Defence Minister Interview with Defense News

SHAH ALAM: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was featured in the Interview section of the latest Defense News newspaper. To read the full interview, read here.

As expected the minister did not reveal much but his answers to questions on our procurement programme and defence budget is interesting, to say the least.

“Q. Could you say a little about your plans for procurement of conventional equipment?

A. The next 10 years or so will see us acquire a number of new platforms as we modernize and upgrade our capabilities. This is not a comprehensive list, but to give you an idea, just last month we purchased 257 wheeled eight-by-eight armored vehicles from FNSS of Turkey.

The Army is also looking at some of our local companies to research, develop and produce tactical unmanned air vehicles. We would look to originate the airframe locally and acquire the optronics and other systems from international markets.

We want better lift capability for the Air Force, which is why we have embarked on buying A400Ms from Airbus. We are also looking at buying new multirole combat aircraft capability. The Air Force is also very keen to develop airborne early warning capabilities.

The Navy will be getting second-generation littoral combat ships and other vessels.

For the armed forces as a whole, we are working on building network-centric capabilities.
Q. Do you see Malaysian defense spending increasing during the decade?
A. Normally, we do not spend more than 6 percent of our gross domestic product on the military, police and enforcement agencies. In the present five-year plan for defense, we are spending 26 billion ringgit [$8.6 billion], about 10 percent of that for procurement. For the remainder of the decade, I think we are not likely to spend much more than that due to our requirements to invest in education, health and certain infrastructure projects.”

Since we know already about the AV8, SGPV, A400M and MRCA programmes, the comment on the AEW is quite revealing. I have heard about this back in 2006 and had even reported that Eireye had been down-selected, now it seemed the project have been revived although no favourites had been bandied around lately.

The answer on the defence budget is quite contradictory as we know that Defence and Security was given only RM23 billion during RMK10 (10 per cent of the RMK10 RM230 billion). Was Zahid misquoted or the reporter got it wrong? Anyhow if its only 10 percent out of RM26 billion (the figure quoted in the interview) is being used for procurement how can one explain the amount being spent on the AV8, Eurocopter and SGPV? Or RM26 billion for both RMK10 and RMK11?

I have no idea, at the moment at least.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
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  1. It is encouraging to hear from Zahid Hamidi on the overall plan to upgrade the armed forces. Although the budget of RM26 billion is quite small to make an impact for the overall national defense, but the deed is quite good.

    The RM26B if pledged for leveraging would entitle the ministry a minimum of RM3B of dividend and free money to spend with 90% margin would allow an immediate overdraft of RM23B to spend. It is a “creative financial modelling” which has been done by the American. Think of it logically, how would USA financed their huge defense budget if not thru “creative financial modelling” and not just printing the dollar?

    Today, it is the era of creative thinkers for not doing it well, we’ll be just another goon looking for cheap but useless materials. If you don’t know HOW? Ask those who know. Otherwise you’ll be looking for money until end of the world and you’re heading to nowhere.

  2. Marhalim, apart from the Erieye, what other AEW platform that cross your mind which best suited for the RMAF? How about the latest E-2D?

    I dont think we can get the E-2D. Perhaps the E-2C with some D parts…

  3. Nice talking points raised in the interview. Actual realities speak differently on the ground. Each and every issue he spoke of has multiple not-so-positive backstories that even purveyors of this blog knows that the interview is a glossy marketing brochure, and nothing more.

  4. Rather puzzling the Minister has said the 8×8 are procured from FNSS Turkey. My understanding is that Deftech is the prime contractor for the project.FNSS is just one of Defetch vendors!


    I understand the E2D has superior capabilities compared to the Erieye.It has no blind zones, no waiting time for the radar to be effective when the aircraft is taking-off from the runaway, its radars could do simultaneous surveillance of the maritime surface and airspace.The Navy, MMEA, DCA, Maritime Police, Customs and Immigration could also benefit from the procurement of the E2D since it could easily be networked to these agencies.Malaysia could certainly obtain maximum benefits from the E2D.

