SHAH ALAM: Delayed, FLIT-LCA. Back in June, I wrote that RMAF chief Gen Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan said in an interview with Perajurit that a physical evaluation on the selected aircraft for the FLIT-LCA programme, will be conducted this June 22 and the contract is scheduled to be issued on August 22. He was quoted as saying that six aircraft will be delivered in stages in 2025.
Note that the interview is still live on the Perajurit, so there was no mistake on its part. Anyhow, as you are aware today is August 29 2022, and there has yet to be any announcement on the contract as per the interview, which was supposed to be August 22 (last Monday).
The thing is I have been told by multiple sources that no firm decision has been taken on the FLIT-LCA unlike the MPA and MALE UAV. And the time-line for a firm contract remained hazy. This is of course good news for Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for its entry, the yet to be flown, Hurjet. This was also probably the reason, state-owned Hindustan Aircraft Limited (HAL) decided to open its regional office in Kuala Lumpur.
Of course, even HAL decision cannot be compared with the way how the Turkish had gone about in lobbying the government and including the King (see main picture) on behalf of its defence industries.
Will or did it work? I have no idea as only time will tell. To be honest, I was bit peeved as the answers to my questions to the RMAF chief did not include the June and August contract timeline. The answer I got was six aircraft were offered for the tender, namely, the KAI FA-50; HAL Tejas; JF-17; the TAI Hurjet; Yakovlev Yak-130 and the Mikoyan Mig-35D. However, I must say I am bit relieved now.
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Of course it got delayed. GE15 is coming and we haven’t got the money unless it is popular with the voters.
Even TUDM would welcome this delay and not want to have something signed now just for the incoming Government to cancel it and yet we have to pay a penalty monies for nothing.
That is why similar conundrum is delaying the decision for MPA, MALE UAV, wheeled SPH, 4×4/6×6 IFVs. Nobody wants to be made fools of themselves.
It would certainly help Hurjet’s cause but I doubt a few extra months would give it a clear advantage if its still just a paper jet waiting for engines.
Another hanky panky news, our government dont have any firm decisions to upgrade our military assets. No matter who is our gov either PH or BN, the answer will always be the same dont have budget, not a necessity n blabla
Just an observation. Don’t shoot me…but I dare say the Turks are applying the screws here and leaning towards selling the Hurjet here. Read somewhere the Yavuz 155mm SP is sold to us ahead of their own army too. So miracles happen …in Malaysia.
Am Not that surprised by the delay as we are hosting LIMA back next year. Can’t really go around signing big ticket item B4 the show couldn’t we?
This is on top of some news slated that polish are interested in paying for the fa50 block 20 development. Might as well wait for them to sign on the doted lines and we get something for cheap rather than be the one who paid an arms & a leg for integrations cost.
Not that the money is not there but its seen to be better used for rakyat-friendly programs and welfare benefits that would win votes hence why the limited defence budget and even then its used for rakyat-friendly national project-type of programs.
The delay is bad for the KAI plane as it is already ready yesterday.
RMK12 (2021-2025) major (multi-billion MYR) CAPEX as of mid 2022. LCA = 18 to 6 to 0. LMS Batch 2 = 8 to 3 to 0. LCS = 6 to 2 to ?. Budget 2023 might shed some light on how much LCS will drain the LCA and LMS2 funding. Earlier report states 6xLCA in stages beginning 2025. Assume delivery based on 18-months after contract signing, it would mean the government intends to sign in early/mid 2023. If the contract is signed during LIMA 2023, which version will be ordered? The LIFT or the LCA given the LIFT versions will be cheaper. Might even get more planes by getting the LIFT versions. For example KAI FA-50 (LCA) > TA-50 (LIFT) > T-50 (Advance Trainer). HAL Tejas Mk1A (LCA) > Mk1 (LCA) > Trainer (LIFT).
Taib – “. So miracles happen …in Malaysia.”
That’s an understatement given various things we bought and the circumstances behind it. Some of it is judt to embarrassing to list here.
Everything is delayed la. It’s hard to see results when you have clowns and their friends in positions of power.
I know these projects will reach a conclusion eventually, but at the expense of taxpayer dollars and an indistinct amount of time.
Meanwhile our neighbours modernise faster, with little to no fuss at all. We should have been doing the same…quietly getting ahead. That’s what many of us are most upset about.
zak – “It’s hard to see results when you have clowns and their friends in positions of power”
“It’s hard to see results when” defence is way bottom on the list of priorities; when we have a fundamentally flawed and self defeating policy intended to benefit national interests; when defence is part of the patronage system and when the average citizen remains largely indifferent towards defence.
Zak – “I know these projects will reach a conclusion eventually”
It will still be too little and will not result in the MAF getting the capability it needs but continuing to have a bit of everything but not enough of anything. The MAF also will continue to have extremely limited capabilities in countering anything but extremely low intensity non protracted threats and in this age of network centric systems; robotics, UASs, UUVs, USVs, AI and other things the MAF will still largely be a platform centric organisation lacking key tertiary capabilities and struggling with jointness.
Zak – “Meanwhile our neighbours modernise faster, with little to no fuss at all”
Some have existential or clearly defined threats [Vietnam and Singapore], some are catching up on lost time [the Philippines] and some have regional power aspirations [Indonesia].