MRCA Programme Heats Up

PETALING JAYA: In The Malay Mail on June 6, I wrote that:

“FRENCH aerospace company Dassault Aviation is set to open an office in KL soon, signalling its intention to win a lucrative fighter aircraft contract from the Malaysian government.

The Malay Mail was informed by defence industry sources that the decision to open the office here “within the next one month or two” was a clear statement by Dassault that “it was serious” in offering its Rafale – which the company described as the only omni-role fighter – for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme.

Dassault’s move is being matched or even overshadowed by the British. Of course, BAE Systems office in Kuala Lumpur is not being expanded but the British has upped the ante by offering a deal that has the bean counters in the MOF salivating.

As I mentioned before, the British are offering Tranche 1 Typhoons – soon to be retired from the RAF as part of its cost savings programme – together with a number of Tranche 3 Typhoons.

The Tranche 1 Typhoons are not technically MRCA, they are basically interceptors and can be upgraded to Tranche 2 standard with air-to-ground capability (but not AESA) while the Tranche 3 are full fledged multi-role aircraft and AESA radars.

I do not have the full details of the British offer but it goes something like this. Apparently if we were to buy 10 Tranche 3 Typhoons, we will get some 20 or so Tranche 1 Typhoons (ex-RAF) for free. Well, almost for free, we need to pay to fit Malaysian specific items like radios and such, support, training and ordnance but it is much,much cheaper than getting 20 brand new Tranche 3s.

So for the price of 10 Tranche 3 Typhoons, costing around RM4 billion, we will get 30 planes. I dont think we can get 30 Super Hornets for RM4 billion, or Rafale and Gripen for that matter. On top of that British has another 50 or so Typhoons slated for retirement within the next few years, the most advanced Tranche 2 (no AESA).

Of course, the French could copy the British proposal and offer us ex-French Air Force Rafales and new ones but I have not heard about that, yet. Since the US Navy cannot get enough Super Hornets to go around with, Boeing cannot offer such a deal. And as for the Gripen, unless Saab raided the Swedish Air Force stocks, a similar deal cannot be offered.

For a take on the Rafale combat performance go here

Boeing in the meantime had not been idle either. Instead of offering super sexy deal, it had gone through the traditional route. On June 9, Boeing announced that its Defense, Space & Security unit has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with three Malaysian companies. The MOUs outline plans to explore business opportunities for manufacturing specialized components and equipment for use in the defense and aerospace sectors. One wonders whether this has the seal of approval from Blenheim or not?

It must be noted that with its used and new Typhoon offer, the British can fixed the date of delivery, to the exact date when the Fulcrums are retired in 2015. Since the contract will most likely be signed no earlier than 2013, those with new build aircraft on offer will be hard pressed to make the same commitment.

It must be noted that the Tranche 1 can be upgraded further but not to Tranche 3 standard, so it cannot be a full fledged MRCA as stated by RMAF. But this argument could also be said about the Flankers….

-Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2186 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. strongly vote for rafale if sarkozy willing
    to include AESA radar together with spectra
    for RMAF MRCA..just scrap the typhoon since
    rafale beat them 7-1 in UAE..

  2. Numbers have a quality all on its own. If the MCRA can be met through the Tranche 3 lot, the additional Tranche 1 plans would certainly be welcome in some quarters.

    The plan sounds very similar to what the US is offering to Indonesia. Buy 6 new built F-16/C/Ds, get 24 F-16A/Bs and upgrade them to Blk 32s along with the existing OCUs.

    But if RAF can’t afford to maintain them, I do wonder if RMAF would do any better.

  3. Wow… sound likes good if RMAF selected the conbinations between Typhoons F1 and F3… but Ithink the Indian MRCA programme decitions will affected us… but averything can hapen…

  4. only rafale can match raptor..
    typhoon design for air attack
    but rafale design for air,sea & land
    attack..first day of libya campaign the
    us need to lauch 111 tomahawk before
    dare to enter libya space different with
    rafale which be the first NATO mrca search
    & destroyed libya sam site & tanks deep inside
    libya teritory..

  5. Unless the French government is willing to offer us a long term, low interest loan [very unlikely],I can’t see what chances Dassault has of selling us the Rafale – its just too expensive for us. Then again, why are they taking the trouble to open an office in K.L and who is Dassault local partner?
    Very curious why the Tranche 1 can’t be upgraded with an AESA radar? Also has the Typhoon been integrated with any other targeting pod besides the Litening, which is a no go for us?

    koxinga, the RAF has publicly stated that the hourly flights costs of the Typhoon is higher than the F3s it replaced. Not sure how it compares with the Super Hornet though.

