MRCA: Updates, Sort Off

SHAH ALAM: YES its a week after LIMA, I am only starting to write about the MRCA programme. It is just to show there is not much really moving on the MRCA even at the country’s premier airshow. Three of the MRCA candidates were present at LIMA 2015 but only the Dassault Rafale took part in the flight displays. In the exhibition hall and corporate chalets, however, all was relatively quiet.

French AF Rafale meets up with the PACAF F-16 during the daily display at LIMA 2015.
French AF Rafale meets up with the PACAF F-16 during the daily display at LIMA 2015.

Well some may argue that the offer from Dassault, the same financial package to Malaysia like those for Egypt was the big news from Langkawi. And what about the offer from ATSC to upgrade the Fulcrums to the NM standard then?

A model at ATSC stand featuring the proposed Fuclrum modernisation. Among others it will be fitted with the Flanker's avionics.
A model at ATSC stand featuring the proposed Fuclrum modernisation. Among others it will be fitted with the Flanker’s avionics.

And yes, the British Government offer to lease the Typhoons remained on the table. And they could also deliver the Typhoon (RAF Tranche 3 standard) within months of a contract being signed. All of this maybe news to some but to me “its Ground Hog Day” all over again.

The Typhoon was not displayed at LIMA 2015 but the full size mock-up proved very popular
The Typhoon was not displayed at LIMA 2015 but the full size mock-up proved very popular

Perhaps I am being snobbish about all of this but as the Defence Ministry and RMAF were pretty quiet about the project during the whole week was an indicator to me that it was better to wait for a sunny day.

RTAF Gripen was at LIMA 2015 as a static display only
RTAF Gripen was at LIMA 2015 as a static display only

I guess we have to wait until June to see whether or not we will be getting the MRCA. In the meantime, I am taking a break from chasing the MRCA story. If there is any significant updates, hopefully you will be the first ones to read it here.

One of the two Super Hornets of the US Navy at LIMA 2015
One of the two Super Hornets of the US Navy at LIMA 2015

Anyhow, I made a mistake in my preview when I posted that the both the Rafale and Super Hornet were expected to conduct flight displays at LIMA 2015. I was wrong. Only the Rafale performed at LIMA 2015, something which also surprised Dassault officials. Two USN Super Hornets were on display but they did not take part in flight displays as did the Gripen. The Typhoon was only represented by a full size replica and a booth dedicated to show the plane’s capabilities including a simulator.

The other more colourful of the two US Navy Super Hornets at LIMA 2015.
The other more colourful of the two US Navy Super Hornets at LIMA 2015.

And yes, the F16V is a suitor though not yet an official candidate for the MRCA.

— Malaysian Defence

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