SHAH ALAM: RMAF 2020. In his comments for the Gripen E for Malaysia post, regular reader … stated his preference for RMAF order of battle for 2022. This what he had to say.
My personal RMAF vision2022 plan
3000 mil budget
600 mil 4x Bombardier Global 6000 Erieye AEWC, 2x Global 6000 VIP
100 mil 6x Eurocopter EC225LP 2nd hand (4x SAR, 2x OGP; CHC mass helicopter sale 2017)
220 mil 8x Challenger 605 MPA, 1x Challenger 605 utility
1400 mil 16x TA-50M
100 mil 8x F/A-18D ex Kuwait
0 mil 6x F/A-18B ex Australia
300 mil 6x SU-30MKM ex India (nearly brand new)
25 mil 12x PC-7MkII ex South Africa
30 mil 35x PC-9M ex Saudi (for fighter squadron companion trainer program to save fighter flight hours)
80 mil 8x PC-24
15 mil 1x C-130H airod (short body for special forces flying support)
130mil SU-30MKM minor upgrade program
100 mil 18x hawk 108/208 – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
120 mil 3x C-130H-30 – use proceeds for C-130 upgrade program
25 mil 7x MB-339CM – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
50 mil 12x MiG-29N – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
10 mil 1x Global Express
Would give 2022 a total fighter capability of:
Hi end (1 squadron – gong kedak)
24x SU-30MKM (12 operational pool, 2 standby, 6 service pool, 4 labuan QRA rotation)
Mid (1 squadron – Butterworth)
16x F/A-18D (12 operational pool, 4 stanby/service pool)
6x F/A-18B (3 operational/training pool, 3 stanby/service pool)
low (2 squadron – Kuantan and Labuan, 1 Lead In Fighter Training – Kuantan)
16x TA-50M (12 operational pool, 4 standby/service pool)
28x FA-50M (24 operational pool, 4 standby/service pool)
Another regular reader, AM, has commented on this saying:
These orbats and cost figures bear no relation to reality. Operating and personnel costs are completely absent. I don’t think they add anything to our knowledge
I did not want to say anything about both comments as I had approved them, meaning that at least its deserved to be made public. Anyhow listed below is what I think should be RMAF order of battle in 2020.
2 X F-18C/D Hornet Squadron
18 X FA-18C/D Hornet (C, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 3 Ds from RMAF). Gong Kedak/Labuan AB
18 X FA-18C/D Hornet (C, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 3 Ds from RMAF). Kuantan/Labuan AB
1 FA-18D LIFT/OCU Squadron
8 FA-18D Hornet (6 Ds, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 2 Ds from RMAF) Butterworth
2 X Hercules Squadron
Aircraft upgraded with ro-ro for ISR/CAS
20th Squadron, Subang
14th Squadorn, Labuan
1 A400m Squadron
22nd Squadron, Subang
1 CN-235 Squadron
Five CN-235-200Ms modified as MPA with Thales AMASCOS system
Four CN-235-220ms newly purchased from IPTN fitted for ASW
The MPA aircraft could still be used for utility and transport role. Two other CN-235s are used for VIP transport based in Subang.
1st Squadron, Kuching
2 X EC725 Squadron
12 X EC725, 10th Squadron, Kuantan and Butterworth AB
12 X EC725, 7th Squadron, Kuching and Labuan
1 Globaleye Squadron
4 Saab Globaleye AEW aircraft. Labuan/Subang
All the aircraft not listed here should be retired already. Note that the list does not include the aircraft at Kolej Tentera Udara and Subang used for training purposes. The cost of procuring the four Globaleyes and four CN-235 ASW should be around RM3 billion while 12 new EC725s should cost around RM1 billion.
The 36 Kuwaiti Hornets could be acquired from as low as RM100 million, if no extensive upgrading is called for. Another RM1 billion would be spent on upgrading of the Hercules and Cn-235s while around RM3 billion should be used to buy new ordnance, missiles, guided munitions and unguided ones for the whole fleet.
Is RM5 billion enough to recapitalise the RMAF so it remain a credible force beyond 2020? Barely, I think. But based on the current economic situation I think that its the limit the government can spend on the RMAF alone. By retiring four fast jets at the same time (Flanker, Fulcrum, Hawk and Aermacchi) the money saved from their maintenance could be used to get the new aircraft mentioned above.
The new aircraft are optional extras, based on funds available around that period. Oh, yes, 2 Skuadron (VIP Squadron) will continue as well.
* This an updated version of the earlier post. The last paragraph is added for clarity.
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