    Yes, but the E-2D is the latest US Navy variant, so if we go for the Hawkeyes, we may get the airframe but surely not the radar and electronics.

  5. An offer was previously made to supply surplus USN P-3’s and integrated it with the AN/APY-9 radar like in the USN’s Hawkeye 2000 upgrade. On paper, due to the RMAF’s familiarity with the C-130 and AIROD being able to overhaul
    C-130’s, a radar mounted on C-130 would be an ideal solution.

    SAAB would like us to buy the Erieye on the SAAB 340. Only problem is the SAAB 340 is no longer in production and all customers have received refurbished 340’s formerly operated by SAS. The RMAF’s preference for the Erieye, was if i’m not mistaken the Embraer.

    Yes, the RMAF prefers a jet as it is of course faster than a prop plane. Some have said the Erieye and Embraer combo was the favourite due to the influence of the agent. This time around who knows? If commonality on logistics and training are the paramount factor, Id preferred the Wedgetail as I had mentioned several times before.

  6. Marhalim,

    I am sure if the USG gives the E2D release to Malaysia,it will be the whole AEW configuration since the procurement will be done through FMS. Don’t tell me the USG will short-change Malaysia if we were to buy their E2D?

    A deal done through FMS does not mean that we will get the current version of the Hawkeyes as flown by the US Navy. We may only get Hawkeye 2000, the current export variant. The Delta version is still under flight testing and as far as I can tell it is not yet cleared for export.

  7. An Indonesian fisheries boat snatches 2 Malaysian fishing trawlers in Malaysian waters and the STAR gives it a page 10! I would have thought that something like this would reach the front cover rather than the Customs bribery affair… Rather than pussyfooting around and always going out of our way to appease the Indons, around I hope this government send a clear message that incidents like this will not be tolerated.

  8. I read about the snatching incident in The Star too and how piss i am with the meek reaction from our govt. Apparently in this country state election is more important than safety of its citizens. 4 helis were dispatched to locate the boats only to watch it being towed away to the border while it is still in our OWN waters!! Our own territory for god sake ! Is this what Malaysia has become? Is TLDM just going to stare in horror if it happens again? Where are those loudmouth politicians who argue and criticize each cents spent on defense procurement? Are they going to save our fishermen?

    We all know they wont do diddly unless it translates into 100,000 votes and some political mileage. This incident is precisely why we need AWACS, maritime patrol aircraft, more frigates and corvettes to guard our waters.
    This is not the first incident and i can assure you it wont be the last. Indons are playing intimidation game and we are playing right into their hands.

    One way to subdue a rabid dog is to punch it hard in the face (figure of speech only) and show who is the master. They cant afford a full scale war any more than we do. Next time around, i hope TLDM will lob few shells across the bow just like the old time. They can scream and protest all they want in front of our embassy and threaten our citizens. That is about all they can do. If no example is set, this will definitely happen again.

  9. Precisely,that is what happened to butt licking politicians in Malaysia. They’re trying to please our neighbour instead of our citizen. Anwar Ibrahim has gone one step further to please the indon. Nobody is respecting us. Our country is known as corrupt, lazy and gay nation to our neighbours. Sometime a crazy dog should be smack right on the face to teach em a lesson. Provided we have a clear and proof of the wrongdoings. We need AWACS, 54 SH, MAP, NGPV, LCS, LPD, SAMs and whole bunch of defensive equipments as deterrent to our sovereignty. Otherwise we’ll always be a sissy. IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP MALAYSIA!!!

  10. During a visit to Indonesia some time ago, Anwar told some politicians there that if he was PM he could solve all bilateral problems in 2 weeks!! As the Indonesian economy improves, Indonesia will try to revert to it’s traditional [as it perceives] role as the ”senior” member in ASEAN, one with the most diplomatic clout. For now, the main aim of the TNI is to modernise and replace old stuff, not to develop any power projection capabilities or maintain a numerical or technological edge over Malaysia [like Singapore], but that can change.

