechanized
    33 RAD GAPU VL-MICA x18, Oerlikon 35mm Twin x12, 5bti
    34 RAD GAPU VL-MICA x18, Oerlikon 35mm Twin x12, 5bti Sarawak
    35 RAD GAPU Chiron x24, 4Bti
    36 RAD GAPU Chiron x24, 4Bti Sabah
    361bti RAD GAPU Anza MK2 para

    (2 new regiments. Bti=battery. 33RAD & 34RAD a hybrid regiment of missiles and guns)

  23. We should expand our MRCA to four or five squadron with the acquisition of update jets such as Rafale,F18A/E,Eurotypoon etc. This of aircraft fighter are worthy money to purchase and spare parts are available. Their combat debutant have been proven and capabilities have been proven effective and high density.

  24. Here’s my two cents for RMAF.

    MRCA:
    – Dassault Rafale [if we could afford to buy F-35, then surely we can afford Rafale]

    *: The Su-30MKM should be retired as soon as we get the Rafale because of difficulty to get spare parts and high maintenance cost. We can’t get spare parts from Russia because of our stance on holding that responsible for MH17, and we can’t get spare parts from India because they’re manufactured in bad quality.

    LCA/LIFT:
    – KAI T-50 Golden Eagle

    Choppers:
    – Purchase more EC725 [to completely replace the ageing S-61A-4 Nuri]

    MPA:
    – Leonardo ATR-72MP [Firefly and Malindo Air are already using the ATR-72. So if Leonardo can provide data showing how cheap it is to operate the aircraft in Malaysian service and a good service/reliability record, it might give them a boost. Maybe some sort of bundle deal in terms of spare parts]

    AEW&C:
    – Airbus C-295 AEW

    4CISRT:
    – Purchase more Rapier missiles for “short range” tactical air defense
    – South Korean KM-SAM for medium range strategic air defense
    – More radar

    UAV:
    – Turkish TAI Anka MALE UAV platform [capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions]

    Transport:
    – Purchase another two A400M for strategic airlift
    – Completely replace our current and older C-130 fleet with the C-130J for tactical airlift

  25. MRCA was mooted 10 years ago. Now they need another 37 years to have all in place. 47 years to have a lean and mean capability next gen airforce. What a plan.

    It is a wonder to think that our neighbours could think and plan and implement their wish within a short time.

    I opine that our capability is better than the cap55. We can have a credible airforce as wished by 2025 if we want to. Dont be too cheapskate please.

  26. I think it’s time we Malaysians stop having inflated ideas of our place in the world, and look at the facts.

    Economically we do not have the GDP and therefore budget to sustain the kind of military force we imagine. We should really only be able to sustainably maintain something like 36 single-engined multirole fighter jets, like F-16s or Gripens. Buying the Su30MKMs was a once in a lifetime fluke that may not happen ever again.

    Politically we have alienated ourselves from everybody in our quest for third-world “independence” so we will receive minimal handouts or purchases at cost from allies, and not the latest equipment either.

    So we should manage our expectations accordingly.

    @Zulu One
    Jikalau budget kita 10x lebih besar mungkin dapat capai 75% plan tu bro

  27. @ xan verda

    ” if we could afford to buy F-35, then surely we can afford Rafale ”

    If we can afford F-35, then why would you want rafales instead? There is another issue, when can we afford that? 2020? 2030? 2050? Timeline is very important, without that, this is not a plan and would be no better than sembang kopitiam.

  28. @ haleman ahmad

    Did you type that while you are dreaming?

    We cannot afford to buy 8 rafales how in the world can we afford 5 squadrons (90 aircrafts)?

    There are plenty of parts even for MKM. The issue is we did not allocate adequate money to buy them!

  29. The previous gomen could not afford to spend on defence as wished by our ATM because you know what. We with full humility and humbleness would like to see PH could change the perception on our cheapskateness on defence when we are out of the red. Hopefully it wont be long, let’s be positive.

  30. The main mistake is buying Mig-29 instead of full squadron of F/A18D Hornet. Billions wasted on Mig-29 including monies spent on their upgrade (westernization) programmed. It was done during Mahaathir times. What a waste!

