Another View of RMAF 2020

RMAF A400M banking at the opening ceremony.

A Guest Post by …

SHAH ALAM: Another View. Last year in January, Malaysian Defence had an interesting topic on “RMAF 2020”. Most of us discussed the idea without considering the timeline needed for such changes to happen, considering the constraints of budget, time and manpower. Now with more information, like the recently approved budget for the MPA in the 2018 Budget, I think it would be a good idea if we revisit the topic.

Taking cues of the actual planning of TLDM’s 15 to 5 plan (which is the only long term planning of malaysian armed force available for the public to view), it is impossible to fit everything in a plan just up to 2020. Instead this plan is devised up till Rancangan Malaysia ke 14 in 2035. Actual allocated budget that the Malaysian Government can afford also needs to be considered.

Royal Saudi Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon. Internet.

I based this on USD2 billion per RMK, which is what TLDM 15 to 5 plan plans around too. I don’t think the government can afford anything more than USD2 billion per RMK for an individual service. So after a lot of deliberation, this is what my plan for TUDM looks like. Probably not what the fanboys want to read, but it is the best I can think of, considering the condition and constraints that we have.

A400M M54-04 landing at Labuan airport on Nov. 17, 2017.

RMK11 2016-2020 USD1.6bil
A400M payment $400mil part payment (assumption)
6 MPA aircraft $650mil 6 New MPA aircraft
36 F/A-18C/D(used) Kuwait $400mil
16 F/A-18C, 16(8+8) F/A-18D, 12 F/A-18C spare. 18Skn + 12Skn. Upgrades with AESA radar.
12 Sagem Patroller UAV $120mil 4 systems with 3 uav per system
5 Pilatus PC-7MkII $25mil additional 5 to the current 21 PC-7 Mk2

RMK12 2021-2025 USD2.0bil
10 EC-225LP(used) $100mil
40 TA/FA-50M $1300mil
16 TA-50, 24 FA-50. Hawk/MB-339CM replacement
3+2 G6000 Erieye ER AEW&C $600mil
3 AEW&C, 2 VIP/training to replace Global Express
-3+1 C-130H Sell of 3 long fuselage Hercules to fund the Hercules upgrade. Buy 1 short fuselage Hercules (the one in AIROD) and convert to special forces support aircraft with air refuelling, FLIR, DIRCM, ESM system, SATCOM, armour and extra fuel tanks.

RMK13 2026-2030 USD2.0bil
10 EC-225LP(used) $100mil
2 A400M $300mil partly used spain/UK/Germany allocation
8 Pilatus PC-24 $80mil multi-engine training, Medivac, utility, VIP
SU-30MKM upgrade $400mil
MLU. cockpit, radar, targetting pod, EW equipments, SATCOM, datalink, missiles.
FC-31 $1000mil MRCA F/A-18 replacement 1/3rd payment

RMK14 2031-2035 USD2.0bil
32 FC-31 $2000mil MRCA 2/3rd payment

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

So in the timeline
– 2018 current fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 8 F/A-18D, 10 MiG-29N, 12 Hawk 208, 5 Hawk 108, 7 MB-339CM (5 types – 60 aircraft, minus 14 crashed 6 stored)
– 2025 milestone fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 32 F/A-18C/D, 40 TA/FA-50M (3 types – 90 aircraft)
– 2035 milestone fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 32 FC-31, 40 TA/FA-50M (3 types – 90 aircraft)

Phaseout timeline
– Hawk 108/208 2023-2025
– Aermacchi MB339CM 2023-2025
– F/A-18 2031-2033
– C-130H 2038-2040
– SU-30MKM 2045-2047

TUDM 2035 Orbat
1 Skn 7x CN-235-220 – Kuching
2 Skn 1x Airbus A319CJ, 1x Airbus A320CJ, 2x Global 6000 – Subang
3 Skn 8x EC225LP – Butterworth
5 Skn 4x EC725, 4x EC225LP – Labuan
6 Skn 12x FA-50, 2x TA-50 – Labuan
7 Skn 4x EC725, 4x EC225LP – Kuching
8 Skn 8x PC-24 – Subang (utility, multi engine training, medevac, VIP)
9 Skn 3x Global 6000 Erieye AEW&C – Gong Kedak
10 Skn 4x EC725, 4x EC225LP – Kuantan
11 Skn 18x SU-30MKM – Gong Kedak (4 aircraft QRA Labuan rotation)
12 Skn 16x FC-31 – Butterworth
14 Skn 6x C-130H – Labuan
15 Skn 12x TA-50 (3FTC) – Kuantan
16 Skn 6x MPA aircraft – Subang
17 Skn 12x FA-50, 2x TA-50 – Kuantan (smokey bandits display team)
18 Skn 16x FC-31 – Butterworth
19 Skn 12x Sagem Patroller UAV – Labuan
20 Skn 6x C-130H-30 – Subang
21 Skn 2x S-61A-4 Nuri, 2x AS-61A-4 VIP(ex saudi FOC), 2x AS-61N-1 Silver, 2x VIP Blackhawk – Subang
22 Skn 6x A400M – Subang
1 FTC 26x PC-7 MkII – Alor Setar (21+5=26)
2 FTC 6x EC120

