SHAH ALAM: Greek to Me. RMAF has yet to be officially informed of plans for it to get second-hand fighter jets and patrol planes.
It’s the same for the barter deal with India.
RMAF chief Jen Affendi Buang said it was for this reason he could not comment on such offers apart from saying that they have yet to be officially notified of them.
Affendi was asked to comment on recent reports of the RMAF getting used fighters from Saudi Arabia, P-3C Orions MPA and the Fulcrum-Sukhoi barter deal.
“Yes we have heard about the deal with the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the Fulcrums but we have yet to be inform officially on the matter, ” he said when met at the service Innovation Challenge presentation ceremony at the Subang air base here yesterday.
He acknowledged that there was a recent visit by a group of IAF officers to RMAF bases recently but it had nothing to do with the Fulcrum deal. He said the visit was part of a regular interactions between the two air forces.
“It is part of the annual exchange programme between RMAF and IAF. We sent our officers there and vice versa.”
On the Orions offer, Affendi said it was not on the table as far as the RMAF was concerned just like the supposed deal for ex-Saudi fighter jets.
As for the Orions, Malaysian Defence had quoted RMN chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Baddarudin on the possibility of Japan donating them. As the Orions are in service with the Maritime Self Defense Force it likely that the offer went through the RMN instead of the RMAF. As to why RMAF has not been consulted on the issue is beyond me.
Japanese newspaper Nikkei Shimbun last week reported that Japan was changing its laws to donate the Orions for Malaysia.
As for the Fulcrum-Sukhoi barter deal, it was announced by the PM himself during his state visit to India in April.
So are we getting any of these things as reported? I believe in the case of the Japan Orions and Fulcrum-Sukhoi barter deal, its probably a matter of bureaucracy and also the silo mentality which left RMAF unconsulted.
And as usual the end-user will be the last to know. As for the Saudi deal, I am not sure whether it is going to happen or not. Many in the industry and armed forces are also having the same thoughts.
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