SHAH ALAM: Down To The Bone. In response to the participation of 18 Sqdn in Exercise Pitch Black in Australia, reader Tom Tom asked why RMAF Su-30MKM Flankers were not involved in the exercise. I responded that the 11th Sqdn aircraft are still mostly undergoing maintenance. No numbers were mentioned.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu in Parliament today revealed that only four of the Flankers are serviceable as the rest – 14 others – are “under repair”. He also said the MIG-29s has already been grounded as the cost of maintaining them were too costly.
“Thats the problem we (the military) are facing. That is the issue we have with military equipment, for example if we buy a new thing today, within ten years it will be obsolete, if we buy (update) its life for 10 years, within 20 years it will be obsolete. It is for this reason we have to review it from time. What ever it is the Malaysian Armed Forces are ever ready to defend the country’s sovereignity.
Mat Sabu also said that the company that maintaining the Flankers, awarded by the previous government was still doing it.
It must be noted that Mat Sabu flew on a Flanker on July 7 as part of his familiarisation tour of the Armed Forces so he must be aware of the 11th squadron’s travail.
The Star carried a story on what Mat Sabu said in Parliament today but after listening to a short recording of the proceedings I realised that the story was really misleading as it failed to report exactly what Mat Sabu said.
Posted below is part of the transcript of Mat Sabu’s statements to Parliament yesterday especially regarding the Sukhois and Fulcrums. He spoke at length on other matters, of course. The Hansard is available here.
Isu Sukhoi misalnya, yang boleh terbang dengan baik ada empat buah, 14 buah lagi sedang di
-repair dan kita cuba syarikat tempatan. Syarikat pada zaman Kerajaan BN dahulu, kita belum tamatkan
kontrak itu dan mereka sedang repair.MIG sudah grounded,sebab masalah barang-barang mahal yang kita hadapi ini ialah masalah maintenance. Ini yang kita hadapi. Oleh sebab itulah perkara alat
-alat tentera ini, kita beli hari ini baru, 10 tahun lagi sudah lapuk. Kita beli 10 tahun lagi, 20 tahun lagi sudah lapuk. Oleh sebab itulah kita perlu kaji dari semasa ke semasa. Walau bagaimanapun, kedudukan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia siap siaga untuk menjaga keselamatan Malaysia. Don’t worry di atas kebolehan itu
Yes the maintenance cost of the fighter fleet is high, and for the Russian ones, the inefficiency of the Soviet-model is making it worse. That was the reason I wanted to get rid of the Flankers as soon as possible.
* this is an updated version of this post.
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