SHAH ALAM: A Broken record. In discussions on the FLIT-LCA and RMAF plans there were also talk on the plan to buy Kuwaiti Hornets. Most of the talk falls on the US not willing to allow us to buy them for various reasons.
Actually, its not about whether the US will allow us to buy them but whether or not our government really wants to follow RMAF decision to boost its Hornet fleet from the current eight to at least 18 aircraft or more. RMAF had even stood up No 17 Squadron again in 2021 likely for the purpose of operating the new, albeit, used Kuwaiti Hornets.
In response to Malaysian Defence questions on the Kuwaiti Hornets, RMAF said it was still waiting for the government to move ahead with the process.. In fact, the same answers were given when the other media organisations asked the same thing ahead of the RMAF 64th anniversary celebrations on June 1. Still waiting for the government.
It was the same thing when I wrote about the plans in late 2021. In that post, I stated that the process will not start until the government asked for permission from the US. Only after the US gives it permission and the Kuwaiti ascends to it that talk on procuring the Hornets can start.
Again, the government has not started the process, even though getting the Kuwaiti Hornets are among the major initiatives for RMAF within the next 10 years. It is as important as buying the FLIT-LCA, MPA, UAS MALE and the medium range SAM.
If its important, why is the government sitting on its bum? I have no idea, really but as I had said before buying second-hand stuff are not exciting especially to the people selling stuff in the defence industry. Furthermore, the Defence Minister was also distracted by the Covid-stuff. And despite the talk of defence diplomacy, the minister has not shown much desire to engage with the US.
And will it be done then, finally? My guess is as good as yours. With our luck, it may end up like the Brunei OPV and the NZ MB-339s, we sat on our bum for too long that someone else swooped in to buy the whole lot. By the way, work on the first RMAF Hornet or the local SLEP, is expected to be completed by year end. Another Hornet or two will then undergo the same process.
— Malaysian Defence