Beechcraft King Airs To Be Retired

RMAF Beechcraft B200T MSA M41-02. Picture taken in 2015. Malaysian Defence

SHAH ALAM: RMAF is to retire its three remaining Beechcraft Super King B200T maritime air surveillance (MSA) in the immediate future, its chief Gen Ackbal Abdul Samad said in his speech on the 63rd anniversary of the service. The 16 Squadron (No. 16 Skuadron) itself will moved to Kuantan airbase to become the Tactical Transport Training Centre (PLTT – Pusat Latihan Terbang Taktikal- Angkut). It is unclear however when the B200T will be retired though, it could be next week for that matter.

RMAF Beechcraft B200T from No 16 Squadron at the flypast rehearsal on Feb 25, 2016.

The squadron will conduct the multi-engine conversion programme to train newly qualified pilots to become transport pilots to fly the CN-235s, C-130H and the Airbus A400M airlifters. The PLTT currently has two Beechcraft Super King Airs 350 leased from Aerotree Sdn Bhd. It is likely that they had confirmed the lease deal with Aerotree following the tenders held last year. The centre is currently operating from Subang airbase.
Tender MECU
One of the two Super King Airs used by RMAF for conversion training, shortly after its arrival in Malaysia in 2013 still wearing its US registration number. Aerotree

Apart from the 16 Squadron, the 15 Squadron now based in Butterworth operating the Hawk Mk 108 and Mk 208s will also be relocated to Kuantan. The squadron according to Ackbal will be operating the future Fighter-Lead In Trainer (FLIT) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Preparations for the FLIT/LCA is underway and an open tender for the aircraft is expected in the near future, he added earlier.
Two RMAF Hawks flying over Penang at the 25th Silver Jubilee in 2019. TUDM

The 22 Squadron which operates the A400M airlifters, will be renamed as the 8 Squadron, which was the unit that had operated the DHC-4 Caribou light transporters from Labuan in the 1970s until they were retired in 2000.
Three RMAF A400M flying following the opening ceremony of LIMA 17. Airbus

With 15 Squadron moving to Kuantan, the 17 Skuadron which used to operate the MiG-29Ns will be stood up in Butterworth as the MRCA squadron, Ackbal added. He did not elaborated on when this will take place as currently the new MRCA will only be procured in the 2030s.
Two Fulcrums taking off for the flypast during RMAF anniversary parade in June 1, 2016. One of the last time Malaysian Defence saw the Fulcrums flying.

It is likely it will be a paper squadron for the time being to preserve the current ranks and appointments already allocated to the 17 Squadron is not lost when personnel moved or retired.
Two Hornets flies in formation with a Flanker over South China Sea. Note the ACMI pod on the wingtip rail of the near Hornet. RMAF picture

In his anniversary speech, last year, Ackbal also announced the redesignation of two squadrons namely the 11 Squadron to 12 Squadron, the new 11 Squadron to operate the MALE UAS once it is procured.
TAI Anka UAV on finals. TAI

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. With no date mentioned, this part of the speech were confusing. 😅
    No.16 change but no mention of the “new” MPA squadron and the CN conversion though. 🤔

  2. There are way too many reshuffling, reorganising, renaming squadrons that even the personnel don’t know which heritage they have.

    On related note, I really do wish we could harvest those King Airs MSA system and reusing them to convert more CN235s into MPA/MSA, unless they are outdated.

    Retiring 3 King Airs just to be replaced by 3 CN235 MSAs won’t help much as we need more of them in the air.

  3. From the pdf article share by TUDM FB, stated we had send a request to get Kuwait hornet, but by year 2046 we look for LCA replacement again…


    Selamat Menyambut Hari Ulang Tahun TUDM Ke-63
    “TUDM Mampan, Ruang Angkasa Aman”

    Untuk paparan lebih jelas, sila klik pautan


  4. Michael,

    The then PTU – now the current PAT – had already said in 2019 they made the request to the Kuwaitis then. He also said they were told that the Hornets would only be available at the earliest 2025. Now the Kuwaiti government is saying that the deliveries of the Super Hornets and Typhoons would be delayed with no timelines due to the country’s financial situation. With that in mind, the ex Kuwaiti Hornets may well be made available beyond 2025. And there is no guarantee that the Malaysian government then will be willing to buy any aircraft for RMAF, new or second hand. What about the recent intrusion into our airspace then wouldn’t that prompt the government to buy new fighters? Well the China navy, coast guard and maritime militia ships have been violating our EEZ for the last five years and one ship has been permanently based at Beting Pattingi Ali for the last three years. Did you see the government rushing to buy new ships for the Malaysian navy and coast guard?

  5. “With that in mind, it may well be the ex Kuwaiti Hornets may well be made available beyond 2025”

    With that in mind, getting used Hornets only to retire them in less then 10 years may turn off even RMAF to get it unless the price were stupid cheap, not much extra work required to make it flyable or integrate into RMAF operations, and most importantly if there are enough pilots available to pilot them! By 2035 hopefully we had retired our Hornets and are getting the next MRCA by then.

    Only the US gave them out for free though we must pay for transportation etc costs.

  6. The question really is when the Hornets which are ‘x’ years old now and will be older when they are available for delivery; how much more will they cost to operate (i.e. number of maintenance hours per hour of flight) in account of age and wear and tear compared to at present.
    There is also the worry in the part of the RMAF that acquiring pre owned Hornets will provide the bean counters with an excuse to further delay the MRCA programme in the coming years.

    As far as Hornets go; to use a cliche we missed the boat when politics dictated we buy Flankers rather than Super Hornets in 2002 and when the 1997 crisis led to a earlier RFI for 18 ‘Vs’ going nowhere. As of 2021 – for slightly different reasons – neither the politicians or RMAF are interested. The irony is they the ‘Ds’ (which we initially didn’t want) are still going strong long after the Fulcrums have retired and we have more confidence in them compared to the MKMs which tend to get more media coverage/interest.

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