LANGKAWI: Airod Sdn Bhd will be the prime contractor for the Hawk upgrade program. The letter of intent will be officially signed this morning, the last trade day of LIMA 17.
Other contracts will also be signed at the same ceremony – worth some RM9 billion according to DPM DS Zahid Hamidi – including the maintenance contract for the Sukhois, with ATSC. Others may include the LMS and MMEA OPV deal which are well known already.
Anyhow, for the Hawk upgrade, Airod will be working with BAE System to upgrade the avionics systems and also the self defensive systems. Unfortunately, the Hercules upgrade remained on hold.
Due to the budget crunch, the work will be carried out in stages within four years. And the final number to be upgraded has yet to be confirmed as initially only the single seat Mk 208s were supposed to be involved. It has not been decided whether some of the twin seaters will be upgraded as well.
Anyhow, Colonel Masro Kaliwon, the CO of 22 Squadron, says they expect to start trials of air-to-air refueling by the end of the year.
He confirmed that externally the fourth A400M was the same as with the other three aircraft. The upgrade to tactical configuration which allow AAR and others are mostly software based.
Finally for …viewing pleasure below are the close up shots of the LMS model displayed by CSSC at the aerospace segment (which explained why I did not see at the maritime segment).
The model is also displayed at the Boustead booth on both segments depending on the VIP scheduled to visit it. I was told that the LMS will be fitted fully with China made systems including the engines.
Bosutead is hoping that it can fit other systems on the follow-on ships to be entirely made at its facility in Lumut.
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