Just Wanna Have Fun

SHAH ALAM: Just Wanna Have Fun. As I am leaving for a day trip to Labuan airbase for an RMAF Media Day, I might as well post pictures of the fighters involved in the Firepower Exercise 2017 last Monday.

At Labuan, I will be able to take more pictures of RMAF assets though the interview with the service chief will be embargoed until June 1.

Hornet M45-06 served as the lead ship and decoy for the strike package at the Firepower Exercise 2017.

To recap, five RMAF aircraft were involved in the Firepower Exercise, three Hornets and two Hawks.

M45-06 dropping flares as she “prepares” the target.

As this was an Army exercise, I decided not to use too many pictures of the air force contribution lest I got complaints over it.

M45-01 flying the over the range with the four live Mk 82 bombs on her wings. She looked different from her appearance in LIMA 17.

Its not like the air force had upstaged the Army, like it did previously, though it was not their fault. Actually, the air force show was over in less than five minutes as they only had two bombing run on the range. Most of the pictures here are from the flypast (prior to the bombing run) and the show finale which closed the indirect fire support portion of the exercise.

Hawk M40-04 turning after flying over the viewing gallery. Note the two FZ rocket launchers on the outer pylons on both wings.

Two of the Hornets dropped six Mk 82 general purpose bombs on the range while the Hawks fired FZ rockets. The BAE Systems Mk108 Hawks were fitted with two FZ rocket launchers each.

RMAF BAE Systems Hawk Mk 208 M40-08 skimming the tree tops for the exercise finale.

The third Hornet did not drop any bombs as it was supposed to be lead aircraft guiding the other planes on to the targets by communicating with the ground forward air controllers.

M45-06 flying over the range as she covered the strike package.

It also served as the decoy for the “anti-aircraft” gunners on the ground. From the pictures, I could identify two of the Hornets – M45-06 and M45-01 – while the Hawks are M40-08 and M40-04. I missed the third Hornet as I was “target fixated” on 06 and 01, unfortunately.

M45-08 half-way through a roll after her tree-top skimming.

I also failed to get the pictures of the Hornets dropping their ordnance as I was expecting them to dive as in previous years. This time around the Hornets climb up to 6,000 to 8,000 metres before dropping their their bombs, the toss or loft bombing methods. The Hawks fired their rockets in a single salvo after a shallow dive.

RMAF Hawk 208 firing FZ rockets at the exercise. First public showing of the FZ rockets which were signed for in 2012.

From the pictures, one could also surmise the fighter boys were enjoying themselves in the exercise. Why wouldn’t they? They are flying and using live munitions. Live could not get any better.

— Malaysian Defence

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