Transfer
24x S-61A-4 with army PUTD
3x B200T MPA with MMEA

RMAF Beechcraft B200T of the 16th Squadron.

Some explanations of the points above

– Why not MRCA in 2020? Why not Typhoon or Rafale? Why do we need F/A-18 as stopgap measure?
My opinion is that it is very expensive (probably around USD2 to 2.5 billion) for a paltry 8 new Rafale or Typhoon MRCA, and that is not the most prudent use of the rakyat’s money. I’d rather have big quantity of new LCA/LIFT (restoring the original quantity and reducing operational cost of 2 different light fighter the Hawk and Aermacchi) plus having a new capability in the form of Global 6000 ErieyeER AEW&C first. That would give a more meaningful effect to the defence of Malaysia instead of a paltry number of new MRCAs.

Hornet M45-01 flying over the range dropping flares.

F/A-18s as stopgap is a viable option as we are a current Hornet operator, the abiliy to upgrade the Hornet with AESA radar (1 hour plug and play swap) and various new weapons, and the availability of low houred Hornets from a friendly country. The availability of retired airframes that we could harvest for spareparts would also lower our maintenance costs of the hornet.

Patroller-S is a safe and high-performance system developed to fulfill all types of homeland security missions for police forces, customs, border control, civil or environmental protection, etc. This the cilivian version of the Patroller – Safran

Another issue with the rafale and typhoon as MRCA is time. It would be acceptable if the MRCA is to enter service in 2015, but with our current condition, if we order them in 2020 it would be about 2024 the earliest for any of them to even arrive in Malaysia. If we buy them in 2020, we will be stuck with the “new” Rafale and Typhoons up till at least 20-30 more years in the future, and that would probably mean no money for hawk and hornet replacement up till past 2030. So is it okay for Malaysia to just have a few MKM,Hormet,Rafale/Typhoon, Hawk and Aermacchi rojak in 2030? This is how it would look like if we buy the Typhoon or Rafale by 2030.

– 2030 fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 8 F/A-18D (to be retired), 8 Rafale or Typhoon, 12 Hawk 208 (to be retired), 5 Hawk 108 (to be retired), 7 Aermacchi MB-339CM (5 types, 58 aircraft, 25 to be retired)

Another point is that either replace the Hawk/Aermachi in 2020 or 2030, the potential replacements would still be the same aircraft, which in most probability the FA-50. There is possibly no other new light fighter/LIFT types in 2030 that we could buy if we defer the Hawk/Aermacchi replacement. So better buy it earlier rather than later.

– TA/FA-50M
How do I get the USD1.3 billion? I based it on around USD420 million cost of 12 FA-50 for the philippines and USD400 million cost for 16 T-50 for indonesia.

One of the two RTAF T-50 at Kuantan airbase today. via @KaptRahmat

– MPA aircraft
The budget (as reported by Malaysian Defence) is RM2.6 billion for 4 aircraft. IMO 4 is too small a number to cover the whole of Malaysia, and something like 6 is a more acceptable number, The remaining 3 B200T MPA to be handed over to MMEA. As for platforms, CN-235, C-295, ATR-72 or even the Challenger 650 (offered to korea as KP-X) are capable platforms for the MPA task. Top of the range in our budget would be the Saab Swordfish, based on the Global 6000 aircraft.

