SHAH ALAM: Last minute lobbying for Hurjet and Anka? Bernama is reporting that PM DS Ismail Sabri will be making an official visit to Turkiye (its preferred spelling) starting tomorrow to increase bilateral ties and forge close cooperation in the aerospace and defence industries.
According to Bernama the visit was on the official invitation of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. RMAF chief Jen Asghar Khan Gorman Khan and Army chief Jen Zamrose Mohd Zin are among the official delegation for the visit. Ismail and his delegation are expected to visit the facilities of two Turkish biggest defence players – MKE Corporation and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) on Wednesday, prior to his meeting with Erdogan scheduled on Thursday.
With TAI’s involvement in two RMAF tenders – FLIT/LCA and MALE UAS – one can surmised that the visit basically a last ditch lobbying for its two contenders. Of course, the report also cited other reasons for the visit but it must be noted that the chief executives of both companies met with Ismail in Putrajaya earlier in June and late last year. For the FLIT/LCA tender, TAI is offering the yet-to-be flown Hurjet while the Anka is seen as the favourite for the MALE UAS tender.MKE is trying hard with its yet to-be-sold SPH as well.
As Malaysian Defence reported previously, it is unlikely the Hurjet is in the mix for the FLIT/LCA as the RMAF is supposed to conduct a physical evaluation of its choice on June 22 while the contract for six aircraft is to be signed this month. RMAF has not offered any thing on the issue since it released the statement, however.
The decision for the MALE UAS is supposed to be done this month although there is no word on when is the contract signing. This is not the first official visit to Turkiye by a Malaysian PM though.
It must be said that the Indian media is going over top when the country’s own national news service, PTI, is reporting that the Tejas is the odds-on favourite to win the FLIT/LCA tender.
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