Eight FICs for the MMEA

One of the Benteng class FIC of the MMEA. MMEA picture

SHAH ALAM: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) today took delivery of seven fast interceptor craft (FIC) ordered for the on-going Op Benteng. Another one will be delivered this October. The FICs – costing RM6.3 million – will be primarily used in MMEA operations in the Strait of Malacca.

Benteng class FIC. MMEA

The seven FICs will be used by several MMEA state and zone units, says a post on MMEA Facebook page.
Two of the FICs will be operated by the MMEA Special Action Team while Perak, Malacca and Negri Sembilan state MMEAs will received one each. Another two FICs will be operated by Kuala Kurau and Batu Pahat zone units. The Kuala Perlis MMEA zone unit will received the eight FIC this October.

One of the Benteng class FIC of the MMEA. MMEA picture

The MMEA posting did not identify the type of the FIC but it appears that these look like the UES Marine P38 high speed interceptors, four of which were purchased by the RMN for use in operations in ESSCOM AOR in 2015. ESSCOM also operate one P38 interceptor. MMEA did not named the company that won the contract but the posting showed pictures of personnel from both Muhibbah Engineering and UES at the handover ceremony.

PASKAL P38 interceptor and RHIB near Tun Sharifah Rodziah sea base. Pix taken on 12/10/2015 by Joint Force Command.

The MMEA designated the FICs as Kelas Benteng as the procurement of the assets were done for Op Benteng under the National Task Force. Op Benteng was launched on May 12 as a coordinated operations to prevent the spread of Covid 19 among the Malaysian Armed Forces, police, MMEA and other enforcement agencies

Kelas Benteng FIC. MMEA

As for the FICs for the RMN, there is no update yet.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

61 Comments

  1. Nice, another good news for Malaysia security agencies.. I also wait for the tender result of the 24 units 4×4 weapon carrier and 20 units Special Force 4×4 SOV/RIV that also already issued almost the same time with 3 units of MUH chopper for RMN. Hope there will be update about this soon.

  2. P38s as FIC? Well it is cheap enough for the task so why not.

    @ dundun

    those damen 1800 OPVs for MMEA not big enough for you?

    They have gotten big ticket items. What is needed now is a continuation of the same through to 2030.

  3. @ dundun

    post Mco? sabar lah, even those OPV is still not completed yet. you cant buy big ticket items every year. also new budget will be in 2021-2025.

  4. I have a question re: the FIC. It looks exposed and the men will be exposed to the elements. I would have thought they would have gone for something with a bit more cover.

    Reply
    Yup

  5. @Tom Tom
    They could put a tarp over the passenger area I guess. Perhaps being open top is less threatening so people are less guarded when approached by MMEA.

  6. @ marhalim

    some questions.

    is all 8 of the FICs P38? I saw other RHIBs in the picture, or that are existing MMEA RHIBs. Also the RM6.3 million you mentioned is for all 8 FICs?

    Reply
    Of course there will be other MMEA RHIBs there. Yes that the amount as stated by the MMEA posting

  7. @ marhalim

    If that is correct, it is a lot of FICs for the money. That is less than half the cost of a single BYO MRTP16 penggalang class FIC.

    Reply
    For that money one get to patrol in an open top boat

  8. @ marhalim

    ” For that money one get to patrol in an open top boat ”

    Yes, to be able to patrol at 8 different locations. How much money do we need to have 8 MRTP16 instead?

    Not saying that it is ideal, but we need FICs quickly and cheaply for Ops Benteng and that this buy is fit for the task.

    FYI quite a few of Kastams current Perantas FIC is also open topped.

  9. Also have to brave poor weather during patrol in an open top boat,no cabin to protect against the elements.

  10. OOT
    Seems like no one interested to talk about the Rivet Joint spoofing MAS ICAO ID. I suspect this isn’t new, and just a wild theory here, but it could be related to MH17 being shot down by mistake, if the Russians mistakenly thought that Malaysian IDed plane flying overhead wasn’t genuinely ours but a US spy plane. Just a thought guys, nothing serious.

  11. @ joe

    it is something wrong being done by us military for sure.