    Instead of buying F/A18F Super Hornet, Malaysia make another blunder by buying unproven and troublesome Su-30MKM. Mike Syabu statement further state of our stupidity in buying such expensive fighter jets!

    Now I am worry Malaysia will make ‘hattrick’ blunder with the return of Mahathir!

  31. @ Chua

    We can maintain those MKMs. Just the needed budget was not wholehartedly persued by TUDM leadership to the government in fear of undermining their quest for western MRCAs.

    TLDM managed to aquire the budget to overhaul its scorpenes at RM1.23 billion. I believe MKM 10 year servicing would cost less than that.

    I believe stopping the service of MiGs, Hawks and Mb339 in the near term and replacing them with 1 type (which i prefer the FA/TA-50) will significantly reduce TUDM maintenance costs, freeing budget to maintain the MKMs.

    Striving to offer visible and quantifiable service to the defence of the country, such as maritime and border surveillance, air petrol and security will lead to a more stable budget from the government. It is very difficult to justify expensive fighter planes when its contribution to defence is questionable while compared to something like LCS or LMS.

    Reply
    Nope its higher than the Scorpene. Nope its got nothing to do with the MRCA program

  32. The TUDM plan is highly ambitious but i do not foresee there is a financial will nor political resolute to push it through. More likely the future at best we will have two squadron of single engine mrca (24 to 36 plane), two squadron of trainers (24 planes) based on current expenditure trend.

  33. @ Marhalim,

    ” Nope its higher than the Scorpene ”

    I believe the cost should not be higher than the scorpene, a total of around RM1.2 billion based on HAL overhaul cost for Indian Air Force Su-30MKI

    https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/hal-gives-first-overhauled-sukhoi-30-to-iaf-115011000028_1.html

    From this article it says that the overhaul program is actually at every 14 years or 1,500 hours whichever is earlier, not 10 years as per what ASTC said. So who is right? I believe we did not do more than 1,500 hours yet, as even our MiG-29 did less than 2,000 hours after 20 years in service.

    ” After flying 1,500 hours or 14 years (whichever is first), a Su-30MKI must be pulled out of the flight line for a comprehensive overhaul. This involves dismantling and stripping the fighter down to its skeleton, checking every component, repairing or replacing them as required, carrying out more than 600 modifications, and finally rebuilding these into a current standard Su-30MKI. This involves 2,478 separate processes, which are monitored on line.

    An overhaul equips the fighter to fly for another 1,500 hours/14 years. During its service lifetime of 6,000 hours/25 years, a Su-30MKI would undergo three overhauls. ”

    The article has an error, if the lifetime of the plane is 6,000 hours, the lifetime years is (6,000/1,500) x 14 years = 56 years.

    ” Nope its got nothing to do with the MRCA program ”

    Why it got nothing to do with MRCA? Yes of course there is the hiccup with MH17, but why the 10 year servicing budget was not adequately allocated?

    In case of TLDM for example, the recent scarce budget allocation, means that as it wants the Scorpene overhaul to be on track, the plan for LCS Gowind has to be delayed a bit, and LCS to be pushed even further See the priority and compromises taken?

    Reply
    The 10 year service is mandated by the OEM not ATSC and the air force agrees with it. If it was cheaper than the Scorpene program it would have been green lighted.

  34. By looking the defence issue, I realize that the economy is bad for sometimes. In every cases defence sector is the first will be hit when economy is bad.

    So many problems in AF alone. Almost all fighters in low condition whether in quantity or quality to operate.
    Cap 55 could be the answer for RMAF to reset their weapon systems.

    RMAF today is almost as indon in 2000s after economy crisis and embargoed by the US. So, it is wise to learn good things from them. Buy in batches in small numbers and start with something cheap, less high tech and refurbhised fighter should be priority.
    MPA, training/lift, airlifter, are on top of the list.

    Beggars buy what beggars can buy.

