Interested in Buying Second Hand Fulcrums?

KUALA LUMPUR: IF you got the cash or other means you might want to contact Mindef ASAP. The Fulcrum fleet is to be withdrawn by next so says the Defence Minister as reported by Bernama.

To read the Bernama story click here

What to do with the Fuclrums? Apart from enjoying a ..ck-stand by going supersonic, one could make some money by turning them into an aggressor squadron to pitch against RMAF pilots and allied nations as done by some private companies in the US and others. Will it be too expensive to maintain them for such duties, I have no idea but certainly a good entrepreneur could make something out of nothing.

Certainly by flying the Fulcrums, it would be a much better fate for these Russian birds rather than letting them rot as base guards! Funny thing about the Fulcrum deal, is the fact that the Defence Minister last month said the Fulcrums will not be retired soon… as guess, the air force has finally got some back bone…..

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1730 Articles
Shah Alam

30 Comments

  1. The way I interpret the article is that the MIGs will be sacrificed in order to ensure RMAF can operates within a limited budget. Well bon voyage to the MIGS, thee shall be missed. Thou are not fantastic but thou has given Malaysian people some sense of pride over 15 years of service.

    If that is the case, they migt as well scrap the hawk 200, as by record it has more accidents compared to the MIGs and may cost as much to maintain. I dont believe that the MIGs will be replaced soon, as the government would have go ahead with the EC725 purchase first if they really have the money. As such we will only be left with 18 SU 30 and 8 F18D as our deterrent Factor. It would not be enough to participate in any battle should any occur (god forbid) so lets pray really hard that peace will prevail in the next 10 to 15 years.

    What should be the move from now? Assuming we still got some budget left, I tend to suggest we go for surplus F18D from the USN if any should be available. Or obtained surplus rapier SAM from the UK.

    Marhalim: From what I have been reading on the issue of surplus Hornets, apparently there is none. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had really taken the toll on the USN/USMC Hornet fleet, that is why the Super Bug is being purchased in bigger numbers…

  2. Wonder whats next, what does he mean by strengthening with other “interceptors”??? Logically we should either buy more Su-30 MKM’s or their cheaper cousins the Su-30MKs with less customisation. Or even some more F-18C/Ds second hand from USN stocks? Hopefully not a totally new type though!

  3. We live in strange times. Only yesterday, in an interview with the Star, the RMAF chief said that the Fulcrums would not be replaced. And now the defence minister says otherwise. In the same interview, the RMAF chief said that 6 multi-role jets would be acquired as the Fulcrums were only interceptors. This seems to tally with a report that emerged a year back saying that the RMAF had proposed selling off the Fulcrums to fund 6 additional Su-30MKMs.

    Perhaps the RMAF had reached a point where operating several combat types had become too costly?

    Marhalim: The Russian, I am told are offering more Flankers for purchase on a soft loan basis as undertaken by our neighbour, Indonesia….

  4. If Im not mistaken, Dzirhan in another forum, ran an excerpt of a story he wrote for JDW saying that delivery of the final batch of 6 MKMs had been delayed due to integration problems. The IAF had exactly the same problems some years back. The Russians will happily tell you the main problem here is the inclusion of western avionics. Perhaps Dzirhan will able to elaborate more on the delay?

    Marhalim: There was a report earlier which stated that Russian arms production have been delayed due to the economic crisis, the manufacturers apparently cannot purchased the raw materials to manufacture components like engines and things like that…..

  5. Si Padang Tembak, a.k.a. Kementah Kamp Kat made no such comment. You must be confusing him with his human assistant.
    I think we could sell the idea of the Iskandar/Singapura Jaya Dissimilar Air Combat Training Center located in Senai. After all the windows in the area get rattled from artillery fire so they won’t mind a sonic boom or two.

    Marhalim: LOL

  6. Another puzzling aspect with the Bernama report is the Defence Minister saying 11Sq members had received simulator training. Has a simulator for the SU-30MKMs even been ordered?

    With 11Sq only expected to combat operational next year, perhaps the retirement of the Fulcrums is not so imminent after all?

    Marhalim: Yes the Flanker simulator was ordered via Hi Tech Padu, several years ago, I am not sure of the status of the simulator, it was delayed although it may well be operational already but as usual we have this hang-ups over this kind of things as if just saying that the simulator is operational will somehow effect operational security…….the 11 Sq is supposed to be operational by year end (this was stated during the last LIMA) but perhaps the problems affecting the jets may well delay their full operational status as well…

  7. A few clarifications, the Star report was a Bernama story and for some reason the Bernama reporter got the RMAF’s Chief’s statement on the last six sukhois being delivered confused with MRCA jets being eventually purchased in the future to replace the fulcrums. As I was at the PC, the Chief only said that when the Fulcrums eventually retire (whenever that may be), the RMAF wants to replace them with MRCAs but no point did he say 6 MRCAs will replace the fulcrums. It was offered that Malaysia buy additional C/Ds which belong to Kuwait as Kuwait was supposed to have replace that fleet with Superhornets, however the Kuwaitis decided not to buy the Superhornets and retain their fleet. My full story has been posted elsewhere on some forums, but essentially it’s a contractual dispute, the six ac are done and ready to go but Malaysia wants the russians to fix the 12 in-county before they take delivery of the final six. The Russians have stated they fixed all problems in the last six and want Malaysia to take delivery of these first then they’ll fix the 12 incountry

  8. I think it is more of aquestion that Malaysia’s coffer arent deep enough to pay for operation and maintenance of 53 combat aircraft due to “People’s Impact Project” priority and economic contraction of 6.2%. Like i mentioned before, it is more logical for the time being to just operate the SU 30 and F18D and pray peace prevail and economy expanded next year by at least 5%, Rather than sell the MIGs, cant they put it in active reserve, flyig just once a month or something. In case of emergency, it could sill do some patrolling job eh, but again depends on budget

  9. If we proceed with the Iskandar DACTC, we can not only fund flying hours for the RMAF but also earn valuable foreign currency as well.

    For the RSAF, a DACTC next door would be immensely attractive both for cost as well as operational fidelity compared to Cazeaux, Amberley and Mountain Home.

    Phase II would implement a full AtG environment with GAPU providing the ground environment.

    Marhalim: With Muya as DPM, I do not it believe it is feasible ,,,

  10. Sure the Flanker simulator is not delivered (or even on the drawing board yet ) as there would have been a big article in the press about it!!
    A company like HiTech Padu are just not into building ‘sims’ and if you think they’re going to perform any better than the nations other ‘sim’ outfit, Sapura, then think again. Look at Sapura’s past history and documented cock-ups from the local press.
    Until one of these local companies jumps into bed with one of the worlds ‘top’ manufacturers like Thales or CAE then we’ll likely see our Top Gun guys training with a rebadged Microsoft FSX sim under the banner of HiTech Padu!!!

    Marhalim: I am told by an idiot that its already in service, they dont publicise this sort of things unfortunately. I remembered the time when I went hunting for the Mig simulator some time back, mindef and air force says no and in the end CAE, the manufacturer finally confirmed via a one line statement, they supplied one full motion simulator and one desk top version.

    If they really retire the Fulcrum fleet, I WANT to buy the simulators!

  11. What a waste. 15 years of service only. IIRC the Fulcrums cost us US$600 million back in the early 90s. Thats more than US$1 billion in today’s money. We could have used that money to buy more Hornets and Hawks. These could still be flying past 2020.

    Now, taxpayers will have to cough up more money to buy a replacement.

    Let see whether our new Flanker MKMs, with its “East meets West” subsytems, can beat the Fulcrum’s record for short service.

  12. Muya will follow the money. Only TunM can afford not to.

    It’s not a simulator unless it has it’s own purpose designed building etc. Kalo takde, tak boleh ada lagi satu projek.

    Heh…maybe Kelantan would like to offer SG a DACT venue…..

  13. A friend brought to my attention that in another blog, the writer said that there are no integration problems with the MKMs. The delay with the last 6 MKMs is because the RMAF had decided to upload the operational mission software for the Damocles pod in Russia. Earlier on, it was planned for this to be done in Malaysia.

    Marhalim: I was told otherwise by a very senior official, who also said the same thing about the problems with our MBTs. I admit not to have the same breadth of sources inside RMAF or the armed forces as Dzirhan but it appears that we both got the same thing right (problems with the MKMs) albeit from different sources altogether.

  14. If today’s reported issue that Indoesian navy almost open fire on RMN ship at ambalat, the MIGs should be deploy to Sabah a it also has limited Anti Surface Warfare capability and The Nakhoda Ragam seems to be a good idea now

  15. kamal,

    What ‘limited anti-surface capability’ do the Fulcrums have? Deploying any assets to Borneo would raise the stakes and thats the last thing the Malaysian government wants. The TNI-AU has already deployed 4 Hawks from Sulawesi. In 2005, during the Presidents visit to the area, 4 F-16s from Java were deployed to Kalimantan.

    Marhalim: The Fulcrums can drop iron bombs and can use its cannon for strafing. But it will be the last thing a Fulcrum jock want to do with new Sigma corvettes hanging around……

  16. What’s with the knee jerk planning? Just because the TNI-AL decide to get frisky doesn’t mean we have to skew our procurement in response. That just makes us their bitches.
    Let’s have a damned plan, written up and communicated to the Rakyat who can then go and whack their reps to support the plan. If you prefer to leave it in the tender hands of the government…you get to be their bitches.
    Nothing will go well as long as people expect to get set up in one deal.
    I am sure we are all aware of the recent shenanigans in L’orient. If you drop to your knees and pucker up, what do you expect is going to happen?

    Marhalim: Yes its not a good idea to respond to a crisis with a rash procurement. I am just suggesting that if we need to get new hulls quickly, the only hulls available within year end will be the Nakhoda Ragams. But the fact remains that the navy is stretched beyond its capability. Therefore long term planning must also take account into current realities. It was the failure of the current government to make long term plans and sound financial planning which leave us with our pants down. That is also the reason, earlier, I had called for the draw down of our commitments off Somalia. With so many others involved already, we should be facing our own problems first.

  17. This is new to me Marhalim. I didnt know 17SQ was equipped with dumb bombs for its Fulcrums.

    Marhalim: They had the capability when they upgraded the Fulcrums a few years back as part of the procurement programme. But I do not believe its part of the SOP now although the ground strafing role remains. Its better to sent the Hawks, IMHO with the Fulcrums as the fighter cover….

  18. Just to add, the fulcrum can fire rockets too. tho it may not be the priority role. Not sure about the 30mm doing strafing…

  19. They can strafe, they just don’t carry much ammo. Ours were never meant to be MRCAs anyway.
    I still think we should privatize the MIGs and open up Johor as a DACT location.

  20. I was in Jakarta a few days back, i think the stake already raised. Based on the local newspapers quoting some senior military officials, they are planning to raise military personnels and patrolling in the affected area. Apparently some group already recruiting more than 7000 people for some “Ganyang Malaysia” campaign. I guess its just a Pilpres fever kot.

    The MIGs, although obsolete, is still a good deterrence. as per my understanding when reading the local news in Jakarta, their aiforce combat readiness is quite low.

    Marhalim: IF it just PilPres fever we should not be unduly worried about it. It will quiet down once the elections is over and the organisers got their just desserts…

  21. Dear En Kamal,

    MiG 29, Frontovoy Istrebitel, is a deadly fighter within an envelope of 70 km (front, 30 km rear. Since the Malaysian Gov’t bought it, the Concept of Operation (CONOP) has been AIr Defence/ Air Interceptor with an increased Range and Air to Air Refuelling thus allowing the aircraft for longer station keeping limited to the capability of the pilot. The MiG 29N has only Fire Control Radar thus the pilot depend on the Ground Control Intercept (GCI) or Air Defence Operator to vector, maneuver the fighter to the target and advice the pilot the situation at hand.

    With 2 x R 27 the fighter is capable to engage the target beyond visual range but it has to shine and paint the target with its radar thus making it vulnerable. within a 15km range envelope the MiG 29 is very deadly with its R 73 as the pilot is equipped with the Infra-red Search and Track IRST laser ranging and Helmet Mounted tracker providing an off boresight missile tracking. This capability allows MiG 29 pilot to track and shoot R 73 to target beyond its missile seeker gimbal limit. And finally the GsH -30 gun is so deadly because of the precise radar guided and kols sighting system providing the best aiming system for GsH -30 as compared to any Lead Computing Optical Sighting System (LCOSS) and the Head Up Display System.
    Even though its obsolete using the MiG 29 with mix of Su 30 MKM, F/A 18 and Hawk Mk 208 (better radar) or any airborne awacs (eriey, Gulfstream 550, E2C Hawkeye etc) provides better fighting chance of mix strike or air defence package.

  22. MR.T,
    Not all of us are aware of the ‘shenanigans in Lorient’. Perhaps you could explain for the benefit of those who are not in the loop?
    As for Kamal mentioning the possibiliy of the Fulcrums being used for the light attack role… why would they? Light attack is a role the Hawk aquadrons train for, and prior to to that, the MBB339A.

    By the way, I may have wrongly intrepeted what Shsf wrote, but is the Hawk 200 APG-66 radar better than the Fulcrum N-019 radar?

  23. The Hawk Mk 208 carries the AN/APG-66H radar, a multi-mode radar which is a solid state medium range (up to 80 miles) Pulse-doppler radar designed by Westinghouse (now Northrop Grumman). Due to its smaller antenna, the capability is reduced as compared to the one carried on the F/A 16. The Hawk Mk 208 is designed to carry specific types of Air to Air Weapon, and Air to Ground Weapon. This limitation restricts the symbology generated by the Hawk Mk 208 Display Processor Mission Computer, the heart of Navigation, Weapon Aiming and Tactical System. Thus the Hawk in Air to Air Mode carries Aim 9 Missile and Aden 30 mm cannon. In the Air to Ground Mode Hawk carries mix type of Bombs and rockets Precision Guided Munition is also limited depends on the sensors which will require major software upgrade. The functionality of APG 66H is in the Air to Air Mode which separates into Range While Search (RWS), Track While Scan (TWS), Air Combat Mode (ACM), and Velocity Search. Whilst in the Air to Ground Mode, its divided to Ground Map (GM), Ground Moving Target (GMT) and Sea Mode (SEA).

    The Mig 29N has a Phazotron RLPK-29 (Radiolokatsyonnui Pritselnui Kompleks) radar Fire control system (FCS) which includes the N019 look-down/shoot-down coherent pulse-Doppler radar. Due to its limited processing capabilities the number of task that can performed. Since it is a Fire Control Radar only immediate air threats will be displayed to the Radar Display and limited target selection will be displayed on the Head Up Display.

    The Hawk Mk 208 radar gives a better Situation Awareness to the pilot as compared to the MiG 29N.

    Marhalim: The mid-life update to the Hawk 208s include a proposal to replace the current radar with a Selex AESA antenna which would have given the aircraft access to other types of air launched weapon. For easier integration with more air launched weapons, they could also try Raytheon’s Munition Control Unit. The MCU is a plug-and-play system that enables integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft with minimal modifications to aircraft wiring and no changes to the flight and stores management software.
    The MCU is already integrated into F-16s and work is underway to integrate the same unit to Jaguars…

  24. I am also surprised by what shsf wrote, I was under the impression that when MiG 29s were ugraded to the Topaz standard of the NO19 radar with BVR capability,it included at least TWS mode capability not to mention the other capabilities that are available in the APG-66. I am just surprised how rudimentary the N019 is compared to its western contemporaries and how much reliant pilots have to be to GCI.

  25. Dear Sir,

    Only India and Oman is actively operating the Sepecat Jaguar. When this MCU thing was mentioned it startled me as I thought the RAFO has contracted Raytheon for the Jaguar MCU upgrade since their purchase of 12 F16. Then I found out it was India that went with the MCU upgrade:
    India has awarded a contract to US defence manufacturer Raytheon to integrate the Munitions Control Unit on the Jaguar fighters, to enable the aircraft to fire even the latest US-made missiles.

    “The MCU is a system that enables integration of modern weapons on legacy aircraft such as the Jaguar with minimal modifications to aircraft wiring attached to the weapons without any changes on other systems,” Raytheon Vice President for Missiles Systems Harry Schlute told PTI.

    He added that after the integration of the MCU on the fleet of over 100 Jaguar aircraft in the IAF, pilots would be able to fire American-origin missiles such as the Paveway precision-guided missiles, AIM-9M Sidewinders and Mavericks.

    Majority of the IAF missiles are of the Russian and the French origin. Schlute said that Raytheon had started the integration of the MCU on Jaguars in the second quarter of this year and plans to finish the work in less than 24 months. India has recently released a global tender for acquiring over 100 close combat range missiles for the Jaguars and Raytheon is one of the contenders in the contract.

    The IAF is planning to carry out modifications and add more capabilities in the aircraft, which was inducted by India in the
    early 80s.

    Marhalim: I mentioned the MCU integration on the Hawks as a matter of interest only as no one had mentioned it to me specifically for the proposed Hawk upgrade. But that “interest/possibility” is of course elementary as the Hawk SLEP has been frozen. The adoption of the MCU may well be the best way (if it works) to Hawk’s weapon’s capability…

  26. To be frank I think the Hawk is a dead-end as a combat aircraft. Giving the capabilities to fire modern weapons don’t mean much when you are limited to what you can carry. The Hawk is basically a 3 pylon aircraft since the 2 inner pylons are needed for drop tanks. The outer pylons can’t carry anything heavier than a Maverick and using them means no self defence sidewinders or the sort. That means you only have the center point pylon for any offensive weapon.

    Marhalim: Yes only political expediency resulted in the decision to buy the single seaters. we would have done much better if we had concentrated on the twin seaters and retire the old Machi. If we had done so, there would be no need for us to buy newer Macchis……

  27. Dear Sir,

    Never underestimate the use, type and role of the aircraft. The hawk is not a dead end. It has been the best and cheapest mean for RMAF pilot to train in the use of Glass cockpit, with modern navigational equipment, accurate designate and targeting system (Laser, Radar), defensive equipment, weapon selections and development in the procedural for tactics employment.

    The Stores Management System is a derivative of the F/A 18 C/D. The Hawk is capable to carry 2 x AIM 9 at the wingtip station and additional 2 x AIM 9 at the outer wing station. The centerline is rigged for Centerline tank, Aden 30 mm gun, or MK 82/Mk 83 bomb. The inner wing station based on the role of the aircraft can be fitted with the fuel tanks or bomb/rocket. Also the outer wing station can be fitted with bombs/rockets or missile.

    In Air to Air Combat the pilot will jettison the fuel tanks or the bomb/rockets and engage the adversary.

    The Hawk is not the best aircraft as an attack or air defence but the systems onboard is equivalent to the F/A 18 D that RMAF have minus the BVR missiles capability.

    MB 339 is only a training aircraft. Employing this aircraft in offensive and defensive mode is just lame duck waiting to be slaughtered. No RWR, no ECM, blind without radar and open radio susceptible to jamming….Piece of crap……

    What Malaysia needs is MRCA just like the SU 30 MKM but better serviceability. Buying the F/A 18 F restrict Malaysia on the employment of its usage. (US Navy controls the Operational Flight Program on the Mission Computer and it can be tweaked anytime…….>

    As you may see why UAE and some other countries want the Rafale…

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