Rafale…Oui?

Une photo dans un Rafale armes standard F3R charge, l'AASM Hammer pour les missions de frappe et MICA et missiles Meteor pour le travail air-air et des réservoirs de carburant supplémentaires. C'est cette version étant vantée en Malaisie et ne sera disponible l'année prochaine.

LANGKAWI: Its the Rafale? I wrote in Aviation Week today that the French government is making a last ditch effort to get Malaysia to sign for the Dassault Rafale at next week’s planned visit of its president to Kuala Lumpur.

The story is here, unfortunately, it is behind a paywall. As I was not born with a silver spoon, I also write for Aviation Week to pay the bills.

One of the two Rafales on display at LIMA 2017.

Anyhow, what is happening basically, the French wants us to sign for 18 Rafales and they hoping it will be the centre piece of their president’s visit next week, March 27.

A Rafale pictured in a F3R standard weapon load, AASM Hammer for strike missions and MICA and Meteor missiles for air-to-air work and extra fuel tanks. This is this version being touted to Malaysia and will only be available next year.

They are offering generous offsets and credit facilities to persuade the government to sign the deal with delivery deferred to 2020.

Will the government sign the deal with general election looming and little money in the bank? I was told they will not but stranger things have happen before. Your guess is as guess as mine!

— Malaysian Defence

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26 Comments

  1. Hahahaha , u crack me up, need to pay bills have to write Aviation week!!! Wow Rafale on discounts !! Just like what i said, Its a boy wet dream having, Sukhoi, Hornets, Rafale, maybe Saudi’s Typhoons or Tornados or Eagles, its becoming like Gump’s box of chocolate, you dont know what you will get.

    And yes many cold sweat and a big migraine

  2. Defence costs money and the money needs to be spent. It is not a luxury but a necessity. We already spend less on defence than many other countries and a good mark to achieve is 2% GDP.

    We need to stop being so lembik/lemah.

    Then trouble will come looking for us like recent events have shown.

  3. If government dun have fund for MRCA, what MINDEF / RMAF alternative plan? Extend the MIG without upgrade or just leave it…..

  4. If we do buy the Rafale, another question is, can we afford to regularly fly them?

    The operating costs of the rafale is one of the most expensive in the world. It is roughly double the operating costs of an F-16.

    Then can we afford to spend money to maintain them?

    The current serviceability rate of French air force Rafales is lower than even our own SU-30MKM. The serviceability rate of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet in service with the French Air Force is only 48.5%, according to information given to a French lawmaker by the government in November 2016.

    Can we actually afford a Fighter at costs (buying and operating) that is higher than the current SU-30MKM? What we need is a more affordable fighter than can perform most of the regular peacetime missions like QRA, air policing, surveillance, patrol.

  5. Also, its all in the deal.

    Lets say we buy $10 billion in jets but they buy the same amount of one of our exports. That won’t be so bad would it.

    A very low interest loan is also very attractive rather than 12%!!

  6. Probably NOT. Better buy 20 Gripen’s, FA-50’s or F-16’s and/or buy 10 more Hawk 208 and be done with it.

    Or the alternative avenue would be FC-17’s. Just my two cents….

  7. I doubt that it’ll go through despite well known French sales reputation 😉 among TUDM, unless the gov gets involved in some creative accounting. The upcoming PRU is paramount, and though not proven (yet, but with SPRM recent records we can hope), it is widely understood that truck loads of money will be diverted to political campaigns (and the associated shenanigans)..

  8. Damn it, Malaysia! Just buy the damn Ducks* already and save us the trouble! XP

    *: It’s a nickname for the Rafales typically used by a French dude in a forum, where I’m one of the members.

  9. I say go for it. If economy stricken country like Egypt can do it, why cant we. After this is finished, go nuts sell those mkm or f18 (keep one).

