SHAH ALAM: LCA/UAS by 2024. In an earlier post, we found out that a South Korean investment firm stated the decision for the FLIT/LCA in favour of Korean Aerospace Industries T-50/F-50 Golden Eagle will be made in the first quarter of 2022.
I wrote that I believed that a decision by that time was highly unlikely based on the state of affairs of the tender process. When I was writing that post I was also made aware of a report in a portal calling for an investigation into the FLIT/LCA tender alleging wrong doings. Based on what I read (which I am not citing here for reasons) I believed this is a concerted effort to lobby the politicians and give them cover when they make a national interest decision on the tender.
Anyhow at the same Dewan Negara sitting on December 22 where the deputy Defence Minister Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz stated that the ministry has an interest in acquiring ex-Kuwaiti Air Force Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets, he also revealed the delivery dates of FLIT/LCA and UAS.
Bagi meningkatkan keupayaan sistem radar pertahanan udara TUDM, pihak kementerian akan melaksanakan pelan perolehan bagi long-range air surveillance radar system yang akan dilaksanakan secara berperingkat selari dengan rancangan pembangunan lima tahun Malaysia bermula daripada RMKe-12.
Perancangan ini adalah seiring dengan penerimaan pesawat baru FLIT/LCA dan tiga buah pesawat tanpa pemandu yang bakal diterima negara bermula tahun 2024. Masingmasing akan ditempatkan di Pangkalan Udara Kuantan dan Pangkalan Udara Labuan. Terima kasih.
However as we can ascertained above there was no number on the FLIT/LCA though the UAS will be three as the tender calls for three airframes. What is more interesting is that the UAS will be based at Labuan airbase (though expected) while the FLIT/LCA at the Kuantan airbase which was announced earlier.
Based on the deputy Defence Minister statement on the deliveries, it is likely that a decision on the FLIT/LCA and UAS will be made soon. How soon? Will the hit job affect the FLIT/LCA decision? Your guess is as good as mine. It must be said that the contracts for both need to be signed at DSA 2022 (if it happens) or by that time to ensure delivery in 2024.
HT to DM (as usual)
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