Leonardo ATR 72 MP. Leonardo

– C-130H upgrade
I suggest we sell some of our long fuselage C-130H-30 aircafts to fund the upgrade for our C-130 fleet. We have 14 C-130H (9 long fuselage, 5 short fuselage). We could sell 3 of the older long fuselage Hercules, and buy 1 short fuselage Hercules for special forces/CSAR support (something similar in capability to the MC-130H combat talon). The sale of 3 long fuselage Hercules could get at least USD50 million, with the Avionics modification (based on rockwell collins cost for Pakistan upgrade) on malaysian Hercules fleet to cost around USD24 million (USD2 million per aircraft). That leaves a budget of USD26 million to buy a used short fuselage C-130 Hercules (the one stored in AIROD probably), and upgrade it with FLIR turret, floor armour, SATCOM link, DIRCM, Chaff and flare launchers, In-flight refuelling probes, extra internal fuel tanks. That would leave us with 6 long fuselage Hercules, and 6 short fuselage Hercules (1 normal, 4 tanker, 1 special forces/CSAR)

RMAF M30-14 Hercules hold short at the runway on 2016 Merdeka Day as a Firefly ATR-72 lands at Subang.

– Buying used Eurocopter EC225LP
Almost all civilian EC225LP has no jobs in the oil and gas sector due to its bad reputation of gearbox problem. A lot is now being sold for as low as USD4.5 million each, just to cut off their owner’s losses. So a budget of USD10 million per helicopter will buy you a used EC225LP plus lots of extra to add military radios etc. Compare that to more than USD30 million for a brand new EC225M.

MHS Aviation EC225

– Bombardier Global 6000 ERIEYE ER AEW&C
I am in for a Global 6000 based AEW&C. But i really think that the complicated Globaleye system like the one bought by UAE is over the top and more than what we need for an AEW&C aircraft. I would suggest that we keep the platform and the ERIEYE ER radar only. That would reduce the overall cost of the system. I predict the cost to be around USD160 million per aircraft (USD60 million for the airplane, USD100 million for the ERIEYE ER radar system).
So total cost of USD600 million; USD300 million for 5 Global 6000 aircraft (plus 2 for VIP) and USD300 million for the Erieye ER system.

Saab GlobalEye

– FC-31?
Why not? As 2026 is still far away, anything can happen, technical and political wise. Probably by 2025 we can decide if the aircraft is mature enough to be considered as a worthy MRCA for Malaysia. Its suggested price of around USD70 million (as announced by AVIC in 2017 Paris Air Show) is affordable enough for Malaysia to buy them in meaningful numbers. If that is not okay, and if we are approved to buy the F-35 instead, yes we can go in that that direction too (with a much reduced aircraft quantity of course).

FC-31. Internet

– Off topic. PTM?
Yes there are those who wants Malaysia to design and build its own jet fighters with own engines, own avionics, own AESA Radar. My take? Dreaming is easy. Reality needs money, time and plenty of resources. Okay, now just take korean KF-X for example. Korea has the experience in designing and building the T-50. For the KF-X it is said that korea has 60% of the technology to design it, it is not going to develop its own engines for this, and trying its best to get technology transfer of stealth technology and AESA radar from overseas. As ToT part of the F-35 buy, Lockheed is transferring “300 man years worth of engineering expertise” for KF-X development. The approved budget for KF-X development by korean government is USD7.9171 Billion. The project timeline starts from 2010 with 1st flight targetted in 2023. For the R&D spent, the korean air force is planning to buy 250 KF-X. Compare that cost to what Korea is spending for 40 F-35A stealth fighters from USA, that is bought for USD7.06 billion. The R&D cost for KF-X is projected to cost more than what Korea spends to buy 40 F-35A outright from USA.

Do we have the current knowledge and expertise to build a stealth fighter? No. Can we set aside at least USD8 billion from our defence budget just to do R&D? No. Are anyone willing to transfer jet engine, stealth and AESA technology and manufacturing know how to Malaysia? No. Will TUDM buy 250 stealth fighters to recoup the massive R&D costs? No. How many years of trial and error do we need to get to find out something that Lockheed had known for ages (and transfering that knowledge to KF-X team)? No idea. How many more billions to spend to create all the manufacturing capability of all components in Malaysia? No idea. So as it is, it is something that we cannot even plan to achieve in reality. Patriotism is good, I applaud that, but please channel it to better purposes. You cannot build every single system in a fighter jet, as you cannot find all the expertise and manufacturing capability. And the cost of designing and building everything from scratch is huge. Take for example a car. Even a car manufacturer don’t design and build its own gearbox, own brake system, own steering rack, own suspension and absorbers, own lighting system, own airbag system, own seatbelts, own seats, own multimedia systems, own tires, own engine control units, own batteries or even something as simple as own air filter. Building aircrafts is multiple times more complicated and technologically advanced than building a car.

A photo on RTAF FB page celebrating the delivery of the two T-50THs on Jan. 25.

