Lima 2011, in Passing

SHAH ALAM: I know, Lima 2011 ended almost a week ago. But I was too busy to do anything about it until now. Anyways actually nothing happened at the show. Only the wonderful flight line – one of the best ever for the Lima series – which featured the debut of the Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen, Boeing Globemaster C-17 and A330 MRTT (the Typhoon only made daily appearance during aerial display) – made up for the lack of oomph.

Typhoon full scale mock-up

The appearance of the two Thai Gripens (a single seater and twin seater) was indeed a testament of RTAF and Saab confidence on the capability of an aircraft only delivered two years ago.

RTAF Gripen being prepared on the opening day of Lima 2011

One would expect the SGPV/LCS/Frigate contract to be sign at Lima but the stand-off between DCNS and RMN made it impossible. DCNS is insistent that the ship uses the Setis (think about 30 year long support contract) but RMN is rightly holding back the contract signing for the Thales Tacticos (yes, I know Thales will also have a 30 year-old support contract but the relationship between RMN and DCNS had soured on support cost issues for the two TAR submarines).

Typhoon performing at Lima 2011

As pundits had argued that any defence procurements would be put on hold until the general elections we might not see the contract signing during DSA 2012, scheduled to be held in April.

Rafale Single Seat
One of the two Rafales that took part in Lima 2011

As expected the MRO contract for the Sukhois went to ATSC (despite a strong bid by Boustead together with several other companies) although according to sources – Boustead through its newly setup BHIC AeroServices Sdn Bhd will be selected for the potential MRO contract for the Eurocopter EC-725 Cougar. Still its early and BHIC Aeroservices is a newly set-up concern and might not make it to the finishing line. This will definitely something to watch out for during the next few years.

F/A-18
Boeing Super Hornet at Lima 2011

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1629 Articles
Shah Alam

6 Comments

  1. Thanks we now have inputs on aerospace…How about the maritime side? We concentrated much on the fighters, now no updates on the cargoes f/w and patrol f/w?

  2. With already 5 different CMS’s in service, the RMN is right in insisting that TACTICOS is chosen. In an interview, an ex-RMN chief who is now a top honcho in Boausted denied that the selection of the CS was the main stumbling block and said that it was the government’s decision!!!! Then again this Malaysia, and big business and politics are always the main considerations….. What surprised me is that the Bofors Mk3 has been selected rather than
    the Super Rapid.
    Now that the MRCA programme is on hold, there should be enough cash left for the Inderapura replacement or at least more Cougars. And off course our Defence minister, who was so mesmorised with the Typhoon [he even said that other programmes might be delayed to fund the typhoon], announced some months back that funding would be provided for the C-130 and S-61A upgrade.

    Reply
    Actually the politicians had already selected the Setis but the Navy stalled the contract stating that the specifications did not meet end user requirements. How long they can stall is another issue of course.
    As for the Nuri, funds are only available to upgrade for 15 out of 28 birds. The upgrade if it happens will only be limited to the cockpit. There is talk that even that partial upgrade might be delayed.
    No word on the Hercules upgrade though which mostly mean that it will not happen soon.
    As for the Bofors gun being the choice, didn’t I said before that one of Saab things will be on the LCS? And MTU of course! That’s why I wanted to call the ships Laksamana class!

  3. What a farce & chaotic our government is today. the defence of the country is the top priority not some interest of politician. The navy guys have guts in stalling these greedy politician. We should congratulate them on that. I hope more people in the government & in the country come forward to protect the interest of the country. The Chinese have already sent a naval ship to the East South China Sea. Next they will send ships to the Spartly. At that time where is our ships???

  4. forget the nuri upgrade. Go for 3-4 cougars adding to the 12. The nuri remains as daytime, good weather supply chopper

  5. Mana ada laksa?
    Shockingly enough, our Nuris are considered to be ‘low hour’ compared to commercial S-61s. all we need is the full on Carson upgrade. Funnily enough, this was raised some 8 years ago but tak nak kan?

    Reply
    They want to upgrade but limited to the cockpit displays only…

  6. Not really shocking. Most helicopters, operated by oil and freight companies, log much more time than most military helicopters for the simple reason that there are much less of them operated. The same goes for fixed wing aircraft operated by freight companies. The bulk of the hours on the Nuris were clocked during the Emergency. We can never be certain as to how true is anything our Defence Minister says or how serious we should take him – after the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Defence, he announced that funding would be provided for the Nuri and c-130 upgrade….. After all the fuss about the Cougar deal, it would be bad politics for Najib if another Nuri were to be lost. Not to mention the consequences for the crew….

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