UK Deal For Typhoons Or Losing Them

Typhoon and the moon

SHAH ALAM: Reuters is reporting that BAE Systems will provide Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal if it decides to replace its fleet of combat jets with the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior company officials said.

In the meantime, a UK publication, the Sun, is warning that UK risks losing all defense contracts with Malaysia due to an EU plan to ban the import of palm oil into Europe

Eurofighter Typhoon with weapons undergoing testing

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – BAE Systems will provide Malaysia a UK government-backed financing deal if it decides to replace its fleet of combat jets with the Eurofighter Typhoon, senior company officials said.

Malaysia has for several years been weighing France’s Rafale jet and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by a European consortium including Britain’s BAE, as it looks to buy up to 18 jets to replace its Russian MiG-29s – most of which are grounded.

The contest, potentially worth over $2 billion, is one of the biggest fighter deals under consideration in Asia, although a decision has been delayed due to upcoming national elections and a shift in Malaysia’s focus towards upgrading aerial surveillance capabilities.

“We have an offer on the table…It’s competitively priced and we have offered UK government financing so the Malaysian government can spread the payment over a longer period,” Alan Garwood, the Group Business Development Director for BAE Systems said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

“We can offer training, local partnership and lots of jobs,” he added.

Financing would be provided via the UK Export Finance export credit agency.

RAF Eurofighter Typhoon. Crown Copyright

For the full story go here

The Sun story.

BRITAIN risks losing £5billion worth of defence contracts to France amid a looming EU trade war.

The two countries are bidding to sell fighter jets and other kit to Malaysia in a deal which would safeguard 20,000 jobs.But the move has been thrown into jeopardy to ban imports of palm oil from the would-be buyers.

Malaysian minister Mah Siew Keong has branded it a “hate campaign” and has threatened a tit-for-tat boycott of European goods.

France, which wants to sell its own Rafale fighters to Kuala Lumpur, has outflanked Britain by promising to oppose the EU ban.

Mr Mah travels to Britain this week to demand our support – but his arrival has sparked a Cabinet rift.

As for the Sun story go here

–Malaysian Defence

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57 Comments

  1. UK is one of the few countries that against palm oil discrimination and they’re going to exit the EU so the EU palm oil thing is irrelevent to them

  2. If we really take up the $2 billion offer, we will put all other programmes, like the rm2.6 billion (usd666 million) MPA programme in jeopardy. IMO, just say no to any new MRCA whether it is typhoon, rafale or gripen for now, and get the MPA done first.

  3. At present, on the political level the Rafale is the clear favourite but who knows, in the future it might be politically expedient to buy British. The MRCA won’t necessarily effect the MPA programme as it’s still at minimum 2-3 away and hasn’t even been officially approved; unlike the MPA programme for which approval has already been gained. Other factors involving the MRCA is that it might come from a special allocation or come under a long term loan; which of course has to be repaid but will probably not effect any present procurement plans which have already gained approval by the EPU.

  4. Pembangkang will have a lot of bullets after this and the good dr will surely condemn najib again. It’s will be a big political gamble by najib

  5. Azlan and Marhalim:

    With all the hype about new jets to be procured by Malaysia, can I ask your opinion(s) on which aircraft (non networked in that case, and either Rafale or Eurofighter) on an individual basis is better for Malaysia?

    Reply
    Super Hornet

  6. I think it depends on next GE result.
    If current gov stay in power i predict 99.9% will go for rafale..

    If power changing hand, i believe super hornet will be joining in.

    Lease/loan offer means they may knew that they are not on the list.

    Just my personal opinion..

    Reply
    The French also offers a similar deal

  7. I like how desperate the Limeys are to secure a deal for their sketchy wares, offering “financing”. It is not as if these loans is free and no burden to Malaysian taxpayers in the future or make it okay to purchase the overpriced and glitchy Typhoon. Not to mention that RMAF sort of admit that a cheaper LCA will be able to perform the air patrol and light attack role of the MRCA. There are more pressing national deeds than buying new glitzy toys to please (and throw a financial lifeline to) the old colonial slave master. If Europe want to ban palm oil, good news for Malaysians, as we can finally kill off delusion of adopting either of these overpriced Eurocannards at considerable financial consequences for the nation and move on to search for more realistic and affordable offerings. Regardless of the election results, I hope the next government will be more open and put major arm purchases under tighter scrutiny and seek public opinions/approvals on the necessity of such purchase.

  8. Strategically the the French will win because they are still in the EU and will block any ban. With Brexit, Britain will not have a say anymore. Haven’t the French also offered a long term loan from the government?

    Reply
    Yes the French also offered similar loan deal from their Government.

  9. kerberosWXIV
    “Regardless of the election results, I hope the next government will be more open and put major arm purchases under tighter scrutiny and seek public opinions/approvals on the necessity of such purchase.”

    about openess is no comment but please bro,dont suggest this. to me the public is not well verse in defense procurement and business. a lot of them want to assemble the MRCA in our country(without thinking or knowing economic of scale),buying powerful ordinance or weapon from china or india(based on youtube posted by god know who without thinking the commonality) and dont know the contract based on dollar and not RM. the best part is i once follow a discussion about our submarine at kedai kopi and most of them blame the gov for not buying nuclear sub and choose scorpene.i almost cried hearing what they discuss.

    about the palm oil please dont antagonize more. it take years to set up the production line,supply line and man power to supply there which i am sure some other country are eager if Malaysia decide to abandon it. just relax bro.

    i just hope LCA and MPA get priorities than MRCA since that dream is far fetch.