-Conclusion
I welcome any other alternative plans from anyone here. Just plan around the budget of USD2 billion per RMK would be something realistic. I would also love to see a plan fitting the Typhoon or the Rafale into a long term planning, how it would affect other projects like Hawk/MB339 replacement, additional helicopters, AEW&Cs. Hopefully in the near future we could see the actual plans from TUDM top brass itself, something like the TLDM’s 15 to 5 plan for all of us to see. In the end the target is the same, to have a strong capable defence for Malaysia.

* The views expressed in the article are solely of the author and does not reflect the opinion of Malaysian Defence.

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About Marhalim Abas 1154 Articles
Shah Alam

38 Comments

  1. PTM ???,

    You got to be kidding me. It took 30 years to create PTM and i suggest It was a wet dreaming only. But If The engines, Guns and Avioncs from EU could be great.

    About the FC-31, i man Suggest Not to buy due to South China Sea even we buy LMS From China. And even Worst, The FC-31 only have PESA.

    As For Others… It won’t be happening for all that we dream but for F/A-18 might Goverment will approve it.

    MPA…, My personnal aircraft might be Poseidon but For the Air Forces. I think Gorvement might Choose C-295MP.

    The MRCA, Im rather to be Cancelling The Program due to Multiple Postponed. If We not buying MKM in the earlier. The MRCA Program won’t be happen.

  2. You should also consider if the ruling Gov is replace by PH in the next GE. If PH become the new government than expect the military budget to be ‘different’.

  3. Rocks,

    If we can Get All Legacy Hornets to cover the gap might be able to patrol Whole Sea Area of malaysia.

    Meh,

    I don’t trust PH cause they think Military is not their priotiry.

    Now for AWACS,

    I Think the B737 Might be a Great Choice.

  4. Out of others, civilian 225 and even MHS mothballed L2s are good buy. It provides good training and utility cap to the army and air force instead of junking their 50 mil 725 for entry level job. Those babe are like chained loins at the moment and should be reserved for Paras.
    Plus the remanufacturing greatly benefits Malaysian industry and a big push to convince the OEM to move the entire regional operation to Malaysia.

  5. What’s the rationale for distributing 4x EC225 and 4x EC725 per squadron and not grouping them by type?

    As for the KF-X, R&D costs for any fighter are high but the Koreans will be eager to export the KF-X. If anything, they have kept R&D costs down by buying technology, which is far cheaper, faster and safer than developing it themselves.

  6. @ m

    Mothballed MHS L2? How much are they selling? I saw 3 for sale 9M-SPB, SPC and SPD, along with a single L1 9M-STV. All have flown around 10k hours except the L1 20k hours. I don’t think they are selling cheaper than all those EC225LP. My last count there are more than 40 for sale, from the fleet of ERA helicopters, CHC, Helikopter Service norway, Heli union france and BHS taxi aereo brazil.

    Reply
    The MHS 225s, five of them, are not yet up for sale. MHS is hoping to get the contract from Sarawak Petroleum for off shore work. They have to be sold if they cannot get that contract though

  7. @ marhalim

    Yes MHS EC225LP is not yet on the market, what I and m are talking about is the older version the AS332L2 super pumas.

    But still, from the 100+ EC225LP around the world, nearly half is for sale, and for extremely cheap prices as the current book value for EC225LP is just usd4 milllion. You cannot even buy a secondhand AW139 for that price. But there is of course a catch, a complete overhaul of MGB at 2,000 hours and Epicyclic Module at 1,500 hours, but military helicopters don’t fly more than 1,000 hours a year like oil and gas helicopters do.

  8. With the induction of the F35 and FC20 by other regional air force’s, it Will be without a doubt either the typhoon or Rafael Will be inducted into TUDM by 2024 earliest though due to cost and the fact that the induction of these assets is more for the purpose of reducing technology gap rather than actual threat realised, the number would not be more than 12 imho.With this, I do not think FA18D and the hawks Will be continue in service once typhoons or Rafael being inducted thus leaving only the new asset plus su30mkm left in 2025

    Reply
    Personally I prefer the Kuwaiti Hornets option, yes the air force remains a rojak force, but it will still be manageable.

  9. Berkenaan PTM:

    Pada pengetahuan saya, usaha untuk membangunkan PTM adalah usaha secara bersendirian pihak2 tertentu yang tidak membabitkan dana dari kerajaan.

    Ya, ianya mungkin “wet dream” dgn mengambil contoh betapa sukarnya KFX & F35 dibangunkan, tetapi dalam kita meneruskan pembelian MRCA (yg mmg terdesak & perlu disegerakan demi keselamatan negara & perlindungan angkasa), marilah kita sama2 memberi galakkan pembangunan PTM ni kerana mereka tak minta duit kita sesen pun.