  11. Then again, those who yell loudest for war, are not most apt for the vagaries of war and its consequences.

  12. Sometimes, those who yell for wars are also the same kind who want to prevent it in the first place. Consequences of wars affected both sides and as such, perhaps one must act like a mad dog so that the other mad dog would think twice before pouncing.

    Just look at our our southern neighbour. Armed herself with high tech weapons so that no one mess with them. They didnt want war with anybody but if anyone ask for it, they are prepared. Have you ever heard indon boats encroached into their territory? What does that tells you?

    We have tried the kid gloves approach. Where did it got us? I did not ask this country to go to war. I want this country to not hesitate to show to anyone that we take no s#%& from nobody when it comes to defending our sovereignty.

    01-Feb-2011 claim that RMAF has taking delivery of ten Mi-17Sh transport helicopters.

    original content –
    “Another “on – off” contract in the region is that for 12 Eurocopter EC 725s to replace the Malaysian Air Force’s ageing Sikorsky S-61A
    Sea Kings. The French helicopter was selected in 2008 but the contract put on hold due to
    funding issues, but then reinstated in April
    2010. Malaysia has also had an ongoing
    requirement for a combat helicopter but this
    has been put on hold since it abandoned a
    possible purchase of the South African Denel
    Rooivalk, In the meantime, the Air Force is
    taking delivery of ten Mi-17Sh transport helicopters”

    can anybody confirm?

    No lah its wrong. They didnt even stated that training for the Cougar has already started.

  14. Agree with you. Wedgetail offers the best solution in term of ops and maintenance. At least GE in Subang can perform the engine maintenance/MAS Engineering can assist in Boeing hull check – and we do have local expertise on this.

    Yes and we do have a 700 already in operation (Najib) with RMAF and the rest with MAS and Firefly. But of course its the most expensive in the short term

  15. Yes the Wedgetail is much ,much more capable but then its not enough.We still needs more dedicated maritime patrol aircraft.Witness how the Somali pirates are now venturing up to the Indian ocean to grab ships.Just dont be surprised that one day a mad enough Somali pirate ship comes all the way to grab a fishing boat from Malaysian waters instead of the indons and we would have nothing to even track the pirates.So using a new B737 and fixing it with good maritime radar and weapons bay as in the new American B737 would do us plenty of good

    We also need plenty of fast boats armed with at least 76mm gun so as “to speak softly but carry a big stick”. I will prefer to buy a lot Predator, armed or unarmed to patrol our skies as they are cheaper and because we still need to pay to get more things to move our boots around. And at sea, a 70-metre FAC armed with a 76mm gun, four ASMs and a RAM launcher (just like our NGPV) but fitted with water-jets can fly out of Penang, Langkawi or Lumut and arrive on station within half and hour. In the recent incident, we could launch helicopters but since they know that our helos are not armed, they wont be afraid.

  16. Scorpio,
    Mahathir announced in late 99 that Malaysia was very interested in buying Su-27’s [Su-30s]and Mil-17’s. Ulan Ude then teamed up with SME Aerospace to offer the army 12 Mil-17s. Integration of a glass cockpit and western avionics was to have been done by BAE Systems.
    On a few occasions, Najib as Defence Minister, also confirmed that Mil-17s would enter service. Then deal however was canceled. But many foreign publications, still list the Mil-17 as having been bought.

    Ibrahim Ali, yes the Perkasa guy was the agent for one of the M17 manufacturers at one time.

  17. Holy smoke, can you say pointless and overpriced shopping list? AEW? WTF? That is so like 1980s. AEW lacks persistence and saturation at the prices being asked. We simply cannot afford anything more than a token capability, which when we stop measuring pees pees is worthless.