  10. Buy but not what the politicians want or prefer. We buy what the country needs n can afford. Listen n hear what the RMAF requires

  11. kamikaze – ” can I ask your opinion(s) on which aircraft (non networked in that case, and either Rafale or Eurofighter) on an individual basis is better for Malaysia?”

    Given that we have been operating Hornets for a long time, have a pool of trained pilots and ground crew, have a shiny new simulator, already have ordnance that can be used with the Super Hornet and train regularly with the U.S. and Australia; logic dictates we buy Super Hornets.

    Since that’s not going to happen however; it’s really academic as to whether we buy Typhoon or Rafale. Both can do the job, both have their respective merits. It’s how we operate them and in conjunction with other assets that will make the difference. Not the actual aircraft.

  12. kerberos – ”Not to mention that RMAF sort of admit that a cheaper LCA will be able to perform the air patrol and light attack role of the MRCA. ”

    There’s nothing to ”admit”; for certain roles a cheaper, single engine, fighter will be able to perform some of the roles a more expensive, twin engine fighter can but that’s not the point. The idea is to – in the future – get a single engine fighter or ‘LCA’ if you wish; to perform roles that don’t require a MKM or a Hornet. In short the RMAF still sees the need for a high/low end mix but both are separate programmes intended to complement each other.

    zack – ”i just hope LCA and MPA get priorities than MRCA since that dream is far fetch.”

    The LCA requirement is a paper study [a requirement not even approved or registered] to be implemented in the long term to replace the Hawks; that’s the intention. It has zero bearing on the MRCA programme, which has already been approved and registered; albeit without the needed funding yet. Same with the MPA; it will have little effect or bearing on the MRCA programme which won’t happen for the next -2-3 years at least.

  13. The Sun is one of the worst tabloid in UK.. i hope it wont be a habit for you to quote from them..

    Reply
    I quote Reuters first.. the story which I quoted is relevant to the Reuters one

  14. So the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF wants and charged it to the national credit card, and the public should just pay the bill, shut up and don’t question the military decision. It is strange that affordability never seem to be an crucial issue on this subject. The military will always find reasons/excuses to justify increasing their shares of the tax money and I am sure our armed forces would love to have an unlimited budget like those of the US empire or at least have their budget bumped up significantly. That’s why a robust civilian oversight it essential to curb this tendency of the military to overspend whenever possible. I would not like to see Malaysia goes down the road of some of our neighbors who are essentially ruled by military juntas/cliches and military spending takes precedence over all else. At least the Malaysian government is more fearful of incurring public wrath from splurging on the military than pissing off the military brass and I pray to keep this situation as it is… may what Eisenhower warned of never comes to pass in Malaysia.

  15. Can you tell me why you picked the super hornet as the best MRCA for Malaysia in the previous comments?

    Reply
    The same reason Azlan gave

  16. Super Hornet….

    I know RMAF Should Need SH but No Offer From Boeing about SH’s Package.

    Typhoon Or Rafale, Both of them is Gonna Make Me Sick. No AIM-120 and AIM-9 for Both. So It is Better To go to SH but It was Goverment Desicion.

  17. Safran – ”No AIM-120 and AIM-9”

    Actually Meteor and ASRAAM are way ahead of AMRAAM and Sidewinder X in several aspects.

    keberos – ”So the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF ”

    The RMAF gets what the government decides period/full stop. Don’t make it sound as if the armed services have a free hand getting what they want. If ”the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF” [as you suggest] we would have been operating Super Hornets since the mid-2000’s and there wouldn’t be Fulcrums and MKMs.

    keberos – ”I would not like to see Malaysia goes down the road of some of our neighbors who are essentially ruled by military juntas/cliches and military spending takes precedence over all else”

    Fat chance of that happening. From Day One we have always spent a certain amount [in terms of percentage in relation to the GDP] on defence and defence has never been a priority. We can accuse the government of many things but certainly not excessive defence spending.

    keberos – ”It is strange that affordability never seem to be an crucial issue on this subject.”

    Define ”affordability” …. Also, just because something is ”affordable” doesn’t mean it suits our operational needs. Should we get something ”affordable” but find that it does not result in the desired capability? If that happens will the RMAF and taxpayer get good value for how their ringgit’s been spent?

    It’s not as if we have a requirement for 72 MRCAs or that buying MRCAs means that there will be deep cuts in education and healthcare. It’s not as if the MRCA programme will become a reality next month or even next year. At the most it’s 2-3 years away and could be further delayed.

    kebeors – ” may what Eisenhower warned of never comes to pass in Malaysia.”

    What military industrial complex do we have here?

  18. Safran – “Typhoon Or Rafale, Both of them is Gonna Make Me Sick. No AIM-120 and AIM-9 for Both. So It is Better To go to SH but It was Goverment Desicion.”

    I am sorry, AFAIK BAE offer us the Trench 3 configuration. This configuration should be able to carry both AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder.

    I believe this confirguration also can Paveway and AGM-65 Maverick. In the future, BAE planned to equipped Typhoon Trench 3 with JDAM.