    Berapa ramai anak Malaysia yg berusaha mencipta kejayaan tanpa sokongan dana kerajaan? Izmir Yamin, sebagai contohnya. Sama ada beliau berjaya atau tidak dlm projeknya nnti, saya yakin ianya menjadi perintis teknologi angkasa yg dibangunkan 100% oleh anak Malaysia.

    Sama ada kita mencemuh atau memberi galakkan, usaha PTM ini saya yakin akan diteruskan. Adakah kita mahu terus menjadi rakyat yg sentiasa negatif, atau menjadi penggalak/penyokong kuat walaupun tak mampu menyumbang wang/tenaga/masa untuk projek tersebut?

    Kita sayangkan negara kita, justeru marilah kita sama2 menyokong antara satu sama lain.

    Reply
    Personally I am supportive of such endeavor but it must be said the commercial market is much, much bigger than the military unless of course one can come up with an X wing with laser cannons

  10. A couple of questions:
    1) where are the F5s in the current (2018) fighter fleet?
    2) If single engine fighters such as F35 are considered, why not the Gripen E, which is likely priced cheaper than the FC-31?

    Reply
    The F5s have been retired likely in 2014. The Gripen E is not considered as the author says no to it

  11. @ kamal

    How can you be sure that Typhoon and Rafale can be delivered by 2024?

    Rafale backlog – egypt, india, qatar.

    Typhoon backlog (uk) – oman, qatar, saudi LOI.

    Then there is a question of cost. How much would 12 rafale of typhoon would be? It would be something like usd3 billion for just 12 MRCA if based on previous deals. If loans to be given, how many years would it take to settle them?

    Another issue is as you said it, in 2025 only new MRCAs and MKMs left in 2025. Is it enough for the whole of Malaysia to be defended by just 30 fighters (12 MRCA and 18 MKM, that is actually less than how many singapore has for just F-15SG alone)? Are rafales or typhoons more state of the art in 2025 compared to say new or upgraded F-16V (singapore confirmed upgrade, indonesia potential buyer), not to mention F-35, J-20, FC-31 or KF-X?

  12. The most cost effective way to reduce the technology gap is not to introduce another fighter into the rojak mix, but to upgrade the current ones and add more of the same type.

    As we cannot add more MKM for obvious reasons, next best is add more legacy hornets. The upgrade path is already developed and paid for by USN/USMC. AESA radars, new internal DRFM jammer modules , structural reinforcements, new weapons etc etc.

    Couple that with AEW&Cs to give more situational awareness, the bigger number of hornets compared to buying new MRCAs, familiarity with the hornets overall will give TUDM a better capability than with just a dozen or less rafales or hornets.

    We must look past individual systems, and look at overall capability.

  13. @ abu muiz

    Mcm mana kami nak sokong jika matlamatnya jelas tidak dapat dicapai walaupun hanya dalam pelan di atas kertas? Adakah logik kita boleh mencipta pesawat siluman/stealth gen 6 pada harga rm100 juta (usd26 juta) seperti yg diwar2 kan? Amerika pon tak mampu membina F-16 pada harga tersebut dan mereka ada kuantiti yang tinggi dengan membina beribu2 biji F-16. Teknologi apa yang kita kuasai sekarang? Adakah kita telah mampu merekacipta dan membina enjin jet sendiri? Adakah kita mempunyai teknologi pembuatan komponen dan cat penyerap radar untuk stealth? Adakah kita ada telah mampu membina radar kita sendiri seperti indonesia (radar kapal dan darat) apatah lagi radar dengan teknologi AESA? Jika perkara2 asas pun kita tidak pernah berjaya membinanya, bagaimana kita mahu membina sesuatu yang teramat kompleks seperti jet pejuang siluman?

    @ shah
    Yes if you like the gripen E, show us the plans to fit those. As it is, the gripen E is not designed as a stealth fighter, and costs similar to a super hornet. Just IMO the gripen E is not a worthwhile fighter to buy compared to other options.

  14. Kuwaiti buy 28 new hornet with just with the cost below than 2 billion usd. If we already allocate the budget before, do we need time to long to allocate the budget again for the new mrca. Im not so agree with the second hand, because malaysia will use the jet untill it last breath or more to that. Better buy new fighter

  15. We have not seen the full contract for kuwaiti 28 super hornets.

    The total cost is said to be around usd3 billion

    Currently us government has just awarded boeing usd1.2 billion for boeing’s part of the contract, that is not including the engines, avionics, radars, targetting pods, weapons and maintenance support.