    We love token capabilities so that we can say ‘me too’. The really sad part of it is that they do very little and suck up money for real capabilities that would actually be useful in the 95%.

    Yet, if it is one thing that I have learned here, is that nobody cares about the 95% mission, only fighting the neighbour in a war we cannot win. And wasting money trying to do so.

  18. Meester T, then kindly eloborate more on the points you raised….. for the benefit of us here who are not as ”enlightened”…..

    I for one, am convinced that what we really need urgently are UAV’s, and lots of them for your 95% [what I call current peacetime threats]. Granted, the Condors are worn out, but perhaps the cash allocated for the AV8 could have been steered towards buying more Cougars rather than the measly/pathetic 12 we have on order. As I told someone here recently it’s a bit silly concentrating on stuff that we might or might not need, like medium range SAM’s, when stuff that IS needed to face a number of peacetime threats we have, are not available.

  19. Marhalim, to add to what you mentioned about fast armed boats. An exact copy of the 6 400 odd tonne Jerong class, built by Hong Leong Lurssen, would be ideal either for the RMN or MMEA.
    Armed with just a 76 or a 57mm and a 20mm, it would be affordable and ideal for day to day patrolling of our waters in the Melaka Straits and waters off Sabah. Yes, it won’t have the range and endurance of the Kedah class and LCS but it will be a hell of a lot cheaper to buy and operate. The Kedah and LCS will then be able to be used for more ‘serious’ matters…

    In the straits one dont need a super duper radar to detect submarines, as its too shallow to operate one anyways although after Penang and Langkaw nearer to Andaman sea one must be prepared for subs. The Germans in WW1 tried that I believe. These small boats must be equipped or fitted with but not equipped with mine laying/hunting gear though. Its part of the 95 per cent mission of the Malaysian Armed Forces anyways. MMEA if it wants three new boats quickly, there are 3 OPVs built by BAE Systems for Trinidad and Tobago which had refused delivery. The boats contract price was 150 million pounds. If BAE want to sell to us for 50 million pounds I d say grab it…

  20. It’s wasting money to protect our sovereignty? Than what is our neighbour down south been buying so much? To fight pirates with F15G? Or with Leo2A4? Only those that have very little national pride and thinking of Malaysia as one nite stand would not want her to defend her sovereignty. Libya nad Iran is a classic case that proof no one dares to go after a well-prepared nation militarily. And how come indon just doesn’t bother Thais nor Singapore? I think the answer is obvious, because they know they’ll get the whacking for doing that. But Malaysia? It’s a corrupt, lazy and gay nation. So what the heck….

  21. And the solution for this ‘corrupt,lazy,gay’ nation is to procure weapons for a chauvinistic approach to intra-regional diplomacy, which the vulturous elements (I’m surprised that Ibrahim Ali dabbled as an agent for the Mil-17) have been preying off the rakyat, would undoubtedly try to sink their teeth in? Yugoslavia, even Libya, are clear examples where whatever military capabilities fielded, if the internal politics are rotten, be damned foreign intervention, those national weapons of war will be directed at you and your family.

  22. I’ve always envisioned the Singaporean ‘Forward Defence’ concept to include the possibility of the occupation of areas in Johore pertinent to Singapore’s source of potable water, in case Malaysian civil or political strife endanger its operation. So, before defending that national sovereignty with weapons, how about working on that sovereignty to mean more than lines on a border map needing ships, UAVs and radar to keep trespassers away, while we destroy ourselves from within, regardless of ‘capitalisation,modernisation’ programmes?

    Its the faster, and at the same time simpler way and to some people the more profitable way…

  23. Defending the country is money well spent but the money I repeat must be well spent, not according to what the politicians think but what the may sabuns think is useful and they need. Just ask any mat sabuns and they can tell you that ” oc bodoh and the co bangang”. They can tell you what they need exactly and they can tell you what they need to do their job well. So use only professional advise on buying and the politicians should not decide on what
    to buy.