  35. @ marhalim

    I did not read the article until the end… This is the reasoning of extending from the interval from 10 to 14 years and should also be applicable to malaysian MKMs

    ” When India first procured the Su-30MKI from Russia, the overhaul schedule was 1,500 hours/10 years. But, when the earliest fighters, which had joined the fleet in 2000, became due for overhaul in 2010, the IAF found they had flown far less than 1,500 hours. The Russian vendor, Sukhoi, revised the time stipulation to 14 years ”

    If we can use the 1,500 hours / 14 years new interval, than we have a few years of breathing space to get our act together, allocate the budget and arrange the resources for MKM overhaul. We can initially send a few to HAL to learn about the overhaul and quickly have more numbers overhauled at the start. Later we could probably ask Algeria if they would overhaul their MKA in malaysia to leverage the resources available in ASTC.

  36. BTW through life cost of the MKM could be cheaper than paying for the initial buy of 8 MRCAs.

    Rough calculations
    Use – 45 years. 2x overhauls (1st at 14 years, 2nd at 30 years) 1x upgrade during 2nd overhaul.

    Initial buy usd900 mil
    1st overhaul usd300 mil
    2nd overhaul + upgrade usd500 mil
    Total usd1.7 bil

    BTW for comparison the 25x upgrade for the 8x F/A-18D costs usd72 mil.

    Reply
    Your figure for the first overhaul is too low, its double that figure actually

  37. Our defence minister had stated that he wants to make Malaysia number one again in term of defence in this region. He admitted we are at last pole now. He surely cant wait till 2055 to achieve it. Let’s give him the helping hands required to make our nation great again.

  38. @ …

    “If we can afford F-35, then why would you want rafales instead? There is another issue, when can we afford that? 2020? 2030? 2050? Timeline is very important, without that, this is not a plan and would be no better than sembang kopitiam.”

    Because F-35s are only exported to nations that have close ties with the US and they’re more expensive than the Rafales. While the French fighters aren’t as stealthy as the F-35s, they still have a lower radar cross section than the Super Hornets, Gripen and Typhoon.

    Plus, we don’t have to deal with the speedbump that is US Congress’ approval if we want to purchase F-35s and later buy spare parts and other equipment for those planes.

    Also, it’s not about “when” we can afford the Rafales or F-35s, it’s “if”.

    Consider this, buying Super Hornets for 70.5 million USD as Fulcrum replacement means spending similar money to the F-35 without getting the F-35 (85 million USD). Especially when considering the Super Hornet production line is shutting down, along with spares and maintenance is going to be harder and more expensive. Meanwhile, the Rafale deal would have had more trade things, a superior aircraft than Super Hornet and close enough to compete with F-35 for the cost of 81 million USD.

    I also want to point out that the chances getting F-35 are lower for us because we’re not as close/reliable an ally to the US as Singapore is, and we didn’t spend money to buy into the F-35 program the way Singapore did.

    It’s not a plan, yes but I’m giving my opinion based on my (albeit limited) limited knowledge as a military nerd and I’m entitled to put my contribution on this topic as everyone else here, especially this is concerning our country’s defence.

  39. @…
    Algeria has no problems with Russia (unless the Bear was sanctioned), so why would they want to send their planes to MY for SLEP instead of to the OEM, or even Ukraine?

    @Xan Vreda
    With the new Government in now, we no longer have problems with the US Government (whichever side). Perhaps we can wait further for free donation of Super Hornets?

  40. @ Marhalim

    ” Your figure for the first overhaul is too low, its double that figure actually ”

    It is impossible that a first overhaul to cost 2/3rd the price of a brand new MKM. Better to buy a new MKM instead and cannibalize the old ones for spare parts if that is the case.

    Other costings that we know from open sources :

    Su-30K first overhaul plus minor upgrades by Sukhoi was quoted at usd12 million.

    Su-30K first overhaul by Belarus was quoted at usd5 million.

    @ Xan Vreda

    Do you think a Rafale cost less than usd100 million?

    Qatar deal to buy additional 12 Rafales, that is purely aircrafts only without training, weapons, support equipments or even spares as those has been included in original contract, was for usd1.3 billion. The original contract for 24 Rafales was for usd7 billion.