    Btw until last breath for hornets is about 2031-33. Then we could buy 5th gen fighters. Need to take note until last breath of our hawks too, as they also need to be replaced.

  16. … Nice work! Hope RMAF is reading your write up.

    Reply
    Actually armed forces officers do read the blog mostly those undergoing staff colleges

  17. @ steelshot

    Thanks.

    I hope the same too, as ultimately only they can convince our political leaders on the future of our defence policy.

  18. Marhalim “Personally I am supportive of such endeavor but it must be said the commercial market is much, much bigger than the military unless of course one can come up with an X wing with laser cannons”

    I wouldn’t support the X wings. They won’t meet any MRCA requirements because it is strictly an air to air platform. Even so, they don’t have a single guided weapon and are limited to close WVR engagements. (And yet visibility is very poor.) Even if you wanted to mount them, there are no pylons or weapons bays.

    Another issue is the X wing lacks night and all weather capability. There is a terrain following radar, but once over the target the X wing will be handicapped compared to aircraft with EO and guided missiles. I doubt these can be refitted, the cockpit is rather tight. There is an optional modular EO turret which is upward facing and unsuited for CAS or strike.

    On the plus side, the aircraft has some growth potential because there is unlimited power and cooling for the lasers. If you could put a powerful radar into that long nose, you’d end up with a VTOL AEW platform. Which ultimately is useless because it cannot engage targets itself or pass targets to our fighters since its datalinks are incompatible.

  19. @ AM

    X wings are not strictly air to air platform. It has a few proton torpedo lanchers. It has been used to even destroy a death star using its proton torpedoes. Not to mention it has force shields to defeat missiles that is shot at it.

    Its navigation capability consists of an advanced astromech droid . Not only it can fly in all weather, it can fly in any planets atmosphere, space and can travel at light speed too.

    Btw it does not need to pass targets to other fighters, those advanced x wings should be our one and only fighter type!

  20. “X wings are not strictly air to air platform. It has a few proton torpedo lanchers. It has been used to even destroy a death star using its proton torpedoes”

    That’s more of an automated gunsight than guided ordnance. You have to aim the entire aircraft, and once fired they do not change course. Technically use against the Death Star is not air to surface, since the Death Star is a planet sized spacecraft.

    “Its navigation capability consists of an advanced astromech droid.”

    This is an EO turret with shorter range than the old LANTIRN. Not only does it face the wrong direction for engaging surface targets, when used for navigation it cannot perform other functions such as threat warning receiver.

    “Not only it can fly in all weather, it can fly in any planets atmosphere, space and can travel at light speed too.”

    Might be a useful capability to us, since we won’t use it against a state with SM-6 or THAAD.

    Which brings us to another point. X Wings have indeed been used to destroy large fleets of fighters before they could take off. This is more a credit to the pilots’ skill than to the X Wing.

    If anything, it shows what happens when ground based air defence is weak, consisting mostly of non-mobile, short range, visually cued anti aircraft weapons manned by short sighted personnel.

    Even so, the loss rate among the X Wings was high. I can safely say it would be even higher against a modern IADS since the X Wing’s threat warning receiver is purely optical, easily saturated and only covers the upper 180 degrees.

  21. There is a new DSCA notification for new fighter jets, this time for Slovakia.

    USD2.91 billion for 14 F-16 Block 70/72 V configuration.

    Included in the price
    – 30 AIM-120C7 AMRAAM missiles
    – 100 AIM-9X missiles
    – 224 Paveway II bomb kits
    – 150 JDAM bomb kits
    – 400 mk82 bombs
    – maintenance and spares support

    With that probably more than USD1 billion is the price of all that missiles and advanced bombs. This would probably be the most advanced F-16 in Europe.

  22. Look guys, stop bringing up X-wings, we already know for decades they are out of the question as the Msian Govt does not recogise the sovereignty of the Rebel Alliance. Plus, Kor Agama advised that X-wing pilots demonstrably rely on the “Force” to make full use of X-wing capabilities, which could lead to syirik amongst our pilots. The X-wing’s crosslike shape is also an obvious reference to the Christian Cross.

    I have insider info that Kor Agama has given a tentative go-ahead to locally-manufactured derivative of Kilrathi fighters instead, in a suitable crescent shape of course. Expect an LOI with local agent anytime.

  23. “Look guys, stop bringing up X-wings, we already know for decades they are out of the question as the Msian Govt does not recogise the sovereignty of the Rebel Alliance. ”

    That’s just another example of our political grandstanding hurting the armed forces. It’s not the first time we’ve rejected the tactical and technological innovations of a small state that consistently prevails against overwhelming numerical superiority.