    What we need now are two thing: force multipliers and the actual assets that are at the sharp end of things.
    So much can be achieved by using our local defence industry, maybe you dont even need defence specialist companies to refurbish our old armoured cars like changing the engine to more power ones, changing the transmission and re-equip it with data link and new fire control and communications equipment and our old armoured cars can soldier on again.This will save us lots of money. The v 150 commandos are still in storage. Refurbish and reuse.This will save us RM6 bil for others like a few AWACS and heavily armed high speed patrol boats to fight piracy and terrorism and also maritime patrol planes.I like maritime patrol planes because they can carry a heavy load of depth charges, torpedoes etc etc according to mission requirements instead of using just UAV.
    UAV we need also for saturation recce and patrols as its cheaper.

  24. Ashraf, it has nothing to do with national pride. All of us here agree on the importance of ensuring the MAF is well funded. However, people like MR.T and myself are of the opinion that we should invest FIRST in dealing with the peacetime threats we are currently faced with rather allocating scarce cash for stuff that is canggih but not presently needed.

    Due to it’s different threat perceptions and operational requirements, direct comparison with Singapore is pointless. It has no land borders and a smaller coastline/territorial waters – a fraction of the operational reponsibilities the MAF has. Due to being surrounded by much larger neighbours [read also Muslim]and having no strategic depth, Singapore has a policy of deterrence which calls for ensuring the SAF mantains a technological and in certain key areas, a numerical edge over the MAF and TNI. Unlike the MAF, which fought a 21 year counter insurgency campaign and who’s main focus during this period was internal security, the SAF was able to focus on creating a conventional capability to deal with external security, much, much earlier.

  25. YM Lee, In 1994 MMC upgraded a prototype V-150 with a diesel engine and an auto gear. This was offered to the army and announced by Najib at DSA 94. They are about 40 years old and a few were still used for training as recently as 6 years ago. For units like the Border Regiment, I would think the AV4 would be ideal. Hardly anyone uses depth charges anymore, certainly not from the air. For our requirements, a radar and FLIR would be sufficient, like the AMASCOS fitted to the Beechcraft’s.

  26. pple sori to sibuk sibuk,y not kita think from sudut lain,instead of buying GBAD,more MRCA,UAV built extra frigate armed it with god like armament,whwt MALAYSIA should be thinking of sea dokdo class MPSS,for xperiment purpose,station 1 platoon of special forces,1 sqn ready to launch fast boat,and 1 sqn mixture of CSAR,utility,armed helos n most importantly long endurance MPA plane.
    MPA plane is the eye n ear for the command ship,any pirate activities,hijack activities will be dealt with by dispatching SOF of helos,and any aggression from the skies MPA will downlink information to the nearest this will ensure peacetime n wartime threat being handled swiftly.

    Recent experience showed there is no need for a Dokdo class> MV Bunga Lima a modified merchant ship showed more capabilities for pirate patrol than the navy’s best ships…

  27. If contemporary regional history is any indication, sharp border skirmishes between national armies are the most likely conflict events that may occur. No nation is likely to field a strategic operational plan requiring costly mobilisation to invade, occupy or annex significant portions of another nation.

    For example, the Sino-Vietnamese skirmish at Mt. Laoshan (I preclude the Thai-Cambodian skirmish as it is still can be considered an on-going armed dispute), should enlighten us on where our future direction to the armed forces capabilities required to defend the integrity of our national EEZ and borders.

    This basically means, if bilateral engagement and ASEAN is fully utilised for resolving disputes, we can incrementally increase our capabilities, while keeping threat levels low and prevent useless chauvinistic political posturing with weaponry that is costly. If in any case, I agree we could not be caught napping like the Sino-Indian border war did to the Indians, but we should be more circumspect to the required realities, rather than expensive fantasies.

