MBDA at LIMA 2023

FA-50 firing ASRAAM. MBDA.

SHAH ALAM: MBDA (Hall B, Stand B17) is showcasing the latest missile technologies at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2023 Exhibition. Particular highlights of the company’s presence are options to equip the new FA-50 combat aircraft recently chosen by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Together MBDA’s ASRAAM air combat missile and Brimstone precision strike missile give unprecedented combat performance for a light fighter. They enable an aircraft to dominate the close air combat fight and easily engage all ground targets from the best protected tanks to moving vehicles and
attack vessels – all with a very-high loadout.

MBDA has been a long-standing partner to the Malaysian Armed Forces for ground-based air-defence with the Jernas system. Today the company is proposing its next generation GBAD system based on the CAMM family of missiles to provide cutting-edge layered air defence for the Malaysian Army and Royal Malaysian Air Force. These provide significantly enhanced range and performance compared with Jernas, 360° all-weather coverage, and minimised support requirements.

Launch of a VL MICA from a ship. MBDA

In the naval domain, the Royal Malaysia Navy have already selected MBDA’s VL MICA naval air defence system for one class of vessels, with the same system also offering great potential for other Malaysian naval vessels. MBDA will be exhibiting the latest version of this
potent system, the VL MICA NG that provides the highest levels of performance to protect
naval vessels thanks to its new dual-pulse rocket motor and dual seeker options – AESA RF
or Imaging IR.
The MBDA Akeron ATGW-MR after its launch from the Arquus Sabre SF vehicle.

Meanwhile, MBDA is also exhibiting its capabilities in the battlefield space, with its latest
generation Akeron MP man-portable anti-tank missile that meets the needs of infantry and
special forces.

— Malaysian Defence

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18 Comments

  1. I would prefer both our main naval air defence missile and our ground MERAD system (as the JERNAS replacement) to be based on the VL MICA NG missiles.

    We can consolidate the missile stock and share between naval and ground air defence systems.

    Previously MBDA has offered MICA for our SU-30MKM requirements, but we declined due to cost. So far MBDA does not want to integrate the Meteor with any russian platforms. Would this change in the future? I think it is time to have western BVR AAM and stand-off naval/land-attack missiles for the SU-30MKM.

  2. … – “So far MBDA does not want to integrate the Meteor with any russian platforms”

    Has there been any serious interest by anyone for such an integration? Also, MBDA can be willing but the Russians have to share the source/object codes.

    … – “I think it is time to have western BVR AAM and stand-off naval/land-attack missiles for the SU-30MKM.”

    The pertinent question is whether the RMAF or the government has any such intent or is it the aim to just spend the bare minimum to keep them flying for a few more years before retiring the fleet? On paper many things can re be done to upgrade the fleet but in reality is there an intent and would the cash be better spent on a new platform? Note that despite all the hype by fanboys it is the Hornet that the RMAF has the most faith in and is happy with.

  3. Unless one doesn’t remember, the cost of integrating amraam & phantomstrike on the FA50 is stupidly high and that with 2 countries paying for it with a sizeable numbers of commited purchased.

    The MKM is a special low numbers one of a kind jet without any other available country to help foot the bills nor we ourselves bought plenty of it nor a national interest project like the KFX or TFX for self sufficiency nor industrial benefits. Infact the jet itself while makes sense geopolitically 2 decades ago it’s currently rather than an asset is a liabilities to our geopolitical, geo economical interest.

    With the MKM flying half the ‘necessary’ normal Hours which allows for what supposedly 10 years retrofit being extended to 20 years. There’s a huge probability that the MKM would soon be retired. We could keep it flying as it is, but with worse radar, missiles, parts & access to missiles stockpile then a FA50 and inability to works in a network environment. It does seem even that seem like a huge waste of taxpayer money.

  4. IMO RMAF is really in need of not just new planes but also missiles. Whether RMAF will buy new missiles for the FA-50 is remain to be seen but stoking up on aim9x might the the safer and cheaper options.

    Also given that the su30 MKMs is gonna be flying until 2040, there are still possibilities that we need to buy new missiles, last time we bought R-73 was 15 years ago and we are approaching the 20 year limit (assuming if same as aim9, our aim9ms also might be expire this year or next), I dont foresee we buying anything from Russia in the next 10 years so ASRAAM could be a choice if we can ‘ride’ with the Indians MKIs (might as well add MICA) and then do the integration for FA50 and might as well the Hornets as Australian legacy Hornets already using asraams

    Or we can go with the iris-t route, wait for Koreans to integrate it on FA-50 and then we can do it on MKMs, also it might be possible to integrate all the Hornets with iris-t as been done by Spain

    Well i am dreaming i guess….

  5. Just wondering, would there be any plan to have a nee basic jet trsiner in the next RMK? I believe FA50 is more of an advance jet trainer/ lightweight combat role and i imagine it may not be cost effective to use it to train greenhorn pilot graduatrd from PC7?

  6. Luqman – Seriously, what’s with the obsession of arming the Flankers and Hornets when both will be retired in the not too distant future. *Psst* We will not be using the Flankers till 2040.

  7. @Melayu Ketinggalan

    Commonality among the fleet especially with the Flankers. Is 10+ years not too distant future?

    Also where is does this “Flankers not reaching 2040” did come from? What will be the immediate MRCA replacement for the Flankers then when even the Hornets are also retiring?

  8. @Melayu Ketinggalan

    Commonality among the fleet especially with the Flankers. Is 10+ years not too distant future?

    Also where is does this “Flankers not reaching 2040” did come from? What will be the immediate MRCA replacement for the Flankers then when even the Hornets are also retiring?

  9. @MK
    “We will not be using the Flankers till 2040.”
    Like many things in our arsenal, we tend to use them way past their effective due dates. Other times it is just operational in name only until it is “officially” retired.

  10. There’s are times as well like with the MIG & superlynx where we retired them early.

    Commonality is great but the Intergration cost maybe too high that buying new or Preloved platforms is a better way of achieving commonalities then paying for Intergration cost on the MKM while wishing that all the companies & countries involved would play balls.

  11. Luqman & joe –

    Are you both not following the war in Ukraine? As it stands Russia is now the big bad wolf vs the NWO. So the MKM Flankers as it stands will not be in a position to be effective in the next 10 years as countries will shift to arm themselves from US, UK, EU, South Korea, Israel, Italy and Turkiye instead. Malaysia also will do the same and it’s already proven with the recent acquisitions from KAI, Leonardo and TAI.

    Unless you’re India, North Korea or Iran then don’t no need to have hopes of thinking the MKM Flankers will be Malaysia’s Top Gun in the air. Just look at our Fulcrums which were prematurely retired before their expiry date. Just goes to show this country didn’t learn its lesson from before. LOL.

    Heck, if the politicians had gone for the Rhinos instead then the RMAF will be flying it till 2040. Don’t be surprised our Legacy Hornets to be the ones still flying come 2040 and by 2030 RMAF will purchase either the F-35, Boramae or Kaan as its next MRCA 5th gen fighter.

  12. Luqman – “What will be the immediate MRCA replacement for the Flankers”

    Since when did capability gaps become something that absolutely had to be avoided? As it stands we’ve had various things which were retired but never replaced leading to capability gaps.

    Zaft – “or Preloved platforms is a better way of achieving commonalities”

    Only if your “preloved” kit does the job or meets ones requirements.

    Melayu Ketinggalan – “So the MKM Flankers as it stands will not be in a position to be effective in the next 10 years”

    The question is not whether it can be
    “effective in the next 10 years” but whether we decide to make it so. There are various options which can be taken with the help of non Russian sources but will decision makers decide to do so or will they decide that spending the cash on a full Flanker upgrade [on a platform already ‘X’ years and one the RMAF was never really happy with] is not a sound return of investment as opposed to utilising the cash on a new platform?

    Melayu Ketinggalan – “Heck, if the politicians had gone for the Rhinos instead then the RMAF will be flying it till 2040”

    Well, if NASA had been able to send a local astronaut to space maybe Mahathir would have ordered Super Hornets in the 2002/3 period but water under the bridge now.

  13. @MK
    “MKM Flankers as it stands will not be in a position to be effective in the next 10 years”
    Effective or not its still the most potent fighter force that we have until MRCA. If you have realise, our defence procurements have not been keeping up with what our neighbours do, even if they would get into the 5th gen gig we are still only likely to join the club if we have the money, cash which is now even harder to get, so being pragmatic our MKM will still be flying post 2040 if TUDM so wishes. Ideally we would get more Kuwaiti Hornets to boost our legacy fleet so it could take off more burden from the MKM, prolonging their lifespan. Then by 2035-2040 we would expect to get 5th gens to start replacing the Hornets and later on the MKM circa 2040-45.

    “if the politicians had gone for the Rhinos instead”
    For the simple fact that we couldnt afford the numbers that TUDM wanted. We tried to push for that a 2nd round with MRCA 4.5gen during PM Najib time, but it wasnt winning against Rafale & Typhoon bids. Inevitably it was low in the selection ranking decided by those in power.

  14. ”Effective or not its still the most potent fighter force that we have until MRCA. ”

    Ask the RMAF and they’ll tell you differently. They’ll tell you they have much more confidence in the Hornets [despite it having less range; less media and fanboy attention and weapons with shorter ranges] and the Hornets have much better serviceability rates.

  15. ”For the simple fact that we couldnt afford the numbers that TUDM wanted.”

    In the 1997 period we actually issued a RFI for 18 Hornets Cs and there was political approval but then came the Economic Crisis. The RMAF only asked for 18 and 18 was the number approved by the beancounters – wasn’t because ”we couldnt afford the numbers that TUDM wanted”. The 18 Cs were intended to augment the 8 Ds which we bought as training platforms which were to have been supplemented at a later date.

    ”Inevitably it was low in the selection ranking decided by those in power.”

    On the contrary it was ”high in the selection ranking decided by those in power” – look at well publicised statements made by the then Defence Minister [he was particularly fond of Typhoon] and others but ambitions were curtailed by financial considerations. Note that in 2002/2003 period we spent a lot on Flankers, PC-7s, PT-91s, Adnans, Jernas, Igla, Metis, G-5s, Scorpene; bridges, etc [for those who were there; DSA 2002 was exciting for the contracts signed]; this came home to roost a few years later when we pursued the MRCA programme which went from Gripen to Typhoon to Rafale.

  16. If we could get our hands on any Preloved hornet then the money needed to keep the flankers flying as it is with its obsolete radars, missiles & all would probably bring less ROI then to make the hornet fly as thanks to the Canadian the hornet can be affordable updated with sniper targeting pod & GaN aesa radar.

    Getting both Preloved hornet while keeping the MKM flying is highly unlikely, not just because of money constraints but could also because of technical constraints like the availability of technicians, pilots & so on.

  17. Zaft – “the money needed to keep the flankers flying as it is with its obsolete radars”

    Neither the radars or ordnance are “obsolete” yet in the strictest sense of the term and won’t be for quite some time. The AAMs would have to be relifed but that doesn’t make them “obsolete”.

    Zaft – “Getting both Preloved hornet while keeping the MKM flying is highly unlikely”

    That is indeed the intention but whether the government remains interested in really pursuing the ex Kuwaiti airframes remains to be seen. For the RMAF it’s main concerns remain having adequate sustainment funds and not being straddled yet again with inadequate funds.

    Overlooked is the fact that along with the 30 odd year old Hornets; certain types of ordnance and ground support gear will also have to be bought and certain components might have to be replaced.

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