  24. Dear all

    Do realise that the alliance is a prehistoric state that is based in a galaxy far2 away from us. Accepting their innovations is as similar to us accepting something from the government of merong mahawangsa.

    Back to the topic.

    One of Oman’s brand new BAE Hawk Mk166 has crashed on 1 april. Unfortunately the pilot did not survive the crash.

    https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4463/37144498843_3dfe417fd4_b.jpg

  25. To my understanding, our defend budget is approx RM8 billion @ USD2 billion. That is enough to buy more then 30 F18 Superhornet.

    Furthermore, our pilot is well experience in operating this type of aircraft. Plus, 40 pcs of Kuwait’s F18 C/D sponsoring by Saudi Arabia.

    I believe, F18e/f can be delivered very fast compared to EF Typhoon or Dassault Rafale.

    As such, what are we waiting for??

    Reply
    Bro, where do you get that amount? And no Saudi is not paying for the Kuwaiti Hornets, even if that comes into play. We are paying for them. Of course we can try to get the Saudis to pay for it. Any how the DE is only RM3.2 billion only. Furthermore we cannot spend the DE on one thing only, there are other things to pay for quarters, training facilities and others.

  26. @ marhalim

    The issue with DE (development expenditure) or CAPEX (capital expenditure) and the OPEX (operational expenditure).

    This year’s CAPEX is quite low compared to some years previously. And if this continues to 2020, the Rancangan Malaysia ke 11 (RMK11) CAPEX for the military would be only around USD4.5 billion. If divided by 3, that is just USD1.5 billion per service for 5 years, from 2016-2020.

    Even the OPEX was reduced by quite a lot in the recent years. So for the airforce, not only it has less budget for new equipment, it also has less budget for day to day operations like fuel to fly their airplanes.

    So right now they need new aircrafts to replace those crashed and retired. But they also need those new aircrafts to be able to fly economically, at least up to 2025, when hopefully our economy is good again and we have paid off all those 1MDB loans.

    Btw. A new picture of the FC-31

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Da2Q0NaWsAAji5Z.jpg

  27. ISTANBUL — Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. (TAI) has rolled up its sleeves to produce Turkey’s national fighter jet, the TF-X. The fifth-generation fighter jet, one of the country’s largest design projects announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will be realized within a project-based incentive system.

    Preliminary design activities received a TL 4.8 billion ($1.16 billion) incentive certificate under the incentive program. The project will employ 3,200 people, with an indirect employment contribution estimated to be around 11,200.

    Speaking to Turkish daily Dünya, TAI General Manager Temel Kotil said they will work with British BAE Systems, which plays various roles in the design of F-35 aircraft. “We have foreseen a four-year period for the preliminary design phase. In this phase, the structure of the plane will be determined. The development of engineering, technology, testing infrastructures and certification processes of the aircraft and the acquisition of capability for the design of the fighter jet are steps of this phase,” Kotil said.

    Kotil also said that TAI will establish the technology, human resources and physical investments for the TF-X jet, informing that a very large team will be working on the project.

    He also explained that the first TF-X prototype should be ready for its first flight in 2023. “The TF-X is a fifth-generation invisible plane that can reach supersonic speeds with afterburners,” Kotil said. “We want to get all of the kinks worked out and have it ready by 2029 and put into service for the Turkish Armed Forces in 2031.”

    Summary.
    – the TF-X is supported by the countries president.
    – 4 year preliminary design phase with an incentive of USD1.16 billion from the government.
    – direct manpower of 3,200 people under the project, 11,200 people indirect (subcontractors, manufacturing etc)
    – TAI (which has experience in assembling F-16, CN-235 and helicopters under license, F-35 center fuselage builder, and designed and developed Hurkus trainer and T129 ATAK helicopter) is working with BAE for the design work. If someone like TAI that has build hundreds of aircraft and even the F-35 fuselage needs input in the design from 3rd party like BAE, how can some parties with only theoritical knowledge be able to do it independently? Remember turkey has a very mature defence industry, with companies like TAI, Aselsan etc. to build the TF-X.

  28. Things are not looking well for TUDM, while it launches its CAP55 slogan (i wouldn’t call it a plan, as who can realistically plan something now for 2055? it is like planning to select which 2018 app for your iPhone in 1981!). Funding is still barely available, and even things like the MPA has be shelved. So I think a tweak to my plan to take into consideration the latest happenings is due. As 2055 is too far into the future, I will take it up till 2040 only, as per TLDM’s 15 to 5 plan.