  28. The funny thing about the modified MV Bunga Lima is that it is exactly the type of armed merchantmen of old that combatted and deterred piracy, not any of the ships-of-the-lines rates. And the active consolidation of national control over base areas of piracy, of course. Although, the development of helicopters and UAVs give a more significant capability that should be exploited is not in doubt.

  29. H.A.S. – ”No nation is likely to field a strategic operational plan requiring costly mobilisation to invade, occupy or annex significant portions of another nation.”

    That’s exactly what Singapore does as part of it’s forward defence policy. Whether it was to help us defend ourselves against the possibility of the Vietnamese coming south in the late 70’s or in the 80’s or in event of a conflict with us, the SAF does have plans in place to occupy part of southern Peninsular Malaysia.

    Whether ASEAN’s policy of settling disputes internally, which is in conflict with it’s longstanding policy of non-interference will be effective, remains to be seen. Way before it’s clashes with Cambodia, Thailand had previously had clashes with Laos and Burma, involving air power, artillery, etc.

    The only country

  30. Agreed the chances for an inter Asean conflict is not so severe.but we must remember the incident where we had that brush with a neighbouring country off Tawau. Now the Spratlys is a hot bed of activity and both two countries has shown a willing ness to fight it out with predictable results. So we need to look at these incidents and also terrorism and piracy. We must be equipped to deal with these few current threats

  31. The only problem I have with forging ahead with a costly procurement program is the probability that corruption, either through civilian channels or military leadership, will inevitably be an attendant to the process. Not to mention lapses of procurement judgements, even time has now vindicated the errors of the MiG-29 purchase. And with the shameless appropriation of the military for political means, either by connivance of the higher-ups, I cannot in full conscience agree for costly procurements without a full house-clearing. Even if the need for a ‘Self-Strengthening Movement’ is required, if corruption takes hold, it will all fall apart as the bullet flies.

  32. I also suggest we see the examples of limited military conflicts, from the Cenepa War to the Cod War, of how belligerency between nations is settled not with the outright destruction of all power-projection capabilities of the armed forces of either nation. For winning a war requires us to live peacefully with our neighbours again, and the Konfrontasi is a clear example of that.

  33. digressing a bit, if AEWACS is to be acquired, imho the option for MRCA will be down to two:-

    1) Super Hornet with E2C/wedgetail combo

    2) Gripen with Erieye

    My bet the SH will be favourite as we already satisfied y with the operation of the Hornet D, plus the RAAF is also having similar combo, so experience wise would not be a major issue.

    Gripen is a long shot, as if we based on the procurement past 20 years, we tend not to follow our neighbours purchasing trend if it can be help.

    A dark horse would be additional SU30 with the Russian A50 AEWACS, but seriously doubt it.

    No Russian things! Banish the thoughts….

  34. Because of some who think defense expenditures are less important that make our country as it is right now. Disrespected. The politicians would only think of military procurement as “what’s in it for me” whilst many especially the non-patriarchs think every dispute can be settle through dialogues. So why need to spend on military? Well, leave it as it is, we’ll always be bullied and we’ll be the same Malaysia armed forces prepared only for guerilla warfare or against her own people.

  35. But do we really need the MRCA now? we may not have the best and adequate number of jets but compared to our more pressing needs such as Nuri replacement, i am more for the budget of the MRCA goes to the heli. USD1.5 billion may get us 18 MRCA, but it can buy us additional 36 EC725.

    Perhaps all the Chinooks and Cougars that Netherlands wants to get rid son……

  36. Ashraf, for a start, I would like to see the MAF equipped with a number of assets that improves it’s capabilities to safeguard our airspace and territorials waters against intrusion and to better monitor both. Like many here, I would like GAPU to have stuff like VL MICA or ASTER but it’s a bit silly when we only have 4 MPA’s to monitor our waters/EEZ and the RMN is short of patrol assets and we have no UAVs apart from a handful 1980’s capabilty Aludra’s.

