LIMA 2015 Day 2 : Fulcrums for Sukhois

One of the two Super Hornets of the US Navy at LIMA 2015

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.

RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM M54-16 returning to its parking spot after the display at LIMA 2015.
RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM M54-16 returning to its parking spot after the display at LIMA 2015.

“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.

RMAF sole A400M M55-01 on display at LIMA 2015.
RMAF sole A400M M55-01 on display at LIMA 2015.

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.

 Tentera Darat new helicopter, Nuri M23-01 resplendent in its digital camo.
Tentera Darat new helicopter, Nuri M23-01 resplendent in its digital camo.

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.

Stride UUV
Stride UUV

The UUV above is fitted with a side scan sonar and EO/IR camera. It is electrically driven by two propellers.

Thales AMASCOS workstation on board the CN235 MPA displayed at LIMA 2015.
Thales AMASCOS workstation on board the CN235 MPA displayed at LIMA 2015.

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.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2146 Articles
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1 Comment

  1. Azlan says:
    March 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm


    The government pushed the Su-30 despite the RMAF in the 2001/2 period wanting Super Hornets. As a compromise the RMAF customed designed the Su-30 to meet its operational needs; hence the “MKM” designation. We got a first look at the Su-27 at LIMA 2001 and in 1999 Mahathir visited the Irkursk factory.

    Unlike the MKIs the MKMs do not have a HUMS but unlike the MKIs; the MKMs have a MAWS. The MKMs also have a non holographic HUD. Having said that, nothing that went on the MKM was substandard; from the German radios to the French LCDs to the Swedish/South African protection suite. Logic would have dictated we go for something else rather than buying a small number of platforms that was a sub variant of another sub variant.
    Steelshot says:
    March 22, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Hi Azlan & Marhalim,

    I think both of you sum it up perfectly.
    We have somehow “Frankenstein” this platform to such a point that as Marhalim stated issues “totally unique to us” both in term of operation, parts, costs and other factors that we might not be oblivious to.

    It’s no more Frankenstein Ruskies platform 4 me.

    Marhalim, you stated in past comments that the F5 is already pensioned.
    Maybe I wrong but I recall I read somewhere that TUDM are still considering.
    I hope they can continue to keep the F5 operation going and maybe even get additional platform from say the Saudi???
    Azlan says:
    March 21, 2015 at 10:35 pm


    I did not say anything was “substandard”; just that it might not be operating optimally due to interface issues or product support. Like what we did with the Kedah class, PT-91s and A-109s, we gold plated the MKMs and spent a lot on various sub systems.

    As for operational rates compared to the Hornets; I do not have an exact figure and even if I did, I would not post it in a public forum. What I have heard from industry and RMAF people (non 11 Squadron) is what I previously said: rates are not low per say but are not as high as the RMAF would like, when compared to other assets (you can form your own conclusions). The IAF not too long ago said that it was averaging 70 percent with its MKIs. Apart from whether Russian OEMs – via Rosoboronexport – can supply parts in a timely manner; also of concern (in the longer term) is the situation in the Ukraine.

    It is often not realised that various parts are made by companies based in the Ukraine. This goes back to the days of the Soviet Union and the policy of making parts/components in the various republics and is why even a small company in Belarus can offer Fulcrum upgrades and why one can buy Archers and Aphids made in the Ukraine rather than from Vympel in Russia.

    As stated by Azlan, our MKMs are a unique aircraft, the only one in the world. As such we will have issues which is totally unique to us of which even the Russians will have trouble finding a solution even without any thing else coming into the picture ie money, spares availability etc.
    Steelshot says:
    March 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Hi Azlan,
    I see, do you have any info what kind of operational serviceability rate the Sukhoi is achieving as compare to say our Hornet?
    Also please do elaborate some example of the sub-standard system you know of on the platforn for my knowledge.

    Any idea what they are or will be planning to do to rectify this.

    Appreciate your imput.
    Azlan says:
    March 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    kerberos – ”could this be the cause for RMAF inability to scramble during the notorious MH370 fiasco”

    Nonsense….. There are established SOPs put in place before a decision to launch a QRA is taken. A decision to launch a QRA is not taken lighty; not in the RMAF and not in other air arms. No doubt, many things went wrong at various levels with MH370 but not having any fighters on QRA because none or most were non-operational that night is not one of them. Also, we don’t even know which squadron was tasked with QRA that night; it doesn’t neccesarily have to have been 11 Squadron; it could have been 18 Squadron.
    Me says:
    March 21, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    On the contrary. It means that
    1. All along, the Flankers is the replacement for the Fulcrums. Whoever may concern just (partially) woke up from denial.
    2. Half ass effort does not lead to good result. Stick to what you have and make the best out of it.
    Azlan says:
    March 21, 2015 at 3:38 pm


    Profound difference between the MKMs having a “low” servicibility rate and not having a servicibility rate as high as high as the RMAF would like; when compared to other assets operated. Another problem is that certain sub-systems may not be performing optimally. The highly esteemed Defence Minister’s statement makes nothing “plainly obvious”.
    mofaz says:
    March 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Breaking News in the Navy Recognition web site says that NSM has been choosen for the surface to surface missile for the Gowind NGPV ..any truth in this ?