    But it will not cause us to call the US diplomat for explanation, as is we are not calling chinese diplomats to explain the constant deployment of Chinese coast guard ships in our EEZ. There will be behind the scenes discussions, but nothing will be made public officially.

    Surely what the US is doing is not helping our cause, and will endanger real MAS aircrafts flying to and from china, and that needs to be addressed behind the scenes.

  12. @joe

    Well it’s a remote possibility, but that route is a busy air corridor used by many airlines, not just MAS. There’s a plane passing overhead nearly every 30 mins or so, in fact ahead of MH17 there was a SQ flight as well. So while in theory it’s possible, IMO in this case it’s improbable.

  13. Maybe it called reverse psychology.
    —Nobody who dare shoot at a MAS airplane anymore, no matter what the reason might be. Maybe Malaysia’s whole defence policy is the same…. the Chinese would not dare shoot poor defenceless Malaysia. Would you dare steal a little kids lollies?

  14. this is a joke.

    thai navy is so desperate to get thair submarines to need malaysia as the scapegoat for it?

    so what was their reason for their white elephant aircraft carrier then?

    http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3101884/deter-malaysia-thailands-navy-wants-chinese-submarines-both

    1) we did not consider thai navy as a threat. our subs and sub bases are pointed towards spratley area, where there are deep water areas for the sub to roam.

    2) why is thailand so desperate to get more out of the JDA petroleum agreement? 50-50 is not fair enough for everyone? Did they even use the proceeds to develop its poor deep southern area?

    3) Getting a huge chinese sub to ply the shallow gulf of thailand and waters off Kelantan is weird to say the least. There is a reason why Germany uses smaller subs for the shallow but filled with islands baltic seas. waters around JDA patroleum area is only around 40-60m deep and not many islands or reefs for subs to hide around. I am all for the thais to buy that big sub (it will have a 2,600 ton displacement, compared to our scorpenes 1,565 ton displacement), as it is not the best tool for the purpose for that area anyway.

    3) Rohingyas are using Pulau Teratau as staging base to enter malaysia, and thai navy and authorities is not stopping them. instead they are encouraging those illegal immigrants by providing fuel and food to continue their journey into malaysia. Now as we have tightened our borders with ops benteng, they are moving to Sumatra instead. We are not entering those areas to attack Thailand. So why is this an issue? In the 80s our army and polis hutan even entered betong to attack the communists, so what is different this time round? Just because you desperately need a reason to buy submarines?

  15. @…
    Some here are still enthralled with the US as if they can do no wrong and they aren’t the bad guys, but what the US did would get miles of comments and recriminations if it were done by Russki or China. Worse if such acts not only endanger our commercial planes but cast a suspicion on ALL our commerce flights. Imagine if a flight to Russia got delayed and the Russki decided: “Hey, this isn’t supposed to be here at this time, it must be a US spy plane. Lets shoot it down.”

    Just saying, the bad guys don’t treat us worse than our supposedly ally.

  16. @ASM
    Perhaps exactly because it is a busy airspace and a usual MAS route that might tempt US to use our MH17 call sign in their spying missions which raised suspicion on our air routes close to conflict zones. Real spies would blend in with the crowd after all. It didn’t help that the flight was coming from the West. For one reason or another somehow that time, they decided to bring it down but it turns out to be a genuine flight. Anyways just coffee talk, since Russia didn’t raise this point in their defence case, perhaps it didn’t happen.

    @Tom Tom
    You might be right.

  17. another joke on SCMP

    http://amp.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3101954/why-philippines-sabah-claim-against-malaysia-isnt-land-grab

    1) sultan sulu’s land in EASTERN SABAH (just half of current sabah area) was ceded in perpetuity. That is why for hundreds of years it is not included in any britsh and spanish or British and USA agreements ever regarding to the Philippines territory. So why is the Philippines now claiming the WHOLE of Sabah which has never ever as a whole owned by Sultan of Sulu? Why isnt it claiming former sultan sulu land in tarakan Indonesia also?