    All these missiles are in our armory list and active. Of course, I am not entirely sure whether our version of missiles is compatible with the Trench 3 but this prove the integration with our missiles is possible.

    The only downside is the Harpoon, thus we might opt to purchase the Marte ER in our purchase and SPEAR 3 in the future.

    Of course, Typhoon is very expensive. But what kind of path are we heading now? Are we ant to wait for Chinese Gen 5th? Or wait for the F-35 to get cheaper by years and lobbying with US to buy their new Gem in the sky which I am not entirely we can get it.

    The Super Hornet is the most make sense, no offer tabled and I learned the production line will be shut down soon enough, not to mention the design is considered old and obsolete in the future.

    We are buying something we might fly in 30-40 years duration of time. With rich countries backing up future upgrade for Typhoon, this kind of sensible option. I believe all other country will fly the Typhoon for 20-30 years. That’s a long time, we will fly the aircraft which can support us in MRO a long run.

    Gen 5th since very promising prospect, but I don’t know which is suitable for us accept we just opted China air industry.

  19. Safran – \”Typhoon Or Rafale, Both of them is Gonna Make Me Sick. No AIM-120 and AIM-9 for Both. So It is Better To go to SH but It was Goverment Desicion.\” I am sorry, AFAIK BAE offer us the Trench 3 configuration. This configuration should be able to carry both AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder. I believe this confirguration also can Paveway and AGM-65 Maverick. In the future, BAE planned to equipped Typhoon Trench 3 with JDAM. All these missiles are in our armory list and active. Of course, I am not entirely sure whether our version of missiles is compatible with the Trench 3 but this prove the integration with our missiles is possible. The only downside is the Harpoon, thus we might opt to purchase the Marte ER in our purchase and SPEAR 3 in the future. Of course, Typhoon is very expensive. But what kind of path are we heading now? Are we ant to wait for Chinese Gen 5th? Or wait for the F-35 to get cheaper by years and lobbying with US to buy their new Gem in the sky which I am not entirely we can get it. The Super Hornet is the most make sense, no offer tabled and I learned the production line will be shut down soon enough, not to mention the design is considered old and obsolete in the future. We are buying something we might fly in 30-40 years duration of time. With rich countries backing up future upgrade for Typhoon, this kind of sensible option. I believe all other country will fly the Typhoon for 20-30 years. That\’s a long time, we will fly the aircraft which can support us in MRO a long run. Gen 5th since very promising prospect, but I don\’t know which is suitable for us accept we just opted China air industry.

  20. kerberosWXIV –

    “So the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF wants and charged it to the national credit card, and the public should just pay the bill, shut up and don’t question the military decision. It is strange that affordability never seem to be an crucial issue on this subject. The military will always find reasons/excuses to justify increasing their shares of the tax money and I am sure our armed forces would love to have an unlimited budget like those of the US empire or at least have their budget bumped up significantly”

    So from your statement you are saying that our rmaf is incompetence that they should follow the public recommendation of what to buy instead of what is recommended by the rmaf it self. Rmaf are human to. They also understand the budget constraints of our country is not like they force the public to buy what they want. This is what they recommend based on the requirement, defense policy and their own experience handling our defense asset. Beside most of the procurement was based not because of their decision but because of political situation like the procurement of our su30mkm jet made by Tun M. Next time I suggest you make a proper research first or better ask the reason or opinion of the rmaf personal before making that statement.

  21. Mal – ”Of course, Typhoon is very expensive. But what kind of path are we heading now? Are we ant to wait for Chinese Gen 5th? Or wait for the F-35 to get cheaper by years and lobbying with US to buy their new Gem in the sky which I am not entirely we can get it.”

    Just like new generation MBTs or SSKs; all MRCAs are ”very expensive” or are more expensive compared to older generation ones. Not only to buy but also to support. For one, all contain a higher level of electronics/systems – these will need various test/support equipment and and a higher level of human resource.

    The reality is that we aren’t going to wait for whatever Chinese 5th generation fighter comes into service. Like the PAK-FA we don’t know how much of a success this Chinese 5th generation fighter will be or even when it will be offered for export. As for the F-35 the question really is due to funding and politics. If we were serious about it and had the cash [which we don’t]; there is no reason why it will be denied us; especially given the current level of relations with Uncle Sam and its desire to forge key partnerships with regional countries.

    Mal – ”The Super Hornet is the most make sense, no offer tabled and I learned the production line will be shut down soon enough, not to mention the design is considered old and obsolete in the future.”

    Any talk of the assembly line shutting is premature as there are still orders to produce. Despite the F-35 the U.S. will still continue operating the Super Hornet for many more years to come. As for being old and obsolete; it may be a design dating from the 1970’s but continued upgrades have meant that it does not fall behind the Gripen, Typhoon or Rafale in terms of performance or technology.

    Mal – ”Gen 5th since very promising prospect”

    It’s become the trend or keyword, like ”stealth”. The reality however is that to get the most of what any 5th generation type can offer, one has to operate it as part of an integrated network comprising nor just fighters but other assets as well. The problem for the RMAF is that even after it gets its MRCAs; it may have to wait for a very long time before it gets its AEW.

  22. @ azlan

    If we don’t have money for 5th gen fighters now, it also means that we don’t have money for a new type of 4th gen fighters too. We should just politely announce that the MRCA is officially off, and will only be restarted post 2025. Adding yet another type of brand new 4th gen fighter that we would have to stick by for 30-40 more years to come is not the most prudent decision that can be made.