    What breaking news is this? I have reported on this before.
    Steelshot says:
    March 21, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Yes I think Hisham spill the beans on the Sukhoi & this might be one of the many reasons why they were not in the list of MRCA candidates.
    It’s now plainly obvious the Sukhoi have a “low serviceability rate”!
    kerberosWXIV says:
    March 21, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Reports about France offering Rafale on 10 yr credit line similar to the Egyptian deal to Malaysia plus a local proposal to upgrade/rebuilt the MiGs to a so-called MiG-29NM (NM for “no money (budget) solution”?)… what a lively rumor-rife LIMA… Btw, now that Hisham candidly admit RMAF could not keep the Su-30 in adequate operational readiness, could this be the cause for RMAF inability to scramble during the notorious MH370 fiasco
    Azlan says:
    March 21, 2015 at 12:12 am

    That’s true Marhalim.

    Gear being acquired has actually been on the wish-list for a while. It’s indicative of the country’s priorities: keeping pace with its neighbours and rather than significantly improving the TNI’s power protection capabilities; is focused on improving the TNI’s ability to defend it’s backyard; including Ambalat and the South China Sea.

    It’s also very telling that the TNI has not gone for large displacement surface combatants and appears to be focusing on frigates/corvettes and FACs (for sea denial).
    Azlan says:
    March 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    The TNI has lot of catching up to do and is fortunate because Indonesia’ s economy and the government’s emphasis on creating a more assertive and influential Indonesia has resulted in the right atmosphere so to speak; of increased spending. We also have to put things in perspective and take note that Indonesia is a very large country and the TNI has immense peacetime operational responsibilities. Despite all the recent orders, the TNI – in relation to the size of the country – is still overstretched.

    P.S. A delegation from the Defence College – including several foreign students from the U.S, Brunei, the Philippines and Jordan – just spent a week in Indonesia. They visited several TNI training/educational establishments in Jakarta and Bandung.

    More importantly apparently their operational budget has not commensurate with the acquisition of new assets.
    Steelshot says:
    March 19, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Shed bought up some interesting points.

    Maybe I am mistaken but look like we are paying more for everything from screw drivers to planes.
    I can understand Army Chief Jen Datuk Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noorno precadiment when he reply you Marhalim, ” TIADA FULUS “.

    Have anyone ever wonder what our Airforce will be like by end of this decade?
    shed says:
    March 19, 2015 at 7:21 pm


    Yes. imo we are moving backwards. Once the laughing stock of malaysian defence bloggers indonesia 4 example have drawn up a modernisation plan like no other. They bought wholesale a few regiments of mobile artilery (the ceaser and astross) 4 a sum lower then what malaysia paid 4 (i stand to be corrected). They bought F16, sukhoi’s, golden eagle trainers and ect. And our response? Ops we are not going into an arm races with our neighbours…
    Azlan says:
    March 19, 2015 at 5:51 pm


    There is no such thing as 100 percent availability. From what I’ve heard servicibility rates are not low per say but we’d like it to be higher. At any one time there will be fighters undergoing scheduled maintenance but the rest area fly training sorties daily. There is also the question of whether all the spares ordered have actually been delivered. I’ve also been told that some parts are still being made in the Ukraine.
    Caser says:
    March 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    From a viewer’s point of view, too many conflicting statements which are unsync with the actual situation, requirement, scenario etc. If there’s a will there’ll be ways of doing it but obviously the will power from the powers that be is lacking and as our neighbours progress we remain status quo if not regressing.A very very sad and demoralising state indeed…

    On a lighter humorous note…with the exit of ManCity last nite, top 4 epl team is within grasp already…it’s the likes of la liga and bundesliga that are still a far fetched dream..:D
    Hasnan says:
    March 19, 2015 at 11:07 am

    We dream big about developing a defence industry via all these offset programs but lack a continuous order book…capabilities developed will soon leave and we are left with rent seekers

    Its like a third division team dreaming to become a top 4 epl team…kena cermin diri
    JDAM says:
    March 19, 2015 at 10:42 am

    “He said he hoped the decommissioning of the Mig-29 Fulcrum will help to boost the serviceability of the RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM fleet”

    I don’t get it….did they not signed recently, a three-year contract worth RM300 million with Sukhoi ( three times the allocation over the previous three-year period ) to boost combat readiness of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Su-30MKM fleet from the current level of 65 to 70 percent to 85 percent in the “near term” and eventually increase this to 100 percent.

    I am lost for words. From his statement, he himself doesn’t even sound convinced money pour into the Sukhoi so far have successfully kept the combat readiness of the aircraft at the optimum level.

    I haphazard to guess not all the Sukhoi are flying.
    Michael says:
    March 18, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    in direct the message to us the Sukhoi low serviceability is because of ATSC bad services? or cash issue?

    I think Hishammuddin bring a message to the Russia if they plan to have more business and more jet in Malaysia, please do it good on our existing Sukhoi…!

    Its a combination of issues actually lack of cash is one part of the equation.
    Steelshot says:
    March 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    The Mig is history!!..and it’s a day that will live in Infamy!!!

    The PUTD Nuri with the new digital screaming ” Shoot Me!! ” paintwork… Sorry, is as ugly as hell.
    Wonder whose idea was it?

    It will be revealed during the handing over ceremony
    … says:
    March 18, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for the update.

    Btw, do you have more pictures of the nuri?

    As for the amascos, I assume that this is for the remaining 2 unmodified beechcrafts?

    I have more picture and videos too. However the poor internet connection at the place I am staying preclude me sending more. I am assuming that too.

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