    2) Sultan of Brunei, which up till now has his own country and a sovereign ruler of that country (and close friend and family to malaysian royals), still uphold the cede agreement of west sabah and also whole of sarawak. Same goes to Johor royal family who still upholds the agreement to cede Singapore. So why can this sultan of sulu, which is own country Philippines denies him of any sovereign rights and considered just a normal Filipino citizen, thinks he can abandon the perpetual cede agreement and pass it on to the Philippines?

    3) If anything that the sultan of sulu can actually pass to the Philippines, is the annual payment that he can receive from the cede agreement. But he did not, and continued receiving payment up til 2013. So actually he did not pass anything of legal value to the Philippines regarding Eastern Sabah.

    4) Any referendum in modern times will overturn any historical claims. People of sabah by referendum has choosen to join Malaysia. People of Sabah has benefitted more by joining Malaysia rather than being integrated with the Philippines. Majority of Sabahans would not prefer to be under the rule of the Philippines anyway as they have much more autonomy in ruling their state within Malaysia when compared to any Filipino region to Manila.

  18. @…

    They are following the pinoys’ example. The military junta in thailand are facing heavy domestic pressure, so they are using this issue to justify their rule instead of handing over to civilians.

    Their excuse to justify the subs purchase is downright lame to say the least. We will not use the subs as leverage against the Thais, those generals smoked way too much opium….

  19. @…
    “This request once again attracted public criticism… which says the funds could be better used supporting Thailand’s economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

    … has also decided to oppose the request, calling for a further payment delay until the economy has recovered.”
    This is something that I have mentioned before if we were to raise our defence expenditure in this time, such an easy can of worms for an opposing side, moreso when the present Government is in a precarious position.

  20. @Tom Tom

    No matter what, losing over 200 lives on that flight is not worth anything

    @…

    No need to bother with whatever the Pinoys said; what’s more important that we’ve re-iterated our stance on Sabah which any claims on Sabah will not be entertained nor considered.

    The claims will probably tone down after Sabah state election, and political stability is achieved. Hopefully.

  21. @ joe

    “This is something that I have mentioned before if we were to raise our defence expenditure in this time”

    there is no issue IMO if the reasons are solid enough (protecting our EEZ ). thai reasons for the subs by scapegoating malaysia when we haven’t harrased them is simply insane.

  22. @…
    “there is no issue IMO”
    Well I wish our politicians are as understanding and level headed as you, but you know that is just fantasy. Just as with Thailand, any of our expenditure not going towards economic revival or rakyat wellbeing will be cannon fodder that could viral if played out properly. If you read the news, Thai Oppo aren’t questioning the validity of buying subs for securing Adaman sea but rather that money could be used for economy revival instead. It could be a sub or a FIC it didn’t matter, nevertheless they will still question the buy at this time.

  23. ASM ” The military junta in thailand are facing heavy domestic pressure, so they are using this issue to justify their rule instead of handing over to civilians.”

    The issue goes beyond the military government as a whole.

    … “thai navy is so desperate to get thair submarines to need malaysia as the scapegoat for it?”

    Literally, yes. The RTN has waited for more than half a century for submarines, which have been put off multiple times. Thai politics are dominated by the army which alone has the means to stake its claim to power and effect coups. The navy is a junior sibling and has historically either not aligned with or actively opposed the army, the air force and even the police in the army’s coups, crackdowns and the occasional massacre. The navy even once mounted a failed coup to seize power from the field marshal who was then the PM- the navy was purged and its assets gutted as a result, including the last submarines it ever operated.

    While the navy has gone along of late, it is still last in line for funding among the services. What has changed is that now the Chinese are putting pressure on Thailand to buy the subs, as well as MBTs and other weapons for the army. PM / General Prayut is from the army and does not want to buy the subs, but he might well feel that he has to.

  24. ASM – “The claims will probably tone down after Sabah state election, and political stability is achieved”

    It is related to internal political issues in the Philippines. It has zero to do with the election in Sabah.

    … – “thai navy is so desperate to get thair submarines to need malaysia as the scapegoat for it?”

    They used our F-18s and reports we were getting R-77s for the Fulcrums; to get the 8 F-18s they ordered (and later cancelled) as well as AMRAAM. In the early 2000’s they publicly spoke of the need to gets subs in order to keep pace with neighbouring countries.

    …. – “Majority of Sabahans would not prefer to be under the rule of the Philippines anyway”

    With the exception of the Tausugs; which make up a very small portion of the Philippines population; the vast majority of Filipinos are really indifferent to
    Sabah: it just doesn’t resonate with them as they have no ties to area. Ask the average person in the street in Luzon, Mindanao or the Bisayas and they’ll say they don’t have more important issues to worry and focus on. Many will be vaguely aware of the claim but very few will be familiar with it.

    Similarly; even with people of Filipino descent in Sabah; it is mainly the Tausugs (many are actually opposed or indifferent to the idea) who – in private – entertain the idea of a breakaway Sabah but not as part of the Philippines. Needless to say this is not something the Kirams will openly say as it’ll be politically damaging for them.

  25. AM – “changed is that now the Chinese are putting pressure on Thailand to buy the subs, as well as MBTs and other weapons for the army”

    Of the original ASEAN members; Thailand was the first to get Chinese equipment; at “friendship” prices. Unfortunately for the Thais; that was at a period when China was merely just producing stuff with minimal QC – the Chao Prayas had atrocious QC standards and the MBTs started having cracks in their hulls due to poor quality steel and welding (IDR ran an article on this with pics).

    The Chinese for years tried to sell the RTN a couple of Romeos. China also contributed to a huge ammo reserve the Thais established; in case the Vietnamese crossed from Kampuchea into Thailand. Others who contributed were us, Singapore and the U.S.

  26. @…

    This is the Damen one right? I wish they are getting more, about 16. The design looks quite slick.

    Would be good if the RMN select this design for the LMS 2nd batch. I have a feeling there will be some changes to 15 to 5 plan…

  27. Azlan “Thailand was the first to get Chinese equipment; at “friendship” prices. ”

    The Chinese did so as they were eager to build a better relationship with the Thais, and because they and the Thais were both supporting the Khmer Rouge at the time.

    Azlan “that was at a period when China was merely just producing stuff with minimal QC – the Chao Prayas had atrocious QC standards and the MBTs started having cracks in their hulls due to poor quality steel and welding (IDR ran an article on this with pics).”

    It wasn’t just the four Chao Prayas but also the two Naresuans that suffered from very poor QC. As for the Type 69s, it is telling they were retired after a relatively short life with the RTA, even before the US tanks that had been acquired much further back and were long obsolete.

    Azlan “They used our F-18s and reports we were getting R-77s for the Fulcrums; to get the 8 F-18s they ordered (and later cancelled) as well as AMRAAM.”

    Though in practice they hardly needed our F-18s as an excuse to order theirs. Much of what they bought in the 90s shopping spree, they would have bought whether they had an excuse or not. Though, to be sure, tensions and clashes with the Vietnamese had only recently receded at the time and were undoubtedly a factor in the buildup once the Thais felt they could afford it.

    “a huge ammo reserve the Thais established; in case the Vietnamese crossed from Kampuchea into Thailand. Others who contributed were us, Singapore and the U.S.”

    It would be interesting to know what plans we and Singapore had for further involvement on Thai territory, if the feared Vietnamese invasion had materialised.

  28. AM – “and because they and the Thais were both supporting the Khmer Rouge at the time”

    Thailand didn’t support the Khmer Rouge per say. Certain Thai Generals had a relationship with them as the Khmer Rouge controlled certain areas with timber and gems.

    AM – “, even before the US tanks that had been acquired much further back and were long obsolete.”

    They also got Stimgrays which were marketed to us and we thankfully didn’t buy.

    AM – “ough, to be sure, tensions and clashes with the Vietnamese had only recently”

    The prospect of the Vietnamese crossing the border scared all of us and was a big reason the RTA went “conventional” long before did but it’s border clash with Laos was also a wake up call; troops didn’t perform as well as expected; arty outgunned by Lao 130mms, F-5B shot down (ex RMAF example).

  29. @ ASM

    ” This is the Damen one right? I wish they are getting more, about 16. The design looks quite slick. ”

    Yes. Damen OPV 1800

    ” Would be good if the RMN select this design for the LMS 2nd batch. I have a feeling there will be some changes to 15 to 5 plan… ”

    IMO no. I am for more OPV 1800 for MMEA, but to me TLDM LMS requirements needs a more smaller, nimbler platform to operate close to shore. OPVs are designed to operate far offshore close to our EEZ borders.

  30. Wow…for 6.3mil MMEA only gets 8 pieces of big size open top speed boat…I was thinking each open top speed boat could be had for about Rm80 000 only…..that expensive….not even a water jet engine…just normal out board motor…🤔🤔

  31. 🤔🤔maybe in malaysia all cost are inflated,just google a 14 meter open top speed boat cost lesser than my quoted price…..cheers hapoy googling…maybe that speed boat mmea bought must be really special.

  32. @ redsot

    Why should i google for your claims?? You give me the link of that cheap less than RM80K 14m boat of yours.

    I will give links to the components goes inside the MMEA boat.

    The MMEA P38 has 2x 350hp outboards.

    one 350hp outboard costs around RM115K, not inclusive of the hydraulic steering systems etc.
    http://www.brisbaneyamaha.com.au/listing/f350xcc-yamaha-4-stroke-350hp-ultra-long-shaft-efi-outboard-for-sale

    Then there is the shockwave seats. This is to mitigate the risk of injuries due to slamming on waves. there are 10 seats in the boat. Each of them costs around RM20k
    http://shockwaveseats.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/S3-Jockey.png

    There are the solid state radar. The radar is about rm10k, plus the navigation system another rm10k.
    http://www.waveinn.com/nautical-fishing/raymarine-chirp-quantum-q24d-1-radar-with-doppler-technology/137176708/p

    http://www.waveinn.com/nautical-fishing/raymarine-axiom-12/136817804/p

    Even the base cost of the equipments in the boat are substantially more than RM80k.

  33. @…

    “LMS requirements needs a more smaller, nimbler platform to operate close to shore”

    Something like the Tarantul missile boats?

  34. @ ASM

    ” Something like the Tarantul missile boats? ”

    IMO something of that size, but not of the same armaments and mission priorities.

    LMS should be a ship that would be optimised for near shore, littoral areas. something like plying around langkawi archipelago, or around the shores of lahad datu, which is only around 20km from the shores of Philippine islands.

    It should not to be a scaled down frigate or a FAC in the traditional sense. It needs to be able to fight off challenges from non-state actors trying to get to malaysian shores, able to take out large boat swarms on its own. It is to operate jointly with other small crafts such as the CB90s, FICs and RHIBs

    I am thinking of something like Damen 5509, with armoured wheelhouse, and similar subsystems to the LMS68, (30mm RCWS, radars, mini CMS etc). Large rear area to be fitted with various types of modules. For its main mission, a surface attack module of the size of 2x flat TEU module side by side armed with 32x CM-501GA small vertical launch missiles and 8x C-705 antiship missiles. The CM-501GA has 40km range and can strike land targets, small boats, and slow aerial targets like helicopters and MPA aircrafts.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com//mil/2015-05/27/c_127846853_2.htm

    http://www.armyrecognition.com/airshow_china_2018_zhuhai_news_show_daily_coverage/new_precision_strike_missile_system_appears_at_airshow_china_2018.amp.html

  35. off topic

    Kuwaiti super hornets seen

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/36783/this-is-our-first-look-at-a-kuwait-air-force-super-hornet-in-its-frontline-paint

    Kuwait Typhoon delivery schedule :
    22 single-seaters and 6 two-seaters (2 in 2019, 9 in 2020; 9 in 2021, 8 in 2022)

    Kuwait Super Hornet delivery schedule is not announced publicly. But we know that the contract is to be completed by January 2022.

    To get both of the new fighters to have IOC and FOC in Kuwait will take time, so we can consider early 2023 is the earliest that we can get our hands on any Kuwaiti legacy hornets.

    Why IMO we should just concentrate on getting as much LCA/LIFT as soon as possible.

  36. Actually all this while what RMAF should focus on is buying LCA in large quantity,but still most of us have dreams on getting kuwaiti hornets and what not.stay focus on buying things and not side line when ever we see somethings that we thought is within our graps…we should have a more focus thinking n things will get better.Let us operate super tuscon or what not…dont mind its not a super duper fighter but make sure its in hi quantiity…same goes for any buys be it for rhe army or navy….”point our guns in one direction” and focus on the kill.

  37. “Of all the ‘legacy’ Hornets, the surviving Kuwaiti F/A-18C/Ds are among those in the best condition, and in the past, both Canada and Malaysia have expressed interest in buying them.”
    What the hell are we waiting for? If Canada, being a NATO partner, are willing to take up these used birds, why should we be so stuckup with getting new and paying a premium? Let’s just get this deal done & dusted ASAP, lock in the 8 D’s and any spare C’s we could afford. We need more frontline planes ASAP!

  38. A luxuey yacth cost under 1mil….even a 2nd hand covered fishing boat 15 m in length cost less than 30k…and this 8 pieces sold at retail price by the middle man costing 6.3mil….u go figure things out…at 1.3mil i am getting a 20mtr yacth

  39. joe “What the hell are we waiting for? Canada, being a NATO partner, are willing to take up these used birds, why should we be so stuckup with getting new and paying a premium? ”

    Covered before. There are issues associated with old airframes, regardless of their hours and storage conditions. And the treasury will not be willing to fund MRCAs on the grounds that the RMAF has received these “new” aircraft. If the Kuwaiti Hornets prove to be less serviceable than thought, or they eventually wear out before the treasury is willing to fund new aircraft, the RMAF will be stuck without a paddle.

  40. I travelled from mersing to tioman by speed boat…the journey is less then 3 hrs.but still feeling lively upon reaching tioman.
    These are trained men abled to take a harshed punishments,i begin to wonder now mmea is patrolling the sea by these boats 24/7 stint with 11 men team or are these vessel use to transport them for boarding party or do chase for short endurance….I thing we lose the focus here…spending for the unnecessary items…posch seats…400cc x3 outboard motors.might as well just buy PC boats..

  41. @ Redsot

    You asked people to focus but you did not. So dont beat around the bush and quote used fishing vessels and used dilapidated yachts instead.

    Those MMEA FIC cost RM 787 thousand each.

    Still have not given the links to your less than RM 80 thousand 14 meter speed boat.

  42. @AM
    Certainly there are drawbacks and risks with buying used, we would be using them for a shorter duration than if buying new. However risk can be mitigated by ensuring proper assessment are done onto the Kuwaiti Hornets and this can be partnered with Boeing to provide us with a professional & impartial viewpoint. If Canada are willing to take a bet on them, why are we so afraid? Why should we be so stuck up insisting to buy new planes, new tanks, new SPG? Other more advanced or more monied armed forces have no qualms in buying used and using them fully; it all boils down to proper assessments of these used hardware and what we could still get from them. From the industry, US stuff are generally reliable and maint-wise there are no hidden pitfalls unlike Russian stuff, also it is well assumed these Kuwaiti Hornets are the best examples soon to be in market.

    And yet here we are giving Canada a head start. Is our requirements far above Canada’s, a NATO nation at that, which these used Hornets cannot meet?

  43. @ joe

    Canada got all the used hornets now for cheap. We at best can get them 2-3 years from now, not sure what the costs will be.

    Canada are using them to lessen the load of their current fleet, allowing more to be rotated through maintenance. We on the other hand, will be using them to increase the size of our hornet squadron.

    Canada will be using them to 2030 before being replaced, and those used hornets are just a very small portion of their overall budget. We on the other hand, has way much smaller budget than Canada, and our little budget that we have are better used to get brand new LCA/LIFT that we can afford to operate them frequently.

    Unless those Kuwaiti hornets are given to us for free, i would say no, and save our budget to get as much LCA/LIFT that we can possibly afford.

  44. I am not adverse to used equipment. but getting used that would be operated just less than 10 years?

    I would say no. I am for used hornets if we can get them now. But at this point of time, better get more LCA/LIFT that we can use for 30-40 more years to come.

  45. “If Canada are willing to take a bet on them, why are we so afraid? Why should we be so stuck up insisting to buy new planes, new tanks, new SPG? ”

    Certain things can be bought used for certain purposes. We can consider used tanks and SPGs if Deftech gives its blessing.

    When it comes to more complex platforms, age affects availability. There’s a reason older airliners are converted into freighters and put on a less time sensitive schedule. A relatively simple F-5 can be operated as a basic combat jet, or a contract aggressor with systems stripped. But a front line Hornet has two large engines and plenty of systems that have to be kept operational for it to be useful.

  46. @…
    Still, Canada are interested on these Kuwaiti Hornets and they are diving in around the same time we should be when they are available.

    While it may seem like its a short period they would be using them, bear in mind as NATO nation and NORAD partner, their use rate could probably be far more higher than ours in the same timeframe. They have to do more frequent 24hr QRAs at their northern hemisphere on constant watch against Russian probings. We OTOH are on low level peacetime patrols.

    @AM
    It wasn’t DEFTECH that torpedoed the M109 deal.

    The Kuwaiti Hornets aren’t significantly older than our own Hornets, yet they are probably better preserved than ours. As long we did a thorough assessment and know what we’re getting and if their wear & tear isn’t far from our serviceability, why not?

  47. joe “It wasn’t DEFTECH that torpedoed the M109 deal.”

    No, but everything from AV8s and Adnans to trucks went through them so the concern is warranted.

    joe “The Kuwaiti Hornets aren’t significantly older than our own Hornets, yet they are probably better preserved than ours. As long we did a thorough assessment and know what we’re getting and if their wear & tear isn’t far from our serviceability, why not?”

    If they are indeed in the same condition as ours and if we can establish this, then operating them will be little different from operating ours.

    That said, they have been used operationally much more than ours. There are other questions, such as how much they have in common with our jets and what costs we will choose to incur to reach a common standard, whether the operator has put off upgrades and life extensions in the knowledge that they will be replaced before long… We’ve kept up with upgrades and maintenance on our Hornets not only because we have to keep them in service indefinitely, but also because the MKMs have not turned out to be everything we hoped they would be.

  48. I’ve long wondered what the airborne salinity levels are at Butterworth and how much corrosion the aircraft sustain as a result. Gong Kedak isn’t that far from the coast either.

  49. @ AM

    Kuwaiti hornets are being upgraded even as we speak, getting a new targeting pod in the shape of the snipers (those pods will be transferred to the super hornets). But overall it has an older version of the F404 engine, and also an older radar than malaysian hornets (aussie hornets have been upgraded with the same radar as malaysian hornets).

    As for keeping up with the maintenance. Our MiG-29s actually could also be used for many many years to come. The highest houred aircraft just had around 2,500 hours clocked. We retired them not because it cannot be used anymore, but we made a conscious decision not to put any money to maintain and upgrade it anymore. Why at one time India was interested in them.

    The MKM fiasco was a combination of the airforce wanting to make some noise, and a defence minister that is out of his depth and not really grasping what is really happening. TUDM must have known that the overhaul limit was already extended (from original 1,500 hours or 10 years, to 1,500 hours or 14 years) from interaction with IAF and Sukhoi OKB, but decided to play the damsel in distress card and reported to the defence minister that the MKM is inoperable. Without getting into the bottom of the situation, the defence minister proudly announced that just a handful MKM is flyable (thinking that he can show that he listens to the air force) and started all the brouhaha.

    If those MKM really needed a major overhaul at the time, there is no way that we can see more than a dozen of them flying just a few months later.

  50. @AM
    While there are certain differences, it doesn’t render them unusable or would seriously hamper interoperability with our current fleet of fighters. A period of familiarisation would certainly entails, but not something unsurmountable. If our fighter jocks could learn to operate Western & Russian planes in their careers, operating a slightly different variant of what they already have is not a big deal. Its not like getting used Vipers or European jets.

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