    It has been reported that the Typhoon had to be modified to accept the AESA and it was very expensive for them to modify the Tranche 1 and Tranche 2 to the Tranche 3 standard.

  6. no point of new MRCA if not
    equipt with AESA radar..since
    impossible to get AESA radar with
    super bugs since american technology
    involved political..typhoon only build for
    air superiority not for land & sea unlike
    rafale which france design for that kind
    of doctrin..quantity means nothing compared
    to quality of technology that aircraft own..

  7. I would definitely said that the Super Hornet is the best option for RMAF since we already operating the Hornet. But looking at the british offer, it does sound good. But I’m not very convince about the Typhoon aircraft. Yes, I agreed with Azlan, I don’t see any chances for the Rafale to ever serve in out air force.

  8. What ever type of MRCA selected, i am more concern whether we can achieve at least 80% operational capability. No point having 50 mrca if only 30% availability for combat operation at anytime….

  9. Zamyra,

    Absolute nonsense!!

    If the RMAF is unable to get an AESA for its Block 2s it will not order the Super Hornet, period. And ALL weapons sales involve some form of politics, not just sales from Uncle Sam. If you had read what Marhalim wrote above, you would realise that the Typhoon Tranche 2 and 3s have a full ground attack capability.

  10. That contest is simple really. If the goverment is smart and leverages on the 4 Euro partnership, then we shud have the planes with the latest technology and when upgrades and improvements are made, such as the euro aesa radar.

    If we go for the Rafale ,which is too expensive and relying on just one country that has shown it can be fickle with its contracts in international incidents.

    And no one has bought the rafale after the massive push by sarkozy and france.

    India in my humble opinion will go for the Typhoon, as I previously posted the reasons .

    The record indicates that India’s technical evaluation of military hardware is consistently very through and a good indicator of the product. That until the beaucrats and politicans take over the final decision.

    The Gripen if worked properly cud be a low cost ,tough ,versatile plan to have .Shud look into that.

  11. French had been very close tie in all aspect of the local defence industry. Its now time where we will choose to follow a relatively unify logistic system or continue our venture in differential source. If they choose the typhoon deal, you can assure yourself a somewhat good deal for the used t1,2 and some F22 price tag for the rest of the 10 bare bone t3.

  12. @azlan
    rafale has show its true
    color in libya & afghan campaign
    in low attitude strike..1st week of
    libya campaign the score 3-0 for
    rafale shootdown libya plane vs
    EF with zero shootdown..rafale was
    the plane that destroy gadafi calvary
    that march to benghazi on 1st day of
    libya campaign..if the EF so good why
    the RAF need to order F35 and now try
    to give us this scrap..maybe we never learn
    the lesson from skyhawk in the 80s..

  13. Interesting. I’ve already waxed on previously about the sh merits, by itself and for the rmaf. But if this deal has been thought out as decently as possible (in real-world Malaysian terms) than yea, get it. The typhoon is very technologically relevant (for us – relatively speaking), and for those who like plain raw data, it has superior t/w ratio to the sh – one of the reasons why it failed India’s MRCA tender.
    Just some food for thought in note form (I expect eagle and Azlan to further discussion on some of these):

    1) India’s MRCA team didn’t award any merit to sh epe engines which would have evened out the t/w score. However they were willing to accept the still in dev. status of the aesa radars in the eurocanards. Are India’s requirements the same as ours?

    2) Say if Typhoon deal was signed, we’ll be making them and the mkm the cornerstone of rmaf. Everything else, including the hornets should be retired. We’ll still have three different sets of fighter radars flying in the air despite this – training and maintenance consideration.

    3) Might be wise not to try strike a deal with BA to force modify the Tranche 1 for aesa if no one else does that. I understand it’s been mentioned that its not really feasible but dangle some money on either side and ….. But my point is if an attempt is made just for rmaf it’ll be like the mkm, a custom rod that no one fully understands.

    4) Typhoon deal needs to match long term upgrade plans that the hornets and sh offer, like the recent US FMS upgrade request (I understand this last one is not a certainty yet?) for the hornets.

    5) Ditto with training, like the red flag exposure that came/comes with the hornet/sh.

    6) Sh currently has the best low observables design for any of the US non-fifth generation fighters. The international roadmap detailed in the Indian mrca would have further refined this. It allows pilots to train to exploit this particular factor and handily serve as a lead into the future when fifth generation planes need to be considered (admittedly not so soon for rmaf). Still it’s a detail that I’d like to see on the typhoon roadmap as well.

    7) sh has seen more theatre operations (after all, there are approx 10 USN carriers deployable) – more relevant improvements due to being battle tested? Or perhaps not?

    8) I know money talks and it’ll ultimately come down to that. It’ll be great to really analyse so that we make the best possible decision (I know, ridiculously idealistic given our history of procurements). If that 30 or so typhoon is the best than yea, go get!