  41. @romeo “So, it is wise to learn good things from them…” i remember Indonesian govt have MEF.

    “The current developments in Indonesia’s defence policies are framed within the concept of achieving “Minimum Essential Force” or MEF by 2024. This concept of MEF was first articulated in Presidential Decree No. 7/2008 on General Policy Guidelines on State Defence Policy (Peraturan Presiden Republik Indonesia No. 7 Tahun 2008 Tentang Kebijakan Umum Pertahanan Negara)[16] which came into effect on 26 January 2008. MEF is defined as a capability based defence and force level that can guarantee the attainment of immediate strategic defence interests, where the procurement priority is given to the improvement of minimum defence strength and/or the replacement of outdated main weapon systems/equipments. To achieve this aim, MEF had been restructured into a series of 3 strategic programmes with timeframes from 2010 to 2014, 2015 to 2019 and 2020 to 2024 as well as spending of up the 1.5 – 2% of the GDP.” cut&paste from WIKI TNI page.

    Philippines and UK MOD also have some sort a long term plan like this.

    Last time our govt done a MOD longterm plan was PERISTA. After 1989, everything on military modernisation had no plan that almost equal to PERISTA level. The keypoint is, MOD have to come out with a comprehensive plan, and get political commitment to it,no less. Obviously the services plan (4GEN,15-5,CAP55) is “sembang” if MOD is silent.

  42. @Xan Vreda

    I think you need to do more research before you write something down. Let’s see…

    “Because F-35s are only exported to nations that have close ties with the US and they’re more expensive than the Rafales. While the French fighters aren’t as stealthy as the F-35s, they still have a lower radar cross section than the Super Hornets, Gripen and Typhoon.”

    -Nope. Tier 1 JSF supporters (means the countries that have invested in the F-35 R&D) such as Australia, Netherlands and Japan to name a few have the privilege to order first and are now in their respective Air Forces.

    “Plus, we don’t have to deal with the speedbump that is US Congress’ approval if we want to purchase F-35s and later buy spare parts and other equipment for those planes.”

    – Even if the US Congress gives the green light Malaysia CANNOT AFFORD to buy and maintain the F-35. It is not cheap.

    – Besides, why would TUDM need F-35’a for? Our main aim is just to defend our airspace and maritime borders which the Legacy Hornet/Super Hornet can function as a multirole fighter.

    “Also, it’s not about “when” we can afford the Rafales or F-35s, it’s “if”.”

    – Rafales are not cheap to procure and maintain. Period.

    “Consider this, buying Super Hornets for 70.5 million USD as Fulcrum replacement means spending similar money to the F-35 without getting the F-35 (85 million USD). Especially when considering the Super Hornet production line is shutting down, along with spares and maintenance is going to be harder and more expensive. Meanwhile, the Rafale deal would have had more trade things, a superior aircraft than Super Hornet and close enough to compete with F-35 for the cost of 81 million USD.”

    -Huh? Boeing is making hundreds of millions with new orders of Super Hornets for the US Navy as well as the confirmed purchased orders of 28 SH for Kuwait. The production line will not be shutting down anytime soon.

    – There are currently over 400 Super Hornets in the US Navy inventory plus 24 Super Hornets from Australia. So your argument about spare parts and MRO being more expensive is void.

    – Rafale is actually more expensive than a Super Hornet. French jet fighters are also more expensive in terms of spare parts and MRO.

    – Boeing is currently upgrading the US Navy’s Block 2 SH to Block 3 configuration while Dassault will only start upgrading the French Air Force to R4 standard on the Rafales by next year.

    “I also want to point out that the chances getting F-35 are lower for us because we’re not as close/reliable an ally to the US as Singapore is, and we didn’t spend money to buy into the F-35 program the way Singapore did.”

    – As mentioned above why the obsession with the F-35?

    Melayu Ketinggalan

  43. @ joe

    Why malaysia?

    Because algeria is a fellow muslim country, has thales avionics in their MKA too and has 58 MKAs to be overhauled.

