SHAH ALAM: MPA and MALE UAV in RMK12. The procurement of two maritime patrol aircraft and three medium altitude long endurance UAV will take place in RMK12, says the Defense Ministry. The possibility of the purchase of the MPAs and drones being deferred to RMK12 was raised in the interview with the RMAF chief published on June 1.
As for the UAV and MPA, Affendi said both programmes have been approved though funds are not yet available. Asked when they expect funding be made available, Affendi said it was unclear. It may well be in RMK12, which starts in 2021
The timeline for the MPA and long range drones were confirmed by the ministry in a statement issued in response to the speculation regarding the order for 12 ScanEagle drones for Malaysia. Some people are speculating why Malaysia is spending some RM80 million for the drones.
From MalaysiaKini (its Hari Raya, I dont have time to translate the Mindef statement)
“The US through the Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) programme has provided assistance in the form of capability (assets) and capacity (training) to partner countries including Malaysia to help improve maritime domain awareness in Southeast Asia,” said Mindef.
The programme is fully funded by the US government without any expenses incurred by Malaysia, it said.
Under this MSI programme, the Royal Malaysian Navy will receive assistance in stages, starting from 2019 and running through to 2022.
“The first batch of six ScanEagle drones is expected to be delivered by mid-November this year,” said Mindef.
“Apart from the Malaysian Armed Forces, other enforcement agencies will also receive benefits under the MSI programme to improve maritime surveillance and information sharing among enforcement agencies and the armed forces,” it added.
“The future purchase of these drones will help Malaysia in maritime supervision activities, while the further addition of two Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and three Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Airborne Vehicles will be carried out as per the 12th Malaysia Plan,” it said.
Anyhow it appears also that the funding for the MPA and long range armed drones, will be at the minimum. As reported before the requirement was for four MPA and six drones. It is likely that the next batch of MPA and drones will be purchased in RMK13.
For the record, the MPA contenders are the Leonardo ATR-72MPA, Airbus C-295, PTDI CN-235, Boeing P-8A Poseidon and the Kawasaki P1. As for the drones, its the General Atomics MQ-9 Guardian, AVIC Wing Loong II, the Leonardo Falco and the Turkish Aerospace Anka.
It must be said the Poseidon and P1 are probably the best candidates due to the ASW requirement which requires endurance when fully armed. Both are pricey though.
As for the drones, I think the Anka is the odds-on favourite here with Guardian second though again its very pricey.
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