  37. Dear Ashraf,
    Its really so sad of the citizens impression of the armed forces-all because of some politicians. Every soldier must swear to protect king and the legally elected government of the day.
    We were told by our instructors and drilled into all of us that the bullet is the finest of all arbitrators.If your name is written on the bullet, you will “keluar Bris” for good no matter you are Malay, Chinese,Indian, Iban, Bajau or dayak and the senoi praque. So during the emergency times, the rakyat of all races contributed in blood, sweat and guts in fighting the common enmy.Many brave chinese, Iban, Malay and Indians gave their life for the country-real muhibbah.

    For the situation to degenerate until today is really sad. I have seen how soldiers ran with two injured colleagues over 7 map squares to bring their injured fellow soldiers to the army hospital in Ipoh. It was a mixed group of Ibans,malays and Indians taking turns to carry their comrade-a Malay and an Iban to make sure they survive. Heli was not available that day so it was a desperate step but then all worked together for each other. Not so sure now.sad

  38. YM Lee, the politicians indeed bear the blame. The MAF at the end of the day, is a reflection of our society as whole. What does it tell us when many Malaysians are more interested in last night’s football score or in other current issues such as the MACC disaster, politics, etc, rather then the state of our national defence. What does it tell us when the most common thing heard from the ”man in the street” is ”why spend on defence when we are not at war”.

    The rakyat want to hear about hospitals being built, tax cuts, good governance, not about why we need new APC’s or the LCS. As far as the government is concerned, hospitals, roads and schools buy votes, not investing in the MAF. If the government was really serious in the ”1 Malaysia” and concept, why the hell did they come up with such as stupid ruling that the Tugu Negara is not suitable to be used on ‘Warrior’s Day”??

  39. Dulu lain, sekarang lain. Today, defense is about keeping up with the Lees and having face, not real security. Ashraf and Defense Minister are in sync. Kalah tak apa, gaya mahu. They also share the same penchant for coloring those who do not agree as unpatriotic. Biasalah….

    National interest is a given, naturally.

    AEW and MRCA are all about gaya. Utility helos are not gaya, even though they have the highest tasking. Who wants to be pemandu bas when they can be Top Gun?

  40. Very, very true, the C-130, CN-235 and Nuri squadrons have a much higher tasking – transport runs, VIP flights, disaster relief, ferrying aid overseas, mercy flights, jump training, supporting exercises – than the fighter squadrons [the number of QRA flights launched to ”inspect” uninvited visitors in our airspace is never revealed]. The RMN which has just 12 helicopters, some based at Teluk Sepanggar and one on the Bunga Lima 5, also has an urgent need for more helos.

    Which also begs the question whether we have enough transport and helo pilots in the pipeline. With the civil sector ready to pay up to RM15k for newly minted pilot as opposed to co-pilots there is a tremendous strain on the services to retain their air crews let alone procure new vehicles.

  41. Digressing again,

    Shouldnt we just scrap the Nuri and go for full blown EC725? It gonna atleast cost about USd7-USd10 million to upgrade the Nuri and use it for another 10 years the most.

    yep the EC725 cost more than USd40 mil a piece but if budget is really stringent and has to give priority to the MRCA, then why not go for additional Aw139 which cost half of that? we already have 5 (3 APMM and 2 Bomba)

    There are also 16 Cougars that will be up for sale by the Dutch for us to consider. Yes we will need money to upgrade the Nuri but to retire them now can be considered premature as the fleet has only used half of their life-time

  42. Yeah sure we dont need the MRCA and AEW Ms T. Postpone it like 10 to 15 years more until excess money somehow available. If we need it all of a sudden, we can go to your nearest BS Superstore and buy em on credit. Next day delivery guaranteed.

    Most of here know that to get peace one must prepare for war. Its during the travelling that’s one usually get lost

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