  44. @…
    I personally think the ‘Muslim country’ agenda is just hype. At the end of the day, dollars & sen counts and proper support for one’s one hardware matters more.

    As mentioned, Algeria has no issues with Russia and unless Russia are being sanctioned (I’m not sure if still in place), then there’s no barriers for Algeria to send them back to the OEM.
    That or Algeria might just follow our path of setting up localised SLEP since with 58 MKAs, they have more incentive than us to do so.

  45. Hi Marhalim,
    What do you think of JF17 block 3 as LCA candidate. The price per a/c seems affordable..around usd40. M new here. thx

    Reply
    NOPE

  46. @ joe

    ” That or Algeria might just follow our path of setting up localised SLEP since with 58 MKAs, they have more incentive than us to do so ”

    That would be the best for algeria, but never harm to try and ask them to send some to us.

    @ zaman

    I was once excited about the JF-17, and Gripens. But when looked from malaysian context, JF-17 and Gripen fell behind FA/TA-50. Why? Main issue is for us to have a platform that can excel both as a light fighter and a LIFT. Both JF-17 and Gripen is a good fighter, but as a trainer, both of them are way behind TA-50 with its comprehensive on board and on ground training systems. We can fly JF-17 or Gripen but we need a dedicated and additional aircraft type for LIFT. That defeats the cost saving drive.

  47. From yesterdays parlimentary discussions it is said that the sukhois need RM1.8 billion for the overhaul but only RM1.1 billion was approved.

    RM1.8 billion is USD450 million. All 18 Su-30MKM was bought for USD900 million! I really want to know why the overhaul cost is put at 50% of the initial buying cost. If that is the price I expect it to at least have new engines, not overhauled ones. Why didn’t the minister question RMAF and ASTC on the cost? Did he have the data to compare on Indian overhaul cost, or heard about the new extended 14 year dateline from Sukhoi?

  48. It should be obvious that we don’t have the money for floating museum frigates.

    Reply
    As I mentioned before the plan was to moor the KD Hang Tuah at the new navy museum at Lumut.

  49. @…
    “I really want to know why the overhaul cost is put at 50% of the initial buying cost.”
    Perhaps that’s the reason why the approved budget for overhaul was put at Rm1.1Billion? The Ministry knew something but ‘somebody’ else insist to profit Rm700million, hence the stalemate & delay for SLEP?

    Reply
    I need to point out the OEM asking price is around RM2 billion

  50. Ideas to move forward on the sukhoi Su-30MKM overhaul.

    1. Apply the 1,500 hour / 14 years interval for overhaul like the MKI. This will move the milestone of 1st required overhaul to 2021

    2. Get the budget approved and released.

    3. Get ASTC to sort out its readiness for overhaul.

    4. Send some (probably a pair) each to HAL and Belarus for overhaul. Throughly study and take note on how both conduct the overhauls. Best practices can be applied for overhaul in malaysia.

    5. Use the knowledge to get savings in cost of overhaul. Preferably within the approved RM1.1 billion budget.

    6. Preferably get some additional used MKIs from India. This is to allow for rotations of airframes in maintenance. This is also to give ASTC additional work, for them to convert the MKIs to MKM, and overhaul them when the time comes. Win-win for TUDM and maintenance contractors.

    Reply
    I believe apart from the higher costs of sending the MKM overseas, RMAF is reluctant to send them due to the tweaks done by their engineers which allowed the integration of non standard things on the aircraft

  51. @ AM

    When you don’t preserve your historical artifacts, chances are somebody in the future will change the narrative of your history, because there is no visible artifacts to link to that past. Things worse than today’s push to recognize the communists can happen.

  52. U buy a car at 2008 and expect the complete overhaul at 2018 to be cheap compared to a brand new car. Even proton car, an overhaul will cost at least 40% of the car including all interior dismantling and repaint etc etc. A complete overhaul

    This is worse. The mkm is one of the kind.. the rmaf also mentioned that the oem that the mkm is one of the kind. So the overhaul programme is also a new trial and error by the manufacturer

    Like the f18.. everyone is using so even overhaul is simply just follow other country.

    That the problem with rojack equipment

  53. @Marhalim
    Then looks like ‘somebody’ tried to profit Rm900million but relented and gave a ‘discount’ of Rm200million yet was spurned by the Ministry.

    I don’t know how much is the justified price for the SLEP, whether its Rm 2Billion, Rm 1.8Billion, or Rm 1.1Billion. But like what … said, reaching up to half the purchased price without engine, or FCS replacement is ridiculous. I hope this doesn’t become another Air Selangor debacle and the rakyat is at the losing end.

    Reply
    It’s the government that wanted the MKM it should pay for its maintenance, otherwise just go ahead and retire the fleet

  54. @Marhalim
    Please understand that I’m not questioning whether the Government wants to continue with the MKMs, otherwise they would have cut off the maintenance budget like what they did with the Mig29s, instead they approved Rm 1.1Billion.

    As mentioned, I don’t know what would be the justified cost, but anything higher than that means profiteering. It does sounds like the OEM quoted figures are on the high point.

    Reply
    It must be noted that the RM1.1 million figure stated in Parliament may or may not be the amount of money allocated for the overhaul, it could be the amount for the maintenance done within the last 10 years

  55. @…
    Like it or not, history have always been written and narrated by the victors. Always have and always will be, whether there be artifacts or none at all. Artifacts can’t tell history, only people can.

  56. @ marhalim

    The price of HAL overhaul for 18 Su-30MKI comes out to RM1.1billion, which is coincidently the amount of the budget that has been approved ( HAL Overhaul for each MKI is put at Rupee 110 Crore )

    Yes of course we should pay for the overhaul, but we need to question the cost, similar to what the government did for the MRT3 and other projects.

  57. I like the last reply to Joe’s comments above. It is true the last govt under our present ‘PM’ authorized the Sukhoi n MiG buys. And left it at that. Plus no one inc YB Mat Sabu dared to mention that bit of fact. And that TUDM is left to justify the whys and reasons for the current sad situation.
    In many ways everyone had a role that made TUDM’s state deplorable.
    To be honest, TUDM needs an immediate fix by way of LCAs pronto and a pair of MPAs. The PM & Finance plus Econ Ministers must sit down and thrash this out fast!

  58. …,

    “It is impossible that a first overhaul to cost 2/3rd the price of a brand new MKM. Better to buy a new MKM instead and cannibalize the old ones for spare parts if that is the case.”

    Why not? Its a norm in this industry whether governmental or commercial. Cost quoted can be any thing from a dry routine check to those that include all over and above. It is just like for years Marhalim been dealing with people arguing western built has such and such TBO that is twice of Russian built but how many of the in service dynamic gut lived up to the theoretical number. It is just a matter of how numbers are being presented on papers.

    For those that laugh at this #55 thing, no, it is not new and in fact been touted for at least 7-8 years.

  59. Perhaps time for the RMAF to swallow it’s pride and learn from the RSAF?

    Learn how to make proper studies of life cycle costing and also technical evaluations of aircraft before committing to the purchase?

    RMAF just like Malaysia seems to have a Boleh mindset.

    Just imagine, Mahathir wants to start a 3rd car project… to further bankrupt the country??

  60. @ m

    You are sitting on the side where you depend on how much you can squeeze the government and get as much profit as possible for your company.

    You can pluck any number out of the sky for the service, but we can benchmark the price to what other people has done. The most visible one is the Indian air forces 1,500 hour / 14 years servicing costs by HAL.

    There is also reason for many like Indonesian air force sending their Flankers to Belarus for overhaul.
    .

    https://www.558arp.by/en/products-and-services-eng/services-eng/overhaul-aviation-materiel-eng

    They are quoting much more cheaper prices and have the support of russia.

    I really want to see a competitive Malaysian defence industry, where people would want to buy or use malaysian, out of preference, not because of forced to.

  61. “For those that laugh at this #55 thing, no, it is not new and in fact been touted for at least 7-8 years.”

    CAP55 is simply a new name, most of the requirements are certainly is not new and have been outstanding for way more than 7-8 years. AEW for example has been desired for close to three decades. The formal requirement may not be that old but there is little point in producing a requirement if it is going to be unfunded anyway.