    As for 5th gen fighters, the FC-31 has already been officially offered for export in Dubai and Paris air shows.
    https://n.sinaimg.cn/translate/20171115/5I6s-fynstfh9408537.jpg
    The F-35 would surely need to wait for singapore to get them 1st, unlikely malaysia would be given green light to buy them before their main allies in south east asia, singapore and thailand.

    The current status of malaysian fighters. Say each to have 30 years of service

    Bae Hawk 208 x12
    1994-2024

    MiG-29N x10
    1995-2018 (23 years. I have no idea how much longer those migs could fly without any plans for overhaul)

    F/A-18D x8
    1997-2027

    SU-30MKM x18
    2007-2037

    The next fighter to hit 30 years of operation would be the hawk. So that would logically be the programme to be had. I dont think extending the hawks life, which has lots of technical issues with band-aid solutions is a good idea. The MiGs retirement, while is said to be the main push for MRCA program, the MiGs actual QRA operational mission could be covered by the LCA program, while the MRCA requirement can be covered by upgrades/additions to the current MKM and hornet fleet. Extending the MiGs life, is also a questionable decision if made while it has a lot of life left, the upgrade path is quite limited. It won’t be as good as an upgraded hornet, and we would still have the headache of a rojak fleet.

    If we bite the bait from eurofighter or dassault now, we would be stuck with a new 4th gen fighter from 2023-2053 at least. Is that the best option for malaysia?

  23. kerberosWXIV
    “So the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF wants and charged it to the national credit card, and the public should just pay the bill, shut up and don’t question the military decision.”

    firstly , the public should be educate. Tell them how,why and what then the public can decide and help.our public can help if they know but sadly most of them not. The public only care about healthcare and education or etc. Thats is why all of the decision maker focus on that. secondly , yes. Follow the interest of the ATM as they who use and put their life and trust to the system/hardware been purchased. Again they suggest and the govt make the decision. The govt choose public. Can you see there??

    ‘It is strange that affordability never seem to be an crucial issue on this subject. The military will always find reasons/excuses to justify increasing their shares of the tax money and I am sure our armed forces would love to have an unlimited budget like those of the US empire or at least have their budget bumped up significantly.’

    Not only military, all ministry push to have what they want in order to get the task done. Again, its the govt who decide and following the public the education and healthcare won again.

    “That’s why a robust civilian oversight it essential to curb this tendency of the military to overspend whenever possible.”

    civilian oversight??yes its good but we are not there yet. At least the level of competence that we want. There have been a suggestion by some integrity body in govt(forgot the name) which symbiosis between parliament and SPRM so each of them will pledge or Property Declaration to each other so both can take care of each other. Anybody hear about it???its been in parliament since 2015 but again its bermuda triangle.if there were civilian oversight, the civilian will be very happy(rich)

    I know its sad and frustrating about it but what can we do?i have been talking to most of my friend about defence and our country military but they are more concern about running man and other trending things. Even sabah and sarawak, most of the new generation just dont care. The best thing is they get info from whatsapp and blog which we all know most of them not so reliable. Still i talk and educate in hope someday they can be knowledgeable in future.

  24. zack – ”Not only military, all ministry push to have what they want in order to get the task done.”

    To get a requirement approved and registered is a very tedious and hard process. The armed services have to come up with full justification as to why they need whatever they need and those on the other end will throw back various points to challenge the need for the requirement. Even after a requirement has been approved and registered it could take many moons before actual funding is available.

  25. … – ”I have no idea how much longer those migs could fly without any plans for overhaul)”

    As long as their air frames still have hours left they can fly for a lot longer. The RD-33s can be overhauled and as they get older various systems [from landing gear to gearbox to radios] will have to be replaced but the main impediment keeping them from flying for a lot longer are the air frames.

    Reply
    You forgot about the pilots and technicians. Yes I know this could be easily corrected but its one the impediments once you stood down the fleet

  26. Mal: “I am sorry, AFAIK BAE offer us the Trench 3 configuration. This configuration should be able to carry both AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder.

    I believe this confirguration also can Paveway and AGM-65 Maverick. In the future, BAE planned to equipped Typhoon Trench 3 with JDAM. Of course, I am not entirely sure whether our version of missiles is compatible with the Trench 3 but this prove the integration with our missiles is possible.”

    “Integration” of a weapon to a new platform is not an absolute yes or no matter. When integration is performed, not all a weapon’s capabilities may be usable on the platform or to their full potential effectiveness.

    For example, AIM-9X has been integrated with JHMCS for a long time on F-15, F-16 and F-18. It has been deployable on the F-22 but only recently with JHMCS. If it is integrated with Typhoon, not only the jet but also Scorpion will have to be integrated.

  27. “So the general consensus is to just buy whatever MRCA RMAF wants and charged it to the national credit card, and the public should just pay the bill, shut up and don’t question the military decision.”

    Not just the military, but Malaysian governance in a nutshell – trust us, vote us, thank us, we will take care of everything else. You don’t need to know anything.

    Reply
    Its not a Malaysian thing, its the same thing all over the world.