    RMK11 2016-2020
    – A400M payment 400mil part payment
    – SU-30MKM overhaul 350mil
    – 36x F/A-18C/D(used) Kuwait 400mil 16 F/A-18C, 16(8+8) F/A-18D, 12 F/A-18C spare. 18Skn + 12Skn. Upgrades with AESA radar.To be delivered starting 2020
    -12x EC-225LP(used) 100mil used EC-225LP from commercial oil and gas fleet.
    – 9x Pilatus PC-7MkII (used) 30mil additional 9 to the current 21 PC-7 Mk2. Used from South African Air Force.
    – 12x Sagem Patroller UAV 120mil 4 systems with 3 uav per system

    RMK12 2021-2025 USD2.0bil
    – 40x TA/FA-50M 1300mil 16 TA-50, 24 FA-50. Hawk/MB-339CM replacement 2 operational Sqn, 1 LIFT Sqn
    – 6x MPA aircraft 500mil 6 New MPA aircraft
    – 6x Thales GM 403 100mil Thales GroundMaster Ground-based Radar
    – -3+1 C-130H upgrade 0mil Sell of 3 long fuselage Hercules to fund the Hercules upgrade. Buy 1 short fuselage Hercules (the one in AIROD) and convert to special forces support aircraft with air refuelling, FLIR, DIRCM, ESM system, SATCOM, armour and extra fuel tanks.

    RMK13 2026-2030 USD2.0bil
    – 2x A400M (used) 300mil partly used spain/UK/Germany allocation
    – 8x Pilatus PC-24 80mil multi-engine training, Medevec, utility, VIP
    – 3+2x G6000 Erieye ER AEW&C 600mil 3 AEW&C, 2 VIP/training to replace Global Express
    – 1x G6000 Aselsan HAVA SOJ 120mil airborne standoff jammer
    – FC-31 payment 900mil MRCA F/A-18 replacement 1/3rd payment

    RMK14 2031-2035 USD2.3bil
    – 32x FC-31 1800mil MRCA 2/3rd payment
    – SU-30MKM overhaul 500mil overhaul + upgrades

    RMK15 2036-2040 USD1.7bil
    – 12x C-130J-30 1000mil C-130H replacement
    – 30x New Trainer Aircraft 350mil PC-7 MKII replacement
    – 15x New MALE UAV 200mil Sagem Patroller replacement
    – 3x New Ground-based Radar 100mil Marconi radar replacement

    – 2025 fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 32 F/A-18C/D, 40 TA/FA-50M
    – 2040 fighter fleet – 18 Su-30MKM, 32 FC-31, 40 TA/FA-50M

    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 2048-2050 (45 years old)

    TUDM 2040 Orbat
    1 Skn 6x C-130J-30 – Subang
    2 Skn 1x Airbus A319CJ, 1x Airbus A320CJ, 2x Global 6000 – Subang
    3 Skn 2x S-61A-4 Nuri, 2x AS-61A-4 VIP(ex saudi FOC), 2x AS-61N-1 Silver, 2x VIP Blackhawk – Subang
    5 Skn 6x EC725, 6x EC225LP – Labuan
    6 Skn 12x FA-50, 2x TA-50 – Labuan
    7 Skn disbanded
    8 Skn 8x PC-24 – Subang (utility, multi engine training, medevac, VIP)
    9 Skn 3x Global 6000 Erieye AEW&C, 1x Global 6000 HAVA SOJ EW – Gong Kedak
    10 Skn 6x EC725, 6x EC225LP – Kuantan
    11 Skn 18x SU-30MKM – Gong Kedak (QRA Labuan)
    12 Skn 16x FC-31 – Butterworth
    14 Skn 6x C-130J-30 – Labuan
    15 Skn 12x TA-50 (3FTC) – Kuantan
    16 Skn 6x MPA aircraft – Subang
    17 Skn 12x FA-50, 2x TA-50 – Kuantan (smokey bandits display team)
    18 Skn 16x FC-31 – Butterworth
    19 Skn 15x Male UAV – Labuan
    20 Skn Disbanded
    21 Skn Disbanded
    22 Skn 6x A400M – Subang
    1 FTC 30x New Primary Trainer (PC-7 MkII replacement)
    2 FTC 6x EC120

  29. 8 months on, we have gone through a historic change in government, seen the 1st annual budget of the new government and have some feel of how the next 5 years will turn out.

    It seems like even my conservative plan does not seem to be feasible.

    Looks like a Part 3 with even lower expectations would need to be written…

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