SHAH ALAM: It appears that RMAF is working on a service life extension program (SLEP) for its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker fighters. The development of the SLEP is being done as part of the 10-year servicing program (10YSP) for Flankers.
The development of the SLEP was made public by the service during the hand-over ceremony for Flanker tail number M52-11 for 10YSP at Gong Kedak airbase on July 14. Both programs are being conducted by ATSC Sdn Bhd.
The release did not state the outline of the SLEP or when it will start but it is likely that it will address obsolescence issues faced by the Flanker fleet. Whether or not RMAF will make public these issues and their remedies remained to be seen. Based on what had happened in recently, it is unlikely it will do so.
Anyhow, we know that the some of the Russian ordnance which arrived with the Flankers are in need of their own SLEP or outright replacement. Even the Thales Damocles targetting pod which is peculiar to our Flankers, may need a replacement soon.
Thales which manufactures the Damocles already has a new targetting pod available, Talios and as well as a new recce pod, the Areos. The Areos recce pod is already used operationally by the French Navy Rafales in Syria though it appears the Talios remained under testing. Perhaps these pods will be considered for the Flanker SLEP program once it is funded.
Hopefully the Flanker SLEP will start soon once the Nuri, Hawk and Hercules long delayed programs are conducted.
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