    The consolidation to fewer types has always been an implicit part of plans that have sadly been derailed by political decisions.

    “It is just like for years Marhalim been dealing with people arguing western built has such and such TBO that is twice of Russian built ”

    Irrespective of who argues what, it’s a matter of fact. It’s also a fact that Russian equipment is becoming more sophisticated and will not be immune from the cost and complexity of maintaining Western equipment. Sure, the Russians still sell advanced derivatives of cold war era equipment but we’d be going backwards to get it.

  62. …,
    You did not get the message. To be explicit, I mean you do not have a benchmark. Perhaps you may want to read slowly and understand before presenting yourself being too clever.

  63. “For those that laugh at this #55 thing, no, it is not new and in fact been touted for at least 7-8 years.”

    ” The formal requirement may not be that old but there is little point in producing a requirement if it is going to be unfunded anyway ”

    There is a very big difference between a want/requirement and a proper plan.

    Everyone can want a big house. But without a proper plan, what can you afford, when can you afford, how can you afford to maintain it, how would the timeline/milestone be like then it will remain just a want forever.

    The thing that is missing (and what I have been pointing out for many years) is there is no proper plan (timelines/priorities/affordability). Many will point out (even marhalim) that they have a plan, but looking at the past 10 years seeing the airforce’s predicament going from bad to worse, i can say that if that was a plan, it failed badly. I can say that the plan if there was one, did not consider the available budget, did not prioritize what capabilities the country want from the airforce to safeguard the country, did not put the maintenance of existing resources (nuri, hercules, flanker) ahead of getting new hardwares.

    It is time to put the effort in overcoming this mess and have a better TUDM in the near future, instead of trying hard to defend what wrongs that is now already in the past.

  64. Perhaps so many armchairs here forgot that a fighter jet procurement tied to foreign policy of a country. If you buy a jet, you plead your allegiance to the country that jets’ manufacturer. If we buy superhornet of f35 we plead our allegiance to the Americans. If we buy Su-30/35 or Mig, we plead our allegiance to the Russians, if we buy Rafale we plead our allegiance to the french. If we buy grippen we plead our allegiance to the swedes…So what’s best for the airforce may not be the best for the government’s interests. At least Sabu n co could show some appreciation for our armsmen who voted for PH last GE, by increasing the defence budget?

  65. @ m

    Write something that can be clearly understood by me (and other people here it seems). I cannot read your mind. If my knowledge is not at your par, then school me. If you have a better overall plan for TUDM, then explain them clearly for all to see.

  66. @ garga

    So what is your suggestion? Buy x-wings so that we pledge our allegiance to the rebel alliance?

  67. Well, I still can take if the cap55 only say it will be 2 types of fighter. One type will be the main fighter, since it wil be used in 2055 then it would be a multirole gen 5 fighter obviously. The reality is there is no gen5 fighter exist today that can fly wihout another fighter support. Even the US will still use the F15 to cover the F35. Maybe F22 is the only plane that fit but it is not for sale even if the gov have tons of money.So, let this main fighter is in the dark for a while.
    The other type is LCA/LIFT that will also be the workhorse fighter to patrol. So, there would be no adequate QRA/intercept fighter.

    Secondly, there would be 2 types of airlifter. Strategic type which will be big fat type. Maybe A400M is the plane, but it will be almost 40 years old plane in 2055. The other type is tactical which will be a smaller one. What type will be called smaller enough, is it the hercs or the N295/CN235?. Lets say the hercs wil be picked, so even 5 tons of cargo will be send using the herc. Maybe a 5 tons cargo will be delivered by MAS cargo. I think, since RMAF already bought a very big airlifter A400M so at least there should be 2 others type of airlifter a 7-10 tons airlifter and 10-20 tons airlifter.

    I think this cap55 is not a plan but rather a raw vision of RMAF.

  68. Today it is said that TUDM CAP55 plan is ready and will be tabled at the parliment. Can’t wait to see it (especially what is their detailed plan for 2050-2055).

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