More Fighter Pilots For RMAF

An Aero L-39C aircraft at IPTS Canada. Note the Malaysian flag. IPTS Facebook.

SHAH ALAM: More fighter pilots for RMAF. The second batch of RMAF pilot-trainees have succesfully undergone their Fighter-Lead In Training (FLIT) in Canada. The ten-strong cohort and the initial batch of eight underwent their FLIT at the International Test Pilots School (IPTS) in Ontario, Canada.

The ten started their training on 14 September, last year, and they graduated officialy on 30 April, says RMAF. The graduation ceremony was held via video conferencing from Canada due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The graduation for the IPTS cohort batch 2 at the firm’s hangar in Canada. RMAF


KUALA LUMPUR, 30 April 2021 – Seramai 10 orang pegawai TUDM yang dihantar untuk menjalani Kursus Fighter Lead In Training (FLIT) Siri Kedua di International Test Pilots School (ITPS) Ontario, Kanada pada 14 Sep 2020 tahun lalu telah berjaya menamatkan kursus ini dengan jayanya. Kursus yang berlangsung selama hampir tujuh bulan ini adalah bagi melatih juruterbang dengan menggunakan pesawat L-39C Albatros sebagai platform latihan yang memberi kemahiran dan pengetahuan untuk menjadi juruterbang pesawat pejuang yang kompeten.
Sebelum ini seramai 8 orang pegawai TUDM telahpun berjaya menamatkan kursus FLIT pada siri yang pertama tahun lepas. Pengiktirafan ini telah diberikan kepada mereka dalam satu majlis graduasi yang telah diadakan di Kanada pada hari ini dan Lt Mohd Hazim bin Mohd Tajuddin TUDM telah dipilih sebagai Penuntut Kursus Terbaik Keseluruhan.
Detik-detik manis ini turut disaksikan oleh PANGWILUD 1, Mej Jen Dato’ Zahani bin Hj. Zainal Abidin TUDM serta ahli keluarga pelatih kursus secara maya melalui persidangan video. TUDM mengucapkan tahniah kepada semua peserta kursus dan mereka bakal mencurahkan ilmu dan kemahiran serta berkongsi pengalaman ke arah kecemerlangan dan pemerkasaan TUDM.

IPTS Cohort Batch 2 Best Graduate Lt Hazim Tajuddin speaking at the graduation ceremony. RMAF

As reported previously RMAF had to send it future fighter pilots to IPTS as its primary FLIT aircraft – the MB-339CM – are basically grounded due to the issues with their engines.

Graduation ceremony via video conferencing. RMAF

RMAF did not say whether a third batch of FLIT trainees will continue or are already undergoing training with IPTS. It is likely they are there already though these need further confirmation. The majority of these 18 pilots will be the ones flying the new LCA, whatever one and when they are procured. Hopefully the first examples will be in service by 2025.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Hopefully they’ll be able to try IPTS’ new T-50s and become an evaluator of sorts for those Korean jets

  2. When these pilots return and are assigned to their respective squadrons; will be interesting to compare their skill levels and their approach to things: compared to current pilots who were trained exclusively here and those who will be once we finally get LIFTs.

    Different air arms have slightly different approaches to training and the training received in Canada was by instructors who
    served in NATO air forces and who may have actual experience in various conflicts. Hopefully even after we get our LIFTs: we’ll still allocate funds for small numbers of pilots to to trained abroad; either basic or intermediary training; of the type we can get here.

  3. Upon coming back these freshies will realise the hard truth that they’ve to vie for seat space with current jocks on 18 MKMs and 8 Hornets.

    You forgot the Hawks. Anyhow plenty of space for everyone

  4. How many Hawks are left in our inventory at the moment? And we are not replenishing that number any time soon…and let’s say we’re taking the LCAs into account that’s probably in 2-3 years time, assuming the idiots in Parliament approved the purchase.

    Around 18 or 20 I believe, mostly the single seaters

  5. Oh yeah the Hawks, hahaha! Imagine their reaction when the planes they trained on are even more advanced and user friendly compared to the mounts they will ride for work daily.

    No lah the Albatros they flew were mostly older than the Hawks. Not sure whether the cockpits have been upgraded though

  6. ASM,

    Years ago there were plans to get attritional Hawk 100s but this is no longer the case. Getting more Hawk 100s at this juncture enables us to have more conversion platforms but it doesn’t solve our LIFT problems.

  7. @Marhalim

    From IPTS “The L-39 Albatros fleet has been upgraded with full-colour touchscreen displays and hands-on throttle and stick controls. Simulation is heavily incorporated into all training programs, and the school employs virtual reality (VR) to boost training effectiveness.”

  8. Then we’ll have to see if there’re more Koreans and/or European salesmen hanging out in the MinDef lobby waiting expectantly for the final outcome of the LCA (LIFT) tender.

  9. Taib,

    Will be mostly virtual these days and running around will be by local agents; if any.

    Of the main contenders; I have no idea who actually has a physical presence here in the shape of an office or a rep. I know HAL doesn’t and nether do the Pakistanis.

    The Russians are not in contention but if they were; the DA at the embassy would be active and there is a Rosoboronexport rep based here.
    Same with the U.S; the office of the DA would be actively supporting sales efforts; as it does with after sales support.

  10. Joe,
    “Imagine their reaction when the planes they trained on are even more advanced and user friendly compared to the mounts they will ride for work daily”
    As mentioned by Marhalim, those L-39 are nothing like our Hawks in term of performance. It’s said to be a slightly better “jet version” of our PC-7. Also, pilots are still getting FLIT with the 108 in Butterworth.

  11. @Taib
    Don’t put your hopes up. Govt already said they got no more money to fully lockdown anymore plus buy sufficient vaccine for everyone.

  12. The Hawk 100 is a type conversion platform and is also used to train WSOs which will eventually go to other aircraft.
    Many mistakenly assume (as I did in the past) that it’s a LIFT; it’s not.

  13. The Hawk can and is used as a LIFT platform.

    It is used as lead-in fighter training of student pilots into operational fighter squadrons. NATO flying training in Canada (NFTC) for example, uses their Hawk 115 exclusively as LIFT. As is RAAF with their Hawk 127.and RAF with their Hawk 128.

    TUDM, is quite unique as we actually have a single seat fighter version of the Hawk. Which makes those who are going to the Hawk fighter squadrons treating their LIFT training on the Hawk 2 seaters as a part of their type conversion training.

    Those who previously go to the MB339CM for LIFT, must do type conversion to Fulcrum and Flankers when they graduated from their LIFT courses, as is those who did their LIFT on the Hawk 2 seaters but destined for the Hornets.

    The difference between current and future LIFT training syllabuses and the need for high performance platforms is the want to be able to do most of the high performance operational trainings on the LIFT platform itself and not wasting precious flying hours of expensive fighters. Which is why latest generation of LIFT platforms have high kinetic performance and multitudes of synthetic combat functions imbedded into them.

    TUDM needs a single cost effective platform that can do both LIFT and act as a capable LCA all at the same time. A high performance LIFT platform means that young fighter pilots are already familiar with supersonic speeds and high G loadings, already taught and trained on all basic air to air and air to ground fighter combat skills before they even step foot into an operational fighter.

  14. @Ed Liew
    IPTS has a business case for keeping their planes up to date in order to train airforce pilots for frontline fighters. Our Hawks otoh are starved of funding for the upgrades that would have keep them more relevant in today’s fight.

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