    Yes the numbers for the Typhoons is wonderful but the SH has better long term road map. If only the Flankers were not around…

  14. Wwow the British deal really sounds good.The British governmemt is so poor now, anything is up for either sale of to be sold off as scrap metal.So anyone for scrap metal? Their tanks would be really great for scrap metal and the ships too.
    There are several factors to look out for ane they are:
    1.Upgradeability and development
    2.Weapons systems
    4.Cost benefits.
    5.perfromance Vs. numbers

    The typhoon tranch1’s are only single use planes-they are only good interceptors.But work is now being done to turn them into MRCA’s.It may be costly tp upgrade.As for AESA, there is no need to stick to the British AESA.Northrop and the Italians both have AESA radars which can be exported.RMAF must explore such route too. Perfrmance is not everythging.From world war two to modern days experience, apart from quality you must still have numbers.This is because even the best planes can be shot down and if sufficient plans are downed the air war is over. So numbers also count.
    The rest of the areas, I am not competent to say anything as I DONT have the relevant facts to argue. But the Britsih offer is actually an interesting development.May even be able to get the british to throw in further sweeteners now that the British economy is spiralling down further and further cuts are on the way to their defence requirements.So anything is now for sale from the British.

  15. i m just curious about financial aspect. do we really have money to buy this plane in this RMK??? need to remember starting 2013 petronas will only give divident fixed 30% from net profit compare 65%-69% from gross profit at present.

    i m prefer SH compare to others not bcoz of spec but for integrity (through FMS deal).

    i think we will see scorpene issue again if rafale or typhoon choosen by current gov.

    but honestly, i m much prefer if we not buying all this plane in near future. other things much needed in MAF rather than additional so-call MRCA

    Yes as I mentioned before the money for procurement can be sourced but its the operational requirement that’s remained under-funded.
    The British offer is tied to the minimum requirement for MRCA which is 48 planes.

    As I already said before in a perfect world we will buying more Flankers but life is unfair.

  16. Zamyra,

    The F-35 is intended to replace the Harriers and operate from the future QE class carriers. The Typhoon and F-35 are for completely different roles. Perhaps you should check your facts before making bold statements?? Or if not sure you can always ask…. And what exactly does the Typhoon have to do with the Skyhawks?? If you have any sources and facts to back up your statement that the Typhoon is ‘scrap’ [or do you mean ‘crap’] please share them with us.

    As for the Rafale, it may have performed well in Libya but is Libya really a good yardstick to judge combat performance? From the start NATO already had air dominance. Most of Gadaffi’s fighters didn’t take to the air [his F1 were actually being upgraded when the no-fly zone was launched] and his AD network was not only antiquated but also in varying states of operational readiness.


    Apart from replacing the Fulcrums, is the new fighter also intended to replace the surviving 4-5 F-5Es operated by 12 SQ?

    Yes. The PTU has said that when the new MRCA is available the RMAF will operate two types of fighters only. To be honest I think it is wrong. But how to junk the 18 new Flankers?

  17. @overseasbased:

    Interesting points. How long will the SH be in service and how many more upgrades can it take?

    The price tag ,tech transfer,freedom of use makes it a little less desirable.

    If we take the opportunity well,deal with the 4 countries involved , not just the British cos we cud be short changed, leverage on the commitments they are making to India, such as no restrictive use of the equipment and access to new tech as it becomes available then we shud take it.

    Do we have people in the relevant posts who can negotiate such deals?

    History does not show that.

    Yr point on the MKM ,is another strong reason ,that our defence industry is crap.
    Logic says if u build a custom plane like that , u make sure u get the right contracts signed and tech transfer to a proper local defence company .

    Ensure the local company can do all the work required for the right cost ,and has the ability to integrate any new improvements with support from the supplier, here in Malaysia.

    The Gripen if managed properly,cos now the Swedes are integrating a lot of improvements into the plan including aesa .
    For a country like ours similiar to the swedes, we need planes like that, low cost ,tough easily dispersed and needing very little to operate in jungle bases or highways or anywhere u can .

    Like I said earlier,who can nego this kinds of deals,maybe they shud get Zeti Akbhar or Tony Fernandes to do it.

    Its OSA things. No civvies allowed.

    As for the obsolescence issue it will be best for us to choose SH since it will be in service beyond 2030 and continuing improvement will offered to us. But money will always be an issue. For example the upgrade for the Hornet fleet was offered three or four years ago but will only be under taken this year.

    The thought of negotiating with four countries to upgrade the Typhoons based on our needs is daunting by itself apart from the actual task itself

  18. Marhalim,

    When the Fulcrