LANGKAWI: EVEN though LIMA 2015 had been declared as the best LIMA ever, based on the number VVIPs present on Day 2 alone I will have to disagree. Clearly something is wrong when the movers and shakers are not present at the country’s premier aerospace show.
The news of the day was announced by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein at a press conference. He said he hoped the decommissioning of the Mig-29 Fuclrum will help to boost the serviceability of the RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM fleet.
“Of course we need to think about the future. But at the same time we must work with the industry to ensure the highest serviceability levels of the Sukhois. We hope that this could be achieved following the decommissioning (Fulcrum),” he said when asked about whether or not the government will replaced the Fulrums which is scheduled to be retired by year end.
As for the replacement itself, Hishammuddin said it depended on threats faced by the country and the economic situation.
Meanwhile, contracts to be signed at LIMA 2015 on Day 3 (March 13) will mainly be for maintenance and support of the Armed Forces current assets and not new ones.
In the meantime, the digital camouflaged Nuri helicopter M23-01 was seen at the rotary wing side of the LIMA 2015 static display.The helicopter is expected to be officially handed over on Friday. The digital camouflage is an experimental one and whether or not it will be the official livery will depend entirely on the Army.
The helicopter, is a bone stock Nuri as the NUP4 (digital cockpit upgrade) is on hold pending RMAF evaluation of the first example, M23-36 which is in service with the 3rd Squadron. The Army is expected to operate 12 Nuris while RMAF will use 12.
Meanwhile, at the Stride (the Defence Ministry R&D arm) displayed among others are unmanned vehicles, an UUV and an UGV. Not much details are available but the UGV is developed in collaboration with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The UGV was fitted with an M4-type rifle in its trials but for the show, the gun was removed.
The UUV above is fitted with a side scan sonar and EO/IR camera. It is electrically driven by two propellers.
In other news, Thales announced the delivery of two AMASCOS missions systems to the RMAF. The AMASCOS systems will be fitted to the RMAF Beech 200 aircraft, two of which are already in service.
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