  10. UAG offered to upgrade the migs to SM variant

    Personally, I’m not keen on getting an aircraft that is inferior to our existing aircraft

  11. Non.

    Even given that stranger things have happened; doubt very much the Rafale deal will happen anytime soon :] A more realistic scenario is an order placed in 1-2 years. Even then, Typhoon has more backing. That an order will be placed for MRCA there is no doubt as the RMAF has a requirement for MRCAs, following which it will have a stronger case to make for AEWs – the issue is not only economics but internal politics. Even if the economics were sound; an order wouldn’t be placed if it was felt that it wasn’t the right moment, politically.

  12. …. says ….
    i guest Price rafale possible may not more than usd 3b depend packages, some oversea customer buy Rafale expensive bcos they sign 20-30 year maintenance all together, or heavy TOT like india. also amount if missile/boom, i guest max about usd 3.5b…
    Our asset usually sign 3,5 or 7 year maintenance only. .
    also
    If buy rafale….
    RMAF please include future Thales Topsignt HMD in packages.

  13. Egypt has long been the 2nd largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel and in recent times Egypt has been getting cash aid from Saudi [as a reward to Egypt’s military leaders for doing away with the Muslim Brotherhood] to prop up its economy and buy goodies. That’s why Egypt can and we cant.

    The French have stated that Rafale serviceability will gradually improve over time. A true gauge will be in the near future when all the upgrades are completed and when all the Rafales are delivered.
    That Rafale is more expensive to run compared to the F-16 is hardly surprising given the F-16 is a smaller aircraft with a single engine. Rafale may be more expensive to run compared to the MKM [to be expected given the amount of electronics and other systems] but the MKM will still be more maintenance intensive; requiring longer maintenance hours for every hour flown. In the long run, Rafale [and other fighters] will be cheaper given they have radars, engines and other systems with a longer TBO and MTBF.

    To date the only Dassault product we’ve bought was a Falcon for VIP use. After failing in the 1990’s to sell Mirage 2000; lets see how Dassault fares this time round.

  14. IMO, TUDM/Gov already has the answer. The only thing is the budget and current economy situation.

    Preferably we wait. Wait until economy grows stronger, currency getting better and study on the reability of Saudi surplus aircrafts.

    Talking about that, let say those aircraft able to be operated and maintained for another 5-10 years, i believe our economy will recover too by that time. Gap left by the Migs are taken care by those aircraft until we receive the MRCAs.

    Just my two cents

  15. I think we loose the plot here…everybody telling story about this toys n that toys the pros n cons…but lets face it the main core is kita harus memperkukuh pertahanan negara.
    Buying fast n expensive jets will it be enough to deter would be agressor be it state or non state actor?
    Just image all of us are one of the top brass dlm kementrian pertahanan..the bickering will be endless…actually the main ujung tombak in ATM is firstly their land forces…equip them well with the latest product that is needed..n there will be minimal incussion by the sulu lanun…HOW? ask yourself change our modus operandi of how we do things 50 yrs ago…these days no need for foot soldiers to go patrolling everycorner of the border to hunt sulu lanun…use uav..quadcopter for servillance at every grid suspected to be hotspot for lanun n the men will surely be appreciative of the long hours of standby at the forward obs base.why do we need man copter flying around if we can just have a uav doing the patroĺling?jgn bazir duit utk menyuluh lanun yg sekejap ada sekejap hilang..n many more tricks that can beat the out of their game…to catch a thief we have to be a thief..think like a thief n not like damn armchar general

  16. The force n the gomen have decided which candidate is the better out of the 2 final bidders. If oui for the rafale made by them then let be it. They have done their homework and studies (after all these years) and i dont see any reason why other normal people like us would ask for other types to be bought instead. It sounds so funny since most of us dont even have hands on experience with any combat at all. So whatever it is, i’ll be with the force and may the force be with you.

    Reply
    The air force prefer the other one not down selected

  17. @ lalok

    So of its 18 rafales just be it? And you think it won’t affect you?

    Can you imagine rm18 billion is how much money? That rm18 billion is paid by you, me and all of us the rakyat, not from the PM’s pocket. Now the goverment is cutting money from education, introducing paid medical in goverment hospitals, and that is before the rafale buy.