  28. Chua,

    To be fair we’re spending a very very measly amount of our GDP on our defence which amounts to 1.3% of our GDP. I don’t see any problem on us increasing a little tat more for the military since we’re the fourth biggest spender behind Thai and Vietnam and unless you want to be in the frontine and fighting, yes we just need to follow what the air force wants since they’ll be using it not you. It’s like going to a doctor foran illness.After check up the doctor prescribed medcines. Now some other nomal citizens are telling you that medicine is wrong use their prescription. Now who are you going to listen to?Maybe you’re the kind that would the gov to buy subs through open tender :p

  29. Rafale is clearly a hot favourite. Omni-role best to compliment an air supriority flanker. When flankers rattling sabres in the sky, rafale would either join in or switch into a bomber. I would suggest, I don’t know if it is doable, be it on the french side, if we can license produce aesa radars locally. We could upgrade our flankers’ radar in the future. Palm oil ban or not….I think this is it, what we should get…But if the rmaf wants to utilize it as close air support better buy an mpa. ISR is way more game-changer than cas. Cas is an obsolete thing. That’s why I loud gov’t plan to buy an mpa. Hopefully a Swordfish is the menu!

  30. If money seems to be the problem for buying new MRCAs, then what about the SAAB Gripen? It is still a 4.5th gen fighter with stealth capabilities, and is cheaper that eurofighter and rafale. But is there another issue behind it being not an option as previous discussions don’t mention the Gripen as an option at all.

  31. Garga – ”But if the rmaf wants to utilize it as close air support better buy an mpa.”

    Whatever is bought will perform various roles, including CAS. A MPA can never be a CAS platform; even if it has standoff weapons. There will be scenarios where a jet has to come in fast and low to deliver ordnance; obviously a MPA wouldn’t be able to do this. If it could, then countries would be using MPAs for CAS instead of jets but nobody isn’t.

    Garga – ”if we can license produce aesa radars locally”

    That would be pointless as we have to pay to create an assembly line and we don’t have economics of scale. Same thing with the French proposal to license assembly Rafale here – silly and pointless given the taxpayer will have to pay for all the needed tooling and equipment and we don’t have economics of scale. We are buying a mere 18 jets, not 72 or even 36.

    Garga – ”ISR is way more game-changer than cas. Cas is an obsolete thing.”

    No it’s not. If it was, countries wouldn’t still be performing CAS. Look at recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – CAS is still commonly performed. Can’t make a direct comparison between CAS and ISR as both are different and complement each other. It’s just like saying one doesn’t need a fighter as an Apache fitted with a Sidewinder can shoot down a jet or GAPU equipped with MICA can do the same. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to applying the term ”game changer” ……

    Amir,

    Gripen was at one time considered a leading contender but that time has past. Granted things can change in the future but at present Gripen is not considered a contender anymore; irrespective of the various advantages it has to offer compared to a larger, twin engine platform

  32. … – ”If we don’t have money for 5th gen fighters now, it also means that we don’t have money for a new type of 4th gen fighters too.”

    Nobody suggested we want or should buy a 5th gen type at this moment in time. Further more, as I’ve mentioned; it’s not as if the MRCA programme will become reality anytime soon or will negatively impact any programmes that have already been approved.

    … – ”unlikely malaysia would be given green light to buy them before their main allies in south east asia, singapore and thailand.”

    The point I was making was that if Malaysia was serious about the F-35 and had the cash; there is no reason why it wouldn’t be approved, which is the impression many seem to have. I was not suggesting that we should look at the F-35 at this juncture; merely that if we decided at some point in the future to acquire it; there is no reason why export approval wouldn’t be granted.

    … – ”It won’t be as good as an upgraded hornet, and we would still have the headache of a rojak fleet.”

    On the contrary it really depends on how much one is willing to spend and whether it is worth spending ”x” amount on an aged air frame; as well as what’s your personal defination of ”good” is. By adding a AESA, new engine with FADEC, fly by wire controls, glass cockpit, full air to ground capability, data link, etc, etc, there is absolutely no reason at all why an upgraded Fulcrum ”won’t be as good as an upgraded hornet”. No reason at all. We can argue that despite a full upgrade, the Fulcrum will still fall short compared to the Hornet in terms of operational/servicibility rates and operating costs but this doesn’t mean it can’t perform roles the Hornets perform.

    The reality is that we’ll continue to fly a ”rojak feet” for quite a few more years to come but over time the logistical/support footprint will be reduced. Apart from the Fulcrums we will not prematurely retire anything at this juncture.

    … – ”I dont think extending the hawks life, which has lots of technical issues with band-aid solutions is a good idea.”

    What we’re doing is the bare minimum to enable the Hawk to soldier on for at least another decade – replacing Sky Guardian, replacing time expired avionics, wiring, etc. Nothing flawed with this. It’s not as if we’re subjecting the fleet to a full upgrade. Whatever ”technical issues with band-aid solutions” it has does not in any way detract from the fact that it still is able to handle the type of threats it’s intended to handle. There are also certain issues we’re not happy with, with the MKMs and even the Hornets.

    … – ”the FC-31 has already been officially offered for export”

    Alright but in actual reality do you really see us buying a Chinese jet at this juncture? One that has barely entered service and has not reached full maturity. On top of that, one that relies on an engine sourced from a 3rd country and hasn’t been widely exported yet.

    trafalgar – ” yes we just need to follow what the air force wants since they’ll be using it not you”

    The armed services should never get a blank cheque to get what they want, this will never happen and like everywhere else, politics plays a large part determining what we buy. It is their responsibility however [something some fail to grasp] to constantly push for what they need to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities and failing that; to offer alternatives [which they do]. It is the government’s care of duty to ensure the armed services get what they need [within reason of course] and to provide a clear message as to roughly when funding [if at all] can be expected to enable the armed services to plan accordingly.

