Will RMAF Hawk Fleet Get Their Mid-Life Update?

KUALA LUMPUR: THE story below is self-explanatory. However, the RM402 million contract also opened a can of worms. While the Hawk engines will be overhauled it remained to be seen whether or not the government will fund the fleet mid-life update or Service Life Extension Programme (SLEP).


As Malaysian Defence had mentioned before the Hawks was supposed to undergo a midlife update, among others new avionics and even new radars (for the 208s) so most of the fleet could be reconstituted as a light attack squadron with the arrival of the 339CMs. However, the economic crisis has ruined that plans. The new contract for the engines revealed that the Adour engines would no longer be serviceable without an overhaul programme. And of course it is cheaper to just overhaul one part of the aircraft instead a complete SLEP.

Yes, its cheaper of course. They did the same thing in the late 80s and 90s for the Nuri fleet, an incremental overhaul and modernisation programme which continued to this day. Its cheaper in the short run of course. If they had the foresight, a full SLEP programme for the Hawk would definitely been better. It will expensive in the short term, but the Hawk fleet will be relevant for the next ten years.

Malaysian Defence could be jumping the gun here, the actual SLEP may well be in the works and will be signed during Lima09. But I doubt it, the value of the engine contract is quite high already. Based on history, it would have been the easy way out for both the Treasury and Defence ministries especially in these trying times….

Rolls-Royce secures £75 million contract to support Malaysian Adour fleet
Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Rolls-Royce has signed a £75 million MissionCare™ contract with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to support the Adour engines which power its fleet of Hawk aircraft.

The five-year contract covers the overhaul of the fleet of 26 Adour Mk871 engines, an annual training programme for RMAF engineers and the calibration, maintenance and re-certification of the Adour test bed located at the Kuantan Air Base. The RMAF will also be supported by an in-country technical representative and have access to the Rolls-Royce Operations Centre for 24/7 technical support.

The RMAF operates both the trainer and light combat variant of the BAE Systems Hawk and is a leading operator of the Adour Mk871, accumulating over 43,000 flying hours on the engine.

Commenting on the new MissionCare agreement Benjamin Downing, VP Customer Business at Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace, said: “This long-term MissionCare contract has enabled Rolls-Royce to provide the RMAF with improved support and capability and the additional benefit of a predictable budget cycle.

“The Adour has been a hugely successful engine and we believe that there are great opportunities for Rolls-Royce to further improve the support and performance of the installed fleet by partnering with customers like the RMAF to develop innovative solutions.”

General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Azizan bin Ariffin, Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force commented: “Rolls-Royce has been instrumental in assisting the RMAF to adopt the most suitable solution for its Adour Mk871 engines. We are confident this excellent partnership will continue towards generating a genuine ‘win-win’ situation for the coming years.

“Rolls-Royce has made a major contribution to the Malaysian aerospace industry. The longstanding professional relationship between the RMAF and Rolls-Royce has seen many significant achievements and the long-term effects have been outstandingly beneficial to both parties.”

Malaysian Defence

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