    When gst is increased i hope that the questions about the rafale buy would still be funny for you.

  18. how did you know it will be 18 billion? it might be more than that… 😜
    the french offered a way to finance the fighters. they will sort it out fine with us.
    what make u think u are paying for the fighters with your money? its the nation’s money that we wont ever get our hands on it no matter where they spend it. they can put 50 billion on the train, 60 billion on mrt, multi billions on development etc, but few billions for much longed mrca with probably some offset benefits for the nation that we will get along with the buy, and we are denying our force’s selection? we are not the decision maker here anyway, whatever selection made by our force, that is what we must stand behind with.

  19. Redsot – ”but lets face it the main core is kita harus memperkukuh pertahanan negara.”

    That’s obvious.

    The problem is that whilst the main treat now is from non state actors the MAF still has to have a minimal capability to also deal with state actors. Given that we can’t obviously devote equal attention or resources to doing both [a problem faced by not only us]; compromises are needed. The reality is that whilst we have a legitimate need for transports, UAS, radars [stuff with a lot of peacetime application] we also have a need for stuff that have mostly a wartime application or utility.

    Redsot – ”actually the main ujung tombak in ATM is firstly their land forces…equip them well with the latest product that is needed.”

    No ……

    Given that the treats we face are from the maritime domain ” the main ujung tombak” is actually the RMN and RMAF. With regards to ESSCOM priority is on detecting threats before they land or get deep inside our waters; precisely why we got coastal radars and UAS. Helicopters within ESSCOM are used not so much for patrolling but rather as rather as a quick reaction asset once threats have been detected by other means.

    Redsot – ”to catch a thief we have to be a thief..think like a thief n not like damn armchar general”

    Fine in theory but in reality not all the threats we face requires one to act like ”a thief”’. Not only is the right mindset needed but also the need to do away with excess bureaucracy, tri service rivalry and better cooperation amongst all the organisations involved.

  20. lalok,

    The problem is, the one who makes the decision here is the dudes from the finance not the military. I don’t even think RMAF wanted it anyway…

  21. TUDM has the Su-30MKM, F/A-18D Hornet, MiG-29N Fulcrum A, and Hawk 200 to protect our skies. However, the issue is the numbers. We have small numbers of everything. Thats makes maintenance expensive. Because the quantity of parts you need to buy is diversified giving headaches to the assets boys who needs to buy spare parts. To be exact, we don’t have much of strength of our air force because in a given war situation, half of our jets will be available for combat. We should reduce and focus on a couple of jets to make maintenance of buying spare parts easier and more strategic.
    When i heard that there was a potential for the Saudi’s to sell surplus combat jets to Malaysia. I was thinking about the older hawks (We could use local talent to upgrade and maintain these aircrafts, saving us a lot of money) then the F-15cs (old but still has the powerful punch in any air battle and still credible. Saudi’s need US approval to re-export them to Malaysia…i guess there is something like 30 to 60 of these aircrafts in surplus plus around 24 Eurofighter from the earlier tranche. My deal would be to buy the Eurofighter on the latest tranche and upgrades possible Saudi’s aircraft to complement the new purchase. TUDM should look at the F-15Cs and upgrade them locally over time. Or focus on buying the Eurofighter Typhoon from Saudi if they do offer them for sale. Since Malaysia may not have the budget to buy these fighters, why not look at the barter trade, possible the barter of our Palm Oil since we have surplus commodity of it….

    I will see it as a headache and a total nightmare for the maintenance boys when you have Typhoon, Su-30MKM, Hornet and Hawk 200. PS…i still believe the MiG-29 is still credible as a fighter, but we made the mistake of buying 18 only. We should have bought more MiG-29 so that cost per parts are cheaper when buying in bulk.

  22. Danial,

    From what i understand (i maybe wrong), the problem with the russian bird was not the parts cost, but the bureaucracy and the process to get the parts.

    I do agree with you the mig 29 is a great fighter and buying them back in the 90s give some impact to the region but the real mistake we made during that era was not buying more hornets.

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