    The MAF has never been in a position where it can easily get what it wants without a full study being done on the economic impact and without providing full justification as to why something should be bought. For every reason the armed services provide to strengthen the case for funding to buy something; points will be raised by the EPU as to why that something shouldn’t be bought or should be postponed. Responsibility for controlling funds belong to the Treasury, with the Secretary General of the MINDEF serving as the Controlling Officer. It is the Prime Minister’s EPU which has the final say [after looking at economic, politics and other factors] with regards to contracts being registered, approved and awarded.

    With regards to the MRCA requirement; the comments made by some in the past gives the impression that the RMAF is asking for 72 air frames or is making a totally outrageous request that is totally superfluous to the country’s needs and will bankrupt the country or result in education and healthcare funding being curtailed.

  33. For usd 2 billion we can onlt afford maximum 10 brand new typhoon. Unless the deal includes few tranche 2 or tranche 1 for free

  34. Off topic:

    https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkeys-sale-of-atak-helicopters-to-pakistan-nearly-finalized-3114893

    Dafuq? We still haven’t receive those MD-530G scout attack choppers and now we’re in a process of making a deal to buy those Turkish attack helos?

    I prefer we stick to those Little Birds a little longer first in order to develop experience and familiarity using attack helos before moving on to bigger ones. :V

    Reply
    Its normal for companies to talk big on their chances to sell things. And it’s normal for the country’s media to publicize their countrymen”s big talk

  35. kamal,

    To me the issue is not only the procurement cost [a one time cost] but also how much we’ll have to allocate to fly and maintain whatever we buy for its period in service. Stuff like Rafale and Typhoon will be more expensive to fly per hour and to support; compared to what we currently have – we’ll have to make the needed adjustments to the operational budget. There’s also the question of how comprehensive the support/training package will be and whether the needed ordnance will be part of the contract for the actual platforms or will be under a separate contract.

    On another topic the Swedes has announced that it costs them the equivalent of USD25,000 to fly their NH90s [the figure includes fuel and the needed post flight maintenance]. Apparently their
    UH-60s cost about USD4,500, about 5 times less than the NH90.
    Being slightly smaller helicopter than the NH90 I wonder how much the Cougar costs to fly per hour in comparison to the NH90 and also compared to the Nuri which on account of age should require more post flight maintenance hours.

  36. SG 2017 bajet make windfall 9.6 billion Sg dollars surplus.

    2018 defend bajet to go up.

    For 2018 the bajet is 14.8 billion Sg dollars or 11.3 billion USD. Sg expect to buy new equipmen across the board.

    2017 defend bajet was 14.2 bililion Sg dollars.

  37. All 3 helicopters, NH90, EC225 and S-61 are all medium helicopters with quite similar performance.

    All are with max takeoff weight of around 10tonnes (NH90 10.6t, EC225 11.2t, S-61 10t).

    The usual charter cost per hour of commercial EC225 and S-61 is around usd4k per hour plus minus a few hundred dollars. So we can say the operating costs are similar.

    We can see also from the file below the commercial blackhawk, the S-70 costs about usd3.8k per hour. An old huey, the uh-1h is only about usd1.7k per hour compared to the newer similar sized helicopter the aw139 usd2.5k. That is why the huey is still used worldwide in military and civil applications.

    https://www.fs.fed.us/fire/contracting/helicopters_cwn/flt_chrt_awarded_2011-2013.pdf

  38. Well I guess a suitable response to the exciting news on Singapore’s budget [not sure how it adds to the current conversation or topic however] is ”majulah Singapura….’ I can’t speak for the rest but I eagerly await more news from ”tomhawk’.

    Xan Vreda,

    We already have a good idea as to what we want future attack helicopters to do; after all we started looking at them in the 1990’s and we’ve been doing various things with the A-109s. Experience and familiarity is one thing; having the right doctrine based on our operational requirements and ensuring those attack helicopters can work seamlessly with existing assets is another thing. Do we use our attack helicopters for the deep penetration role [can be risky as shown in Iraq], for CAS or for flank protection/armed recce? Do we operate them off the decks of RMN ships? Will they be able to call in arty and benefit from real time imagery provided by UASs?

    Personally, I feel that like other things on the long shopping list, attack helicopters is something we’ll need but is also something that can wait given that there’s other pressing requirements.

  39. IMO the logical and achievable use of attack helos in malaysian context is for light CAS in permissible airspace, armed recce, and show of presence in border/littoral areas. It would also be ideal in amphibious/riverine support opertions, and in that role operating from ships/offshore platforms/islands.

    But in the greater scheme of things, CAS could be done cheaper by small fixed wing platforms, in our case probably the PC-7 mk1, or the police PC-6, operating from forward airstrips, so it is not something that we really must have.

  40. Helicopters and fixed wing aeroplanes are quite different in how long they can be used. Fixed wing aeroplanes fatigue life are ‘fixed’ as usually the only way to extend them is to replace the wing with a new one, which in most case is better to buy a new aeroplane instead.

    Helicopters on the other hand, its fatigue limited parts can be easily changed, like the rotor blade and gearbox. That is why you can see S-61s flying at 50,000 hours with no issues. US military regularly “remanufacture” their old chinook, huey, apache instead of buying new helicopters as it is more cost effective and is as good as new.

    Look at this example, a S-61N with 44,000 flying hours. But look at the main rotor blade, tail rotor blade, gearbox, engine hours and remaining hours. Those are aplenty. And consider TUDM’s highest hour nuri is only about 7,000 hours. So with good maintenance the nuri can be flying for many2 years to come.

    http://www.carsonhelicopters.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/General-Information-61428.pdf

    But the dilemma right now is do you keep the nuri, or do look at the plenty and cheap used eurocopter EC225 now being sold for firesale prices due to its bad commercial reputation?

    https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/23483197/2008-eurocopter-ec225-lp

    Would a used EC225 modified for ASW be a good cost effective platform for TLDM?

    https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6121/5923640390_3a1ffc45a2.jpg

    Reply
    Unfortunately Airbus will not militarized its own civil helicopters

  41. I wonder what is MY policy in purchasing military equipments and consistency?

    If MY is not willing to buy fighters from Russia again so the skill already possessed will be gone.
    Buying new platform means more money spends to gain the skill both for pilots and ground crews.

    SG known as a fan of US equipments and their skill are upgrading by their consistency in buying US equipments.
    Indonesia seems keep on their policy on mixing east and west. Latest deal in buying SU 35 keep their consistency although they were also offered to buy rafale and gripen.

  42. … – ”CAS could be done cheaper by small fixed wing platforms”

    Yes, no doubt here but it really depends on the operational circumstances. In a high threat environment against a foe that is well armed a PC-7 or Tucano wouldn’t last long. Against chaps like the Royal Sulu Army a PC-7 or Super Tucano would be perfect but against chaps with a 12.7mm HMG or a MANPADs ….
    The Afghans have complained that their Little Birds have poor performance in the hot and high conditions encountered in Afghanistan.

    A single engine prop powered air frame can never be a substitute for a purposed designed attack heli and vice versa : both have their respective merits and both are good for slightly different things/scenarios. In the case of the U.S. they see the need for a single engine prop powered air frame to perform CAS/light attack but that plane will be operating in permissive air space where the threat of ground based AD has been mostly neutralised. In our case the Little Birds will be ideal for low threat scenarios.

    … – ”So with good maintenance the nuri can be flying for many2 years to come.”

    Which is precisely why we’re upgrading them. Their air frames have lots of hours left.

    …. – ”Would a used EC225 modified for ASW ”

    It will have better range and endurance compared to a Super Lynx/Wild Cat. Also more internal space to fit all the needed gear and better power supply but is the Cougar marinised?

    … – ” used eurocopter EC225 now being sold for firesale prices due to its bad commercial reputation?”

    The real dilemma is if we get ex commercial air frames, some amount of cash will still have to be spent bringing them to the same standard as the ones we have. Granted the ones we have and commercial ones share many similarities but we’d still have to fork out cash to fit them out.

    Romeo – ”I wonder what is MY policy in purchasing military equipments and consistency?”

    Arms procurement is based on how relations are with the country of origin [including the need to take relations to a new level] and how it will benefit the country and local industry by offsets, transfers of technology and other areas. To be fair arms procurement everywhere is driven by political factors but in our case we’ve stretched things a wee bit too far.

    Romeo – ”Buying new platform means more money spends to gain the skill both for pilots and ground crews.”

    Why would the skills be lost? After all we’ve already had decades of experience operating a Western/Eastern mix.

    Romeo – ”Indonesia seems keep on their policy on mixing east and west.

    This is colured by their experiences of being subject to an arms embargo as a result of East Timor. They don’t want to be placed in a similar situation again and want to be less reliant on any single supplier.

  43. …,

    The TNI-AL ordered 11 ASW configured Panthers. Makes me wonder why they didn’t go a larger air frame. After fitting a dipping sonar and associated gear there won”t be much room left for anything else and the Panther will have to carry torps and sonobuoys. Then again, the Wasp did carry torps but nothing else so I guess in its case it wasn’t a big issue. Ideally a ASW configured helo must have decent endurance; especially after taking into account that ASW is time consuming and that the helo will be loaded with ASW gear, torps, sonobuoys and its crew.

    Reply
    Ónly one of the Panthers will be fitted with the dipping sonar, the rest will have to fire their torpedos after getting their fire solution from nearby ships.

  44. @ Azlan

    Most commercial EC225 are marinized and used in offshore oil and gas industries. The book value of used EC225 now are so low that it is more expensive to buy used AW139 than used EC225s. A big EC225 user, Era Helicopters has even written off all its remaining EC225 asset values from its book, putting them at usd4mil each. Others loss is someones gain. Won’t be long for other military users to get to know of this peculiar situation.

  45. @Marhalim “Its not a Malaysian thing, its the same thing all over the world.”

    Sure. But there are also many countries where the public is much more free to critique the decisions made, and at least highlight them in the media.

    @trafalgar “After check up the doctor prescribed medcines. Now some other nomal citizens are telling you that medicine is wrong use their prescription. Now who are you going to listen to?Maybe you’re the kind that would the gov to buy subs through open tender”

    As a matter of fact, we all know some doctors make a living by recommending expensive supplements of doubtful medical quality for which they receive commissions. You would trust that kind of doctor implicitly?

    As far as transparency goes the Msian govt and Armed Forces is definitely not on the over-exposed side of the line. Indeed they are very far behind a basic standard of public accountability.

    @Tomhawk re: Singapore budget

    Interesting, thanks.

    @… “CAS could be done cheaper by small fixed wing platforms, in our case probably the PC-7 mk1, or the police PC-6, operating from forward airstrips”

    Need more guided weapons and FOOs for that. Weren’t we still dropping a lot of freefall bombs and unguided rockets during Lahad Datu?

    @Azlan “A single engine prop powered air frame can never be a substitute for a purposed designed attack heli and vice versa : both have their respective merits and both are good for slightly different things/scenarios. In the case of the U.S. they see the need for a single engine prop powered air frame to perform CAS/light attack but that plane will be operating in permissive air space where the threat of ground based AD has been mostly neutralised. In our case the Little Birds will be ideal for low threat scenarios.”

    Exactly. I really laugh whenever I see people arguing about their favourite F-35 or A-10 or A-29 (Super Tucano) or even AC-130, without realising all 4 have very different capabilities and operate in very different threat environments.

    Reply
    What do you mean there is no room for criticisms? In the past maybe but with the Internet and social media criticisms on our defence issues are galore

  46. @ azlan

    TNI-AL corvettes/frigates would not have the space to land/store something bigger. There is also the airbus helicopter-PTDI link that means those helicopters are completed locally.

  47. Marhalim,

    The process is called ”Third Party Vectored Attack” :]

    Not the best way of doing things but I suppose it’s better than having no capability at all.

  48. …. – ”Most commercial EC225 are marinized and used in offshore oil and gas industries. ”

    On paper yes but ……

    The British army’s Apaches were supposed to have been marinised but initially suffered corrosion issues when deployed on Ocean. Our Lynxs are marinised but when we deployed one for months on end in the Gulf of Aden we had to send it to Oman for work to be performed. Also, the difference between helis used by oil & gas companies is that they don’t usually spend long periods at sea; either on rigs or ships.

    Chua,

    I totally agree with you, there’s vast room for improvement but to be fair things have improved a lot. As Marhalim said, the MAF is always under scrutiny. People are quick to judge without knowing the subject matter or to gain political mileage. This is unlike a certain neighbouring country where the armed services are under much less scrutiny from the press and public and where cockups don’t always make to the newspapers; unlike the case with the MAF.

    Chua – ”Weren’t we still dropping a lot of freefall bombs and unguided rockets during Lahad Datu?”

    Also some Paveways.

    Like they did in Chechnya the Russians still rely a lot on unguided rockets in Syria. It’s probably because they still see a need for it for certain taskings and the fact that not all scenarios call for a PGM.

  49. Oil and gas industry helicopters fly up to 1000 hours annually, and all flying are done in salty marine environment. Military helicopters are lucky to fly like 1/5 of that annually. Corrosion affects all helicopters. Getting a military grade EC225M instead of an oil and gas EC225LP does not guarantee it will not corrode less.

  50. ….,

    Yes corrosion affects all aircraft, whether military or commercial but I never suggested otherwise, just like how I never suggested a ” military grade EC225M” is more resistant to corrosion compared to a commercial one …..

    The key difference between a naval heli and a commercial heli is that the military heli will spend more time at sea, exposed to the elements……

  51. @…

    It’s okay to get used but they also need to be re-lifed, upgraded to mil standard and have the sensors and weapons marinised to mil standard as well. And even then they still will have shorter life. Brits learned all this the hard way.

  52. @ Chua

    ” And even then they still will have shorter life ”

    How much “life” do you want? Based on our use of the Nuri, theoretically we still have 200 years of flying hours left for the Nuri, as we expended only 6,000 to 7,000 hours each helicopter in 50 years, and many commercial S-61s has flown up to 50,000 hours with no problems.

    ” Brits learned all this the hard way. ”

    Care to elaborate.

  53. Off topic

    A nice picture of US Marine One, the official trump transport sporting new Carson composite main rotor blades.

    https://carsonhelicopters.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/presidential_square-1.jpg

    Note the discrete MAWS and the 2 small DIRCM turrets under the fuselage, and the satcom dome on top of the rear fuselage.

    BTW What is the status of our AS-61N-1s? Still used for VIP flights? Saudi has some AS-61A-4 VIP that is similar in build to the Marine One.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lDzsAaTUxQM/UEy2sX0PISI/AAAAAAAAAH0/RX5hs_uLNos/s1600/AS.61A-4+Seaking++121++++30-6-10.jpg

    Are they still using these?

    Reply
    They used the VIP Sea King to fly the out going PAT last year or before that. As I mentioned before there is no requirement for new blades for the Nuri upgrade.

  54. Yes main rotor blade replacement is not needed as even the original metal blades have 10,000 hour life.

    The advantages of the composite blade is better flight performance and control, higher speed, about 900kg increase in useful load, and 20,000 hour life, which is more than the airforce needs anyway. RAF has retired their commandos, and they are retrofitted with composite blades for afghanistan service. Probably we could buy all the composite rotor blades off them (plus their missile warning systems and IR jammers)?

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