LIMA Contracts 2023, RMAF

A model of the RMAF FA-50M Block 20 at LIMA 2023. Note the Cobham refueling probe, Sniper targeting pod and precision guided weapons. Malaysian Defence picture

SHAH ALAM: This is the third story on the contracts signing ceremony at LIMA 2023. This one will concentrate on RMAF ones though one item will be for Joint Force Headquarters as it had only one contract at the ceremony.

As reported previously, the three deals signed for the RMAF – FLIT/LCA, MPA and UAS MALE made up half of the total value of the RM10.1 billion deal signed at LIMA 2023.

Contracts

Korea Aerospace Industries Limited. RM3.84 billion. For the supply, delivery, and commissioning of eighteen units of Fighter Lead-In Trainer – Light Combat Aircraft and associated equipment.

RUAG Australia Proprietary Limited. RM97 million for provision of spare(s), maintenance, repair, overhaul services, training and technical services for aircraft components F/A-18D Hornet and C-130 Hercules.

The port engines of A400M M54-03.

Global Turbine Asia Sdn Bhd. RM154.27 million for the in-service support for TP400-D6 engine of the Airbus A400M.

Destini Prima Sdn Bhd. RM387 million for providing first line maintenance of survival and safety equipment.

A No.6 Skuadron ground crew checking out a Hawk Mk208 ejection seat. Joint Force Command

Airod Sdn Bhd. RM535 million for the supply of spare parts, maintenance, and technical services of C-130H and Hawk aircraft as well as maintenance of government VIP/VVIP aircraft (Falcon 900, Global Express BD700 and Black Hawk S70A helicopters).
No 2 Skuadron personnel posed with one of the two VIP Blackhawk helicopters. No. 2 Skuadron

Pilatus Aircraft Limited. RM185.1 million for the maintenance service and supply of article for Pilatus PC-7 Mark II turboprop trainer.

Airod Techno Power Sdn Bhd. RM257.76 million for the supply of spares, repair, overhaul and technical assistance relating to five T56 engines of the C-130H Hercules aircraft.

Aerospace Technology System Corporation Sdn Bhd. RM846.7 million for the supply of articles, performance of service and technical assistance of Sukhoi Su-30MKM aircraft.

Sukhoi Su-30MKM M52-018. Malaysian Defence picture

Letter of Acceptance

Ideal Marine Sdn Bhd. RM12.65 million for the boat maintenance contract for the Joint Force Headquarters.

RUAG Schweiz (International), Switzerland. RM86 million for the maintenance and refurbishment of PT6A-25C engines and its related components. This are the engines on the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II light trainers.

The rear end of a RMAF BAE Systems Hawk 208 tail number 34. Malaysian Defence picture

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, UK. RM116.5 million for the supply of spare parts, maintenance, and technical services for Hawk MK108/208 trainer and light combat aircraft.

Turkish Aerospace Industries. RM423.8 million for the supply, delivery, and commissioning of three units of unmanned aerial system and associated support – Category medium altitude long endurance (MALE) – Phase 1.

Leonardo SPA. RM789.6 million for the supply, delivery and commissioning of two units of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Phase 1 and associate equipment.

Dallas Airmotive Incorporated USA. RM89.9 million for the maintenance and overhaul of PT6A-25A, PT6A-25C, PT6A-42A AND TFE-731-5BR aircraft engines.

TAE Gas Turbines Pty Limited (Australia). RM127.6 million for the maintenance of F404 engine and services of F/A-18 fighter jet.

Airbus Military Sociedad Limitada. RM537 million for the in-service support of Airbus A400M aircraft.

RMAF fighter jets and ROKAF Black Eagles air demonstration conducting a friendship flight at LIMA 2023. RMAF

Letter of Intent

Derco, a Lockheed Martin company. RM29 million for the supply of articles and services to the Hercules C-130 aircraft.

Thales Raytheon GM 403 radar in service with RMAF. Thales now produce the same radar on its own. TUDM

Thales of France. RM170.6 million for one unit of 3D air defence long range radar complete with ancillary equipment, associated support and design and build of infrastructure. At the ceremony it was not announced what radar it will be but it is likely to be the Thales GM403, a variant of the same one already in service with RMAF at Kota Samarahan, Sarawak.

— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. A few queries to the contracts awarded:
    KAI.. and associated equipment.”
    Does that include simulators too? What about weapons & sensor pods?

    “RUAG Australia.. F18”
    So it looks like we will still be sending the Hornets to Australia for their SLEP huh?

    “Airod Sdn Bhd. & Airod Techno Power..”
    So it appears that Airod no longer persona non grata with the multiple change in Govt.

    “RUAG Schweiz & Dallas Airmotive for Pilatus engine”
    “Dallas Airmotive & Airod Techno for C130 engine”
    These contracts seem to be overlap and working on the same engines. Why so?

  2. Some interesting point

    1. maintenance and overhaul of PT6A-25A

    That engine is specific for use with PC-7 Mk1. Are they going to make some PC-7 Mk1 flyable?

    2. maintenance and overhaul of PT6A-42A

    That is the engine for B200T MPA. To be still flying until the ATR-72 MPA arrives?

  3. No details on the specific equipment released but I assumed it will be. Nope the SLEP is being done locally but some items are sent overseas when and as needed. Somethings still need to be done by Airod as they have the facilities and personnel to do it but it’s not like previously when everything goes there as seen by contract with Derco.

  4. ”Does that include simulators too? What about weapons & sensor pods?”

    No. Simulators are always sourced separately; i.e. the Hawk ones from Redifussion and the Fulcrum’s from CAE. Ordnance was not part of the K/A-50 deal; with the Hornets it was because it was packaged as part of the FMS deal and with the Flankers it came via Rosoboronexport as part of the deal.

    ”So it appears that Airod no longer persona non grata with the multiple change in Govt.”

    AIROD fell from grace but it was never ”persona non grate” per see. How could it when it’s the only entity in the country certified to perform depot level maintenance on certain types.

    … – ”Are they going to make some PC-7 Mk1 flyable?”

    The question is did the arrival of the M k2s result in all the Mk1s being retired?

  5. Looking at the list of contracts and other LoA it seems like the air force is going to keep its hawks for a forseeable future even when they already received their FA-50. Would be a better decisions as there would be a gap between flying Pilatus and jumping straight to FA-50 had the air force got rid of the hawks

    Another options it to get PC-21 as a medium trainer like what Singapore did? Then again it would make no sense to buy another aircraft type when the existing one would be plenty capable for the job

  6. “The question is did the arrival of the M k2s result in all the Mk1s being retired?”

    Has some contacts that does maintenance on those birds, the Mk1 has not been flown for years now, many being made gate guards and donated to aerospace technical schools.

  7. So RMAF end up going for the Thales Ground Master (probably the current variant, GM400alpha with publicly available range up to 515km). Hopefully more of these radar can be procured to replace old radars and increase the numbers. Complementing this radar with more AN/TPS-77 can also be done as we will operate 1 unit donated by uncle Sam.

  8. @ dundun

    Pilots could easily go from PC-7 mk2 to the FA-50. No issues/no gaps. The FA-50 is replacing the task of the hawks, plus many advanced training that previously could only be done in OCU, like weapons training and the use of radar and targeting pods.

    The hawks would probably still be needed until FA-50 batch 2 contract for another 18 aircraft is signed.

  9. @dundun, it could be some of the Hawks will be continue to be used as trainers after FA50 arrives (2026-2027) but by 2030, most if not all the Hawks could be gone already

  10. Dundun – “Looking at the list of contracts and other LoA it seems like the air force is going to keep its hawks for a forseeable future even when they already received their FA-50”

    The first F-50 will only be delivered in 2026 and by the time all are delivered and reach IOC will be at least a couple of years later so that means the Hawks will have to be supported for a few more years; hence the latest contract for spare/support.

    Dundun – “Another options it to get PC-21 as a medium trainer like what Singapore did”

    A role the MBB-339s used to play in the 1990’s; a transition platform prior to Hornet or Fulcrum conversion. In an ideal world we’d have a dedicated purpose built LIFT like the M-346 but alas we don’t live in a perfect world.

  11. @dundun
    “air force is going to keep its hawks for a forseeable future”
    Remember that the order now is only for 18 units but the requirement is for 36. Until they get their full complement necessary, they won’t want to prematurely retire the Hawks as Govt tends to flip flop with every change.

    @Luqman
    “but by 2030, most if not all the Hawks could be gone already”
    I would not be so sure unless they get the full 36 units LCA/FLIT. If 2nd batch does not materialise TUDM will take other course of action.

  12. Off topic

    RTAF is also upgrading their T-50TH to carry sniper targeting pods.

    Currently RTAF is using 12 T-50TH, with another 2 ordered to be delivered 2024.

    The cost of upgrading the 12 T-50TH is USD52.5 million

    The upgrades include
    – Elta EL/M-2032 Radar
    – LockMart Sniper targeting pod
    – Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
    – Countermeasures Dispenser System (CMDS)

    This will bring up the T-50TH to FA-50 Block 10 equivalent standard. The 2 additional new T-50TH will be to this same standards.

    So for 2024, Thailand will receive 2 new T-50TH, while Indonesia will receive 6 new T-50i

    In total Thailand will have 14 T-50TH, while Indonesia, after 3 crashed, will have a total of 19 T-50i.

    “dedicated purpose built LIFT”
    FA-50MY in future TUDM use, those that is dedicated to 15 Skuadron or 3FTC will be dedicated for LIFT use, so no issues there. Currently, the T-50 and FA-50 designation does not matter much if used for training. T-50 without radar or targeting pod can still train for those systems due to the advanced Embedded Tactical Training System (ETTS) of the T-50. Currently Thai T-50TH is being upgraded to FA-50 Block 10 standard with radar & targeting pod, but will still designated T-50TH.

  13. @joe

    Local final assembly & checkpoint does increase the likelihood that the 2nd batch would be ordered but the availability of local final assembly & checkpoint facilities will then limit the choice of MRCA.

  14. … – “FA-50MY in future TUDM use, those that is dedicated to 15 Skuadron or 3FTC will be dedicated for LIFT use, so no issues there”

    Thank you but I’ll maintain my wait and see attitude before applying the “so no issues there “ label.

    As usual we’re doing things belatedly and when we do it’s in small numbers and we make huge fanfare out of it.

    … – “Currently, the T-50 and FA-50 designation does not matter much if used for training”

    Ta for the heads up but I’m not too interested in designations. We can designate it Winnie the Pooh Mk5000 or the name of a famous Malay warrior who subdued the 7 Kingdoms for all I care but as long as it meets requirements; as long as a follow on batch isn’t delayed indefinitely and a long as we can continue with the slow transition to systems centric air arm.

  15. zaft – ”but the availability of local final assembly & checkpoint facilities will then limit the choice of MRCA”

    It’s amazing some of the things you come up with; like under the spell of hallucinogens.

    Local production/assembly only guarantees the tax payer will have to fork the bill; nothing else. We had local production/assembly for various things [need to know what; ask…]but doesn’t guarantee ay tangible benefits in the long run. Now unlike others I lack a crystal ball or oracle and I tend to avoid making generalised sweeping statements but I’ll be very surprised if the assemble set up we create for the F/A-50 has an impact on what MRCS we later get.

  16. @Zaft
    “Local final assembly & checkpoint”
    If our local reproductions of high tech equipments lately are anything to go by we stand a good chance of FUBAR happening and deliveries get stalled or facing multitudes of problems.

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