All Dressed Up

One of the MB-339CM getting ready for a test flight in 2008 prior to delivery to RMAF.

SHAH ALAM: All dressed up. It appears another aircraft in the RMAF inventory – the Leonardo MB339CM – is being put into storage. The case for storing the CMs came about from a tender for materials for the storage of aircraft published on Oct. 15 and closing on Oct. 22. The Nuri was the recent aircraft placed into storage prior to disposal or scrapping.

Among the items being sought for the storage include mil-standard barrier materiel, pressure sensitive tape, masking paper and adhesive tape. Work on the aircraft will be done at the Kuantan airbase. What is interesting was that the Deputy Minister DS Ikhmal Hisham Abdul Aziz had told Parliament on Sept.30 that the CM out of service date was 2028.

RMAF MB-339CM M34-20 in a picture taken at the Cope Taufan in 2014 at Butterworth.

The aircraft however had been grounded since 2018 following a crash of a CM then and due to technical issues surrounding the jet’s engine. The CM according to the deputy minister, will be replaced by a new FLIT as envisioned by the RMAF CAP 55 plan.
An MB-339CM and a MIG-29N Fulcrum demonstrates the interception at the NCO demonstration ceremony at Kuantan airbase in May, 2016. This was the last time Malaysian Defence saw a Fulcrum and CM flying.

It must be noted that the CM storage could be shortened, if the government decided on the Leonardo M-346 light jet for the FLIT/LCA programme. Leonardo had been offering to take back the CMs if the 346 is selected for the FLIT/LCA programme for some time now.
Leonardo M346. Leonardo.

Anyhow, it appears that LMS Badik is set to be commissioned in the next week or so. This became apparent after RMN issued a notice for quotation for the rental of four MPVs and five sedans for the commissioning ceremony. The same notices were issued for the rental of similar vehicles for the commissioning of KD Keris and KD Sundang, previously.
LMS Badik getting close to the Kota Kinabalu naval base on September 25. RMN

As reported previously, LMS Badik commissioning has been delayed to the need to adhere to the health regulations enforced by the pandemic.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. If Leonardo take these plane with them, is it for free or do they give something in exchange i.e discount on M346 or couple of free M346 airframes?

    If they want it FOC we might as well sell it to other parties. There are People looking for M339 as warbird after all

  2. @Alex
    If we’re not getting anything extra in return, then there’s no point for a trade in program rite? Since they are offering it, certainly there will be a discount, I doubt we have sufficient enough MB339s to offset even a single free M346 as each cost 25-30mil. It might also be used to offset the cost of local participation as M346 could do final assemblies at customer nations (ie UAE), something our Government is all too keen to pursue.

  3. Seems like we are retiring our aircraft faster than plans to replace them. Other air-force’s continue using the Fulcrum’s and the MB 339’s. Perhaps we could have bought other retired air forces Fulcrums and MB 339’s and used them for spares – the same way the Indian Airforce bought retired French Mirage 2000’s and used them as spares (canibalisation of parts). Perhaps we do not have the technical expertise to do this.

    Can someone advice me why us there a need to rent MPV’s and Sedans for the launch of LMS Badik?

  4. We do but our budget is too small to afford such luxuries. As for the rental of vehicles for the Badik ceremony, it is for used for PTL and other high ranking officials from KL.

  5. Mr M, Sorry but what about those new MPA and UAV tender that already closed for quite some time now? Any hush2?

  6. Charlie,

    The issue with the Fulcrums and the MBBs was centered around the engines. It’s not vecause we lack the tecnhical expertise. With the Fulcrums we could have easily had the RD-33s overhauled
    there was really no will or interest to get them operational. Retiring them led to costs savings and reducing the different types operated

  7. Aren’t we still in talks with both the Australian and Kuwaiti governments about procuring their F/A-18 Legacy Hornets? Both for expanding our Hornet fleet and cannibalizing some of them for parts?

  8. @Xan Vreda

    AFAIK the Australian Legacy Hornets are being bought up by a US private military contractor securing contracts for USAF flight trainings. Canada is buying them too until they decide whether or not to buy the F-35. Shame as the Australian legacy Hornets are one of the most advanced Legacy Hornets in the market.

  9. @ET
    One of the most advanced but also one of the most heavily used. Canada is not planning to use them for long, only until 2030-35, and merely procuring them more for spares to keep their own fleet running. If we’re going for used Hornets – which I’m all for – we’re better off going for Kuwaiti Hornets which is acknowledged by those in the industry to be the best preserved units coming into market. These are not as advanced, yes, but as secondary fighters supporting the main fleet mostly in peacetime QRA, they are more than sufficient considering the higher performance they bring compared to any of the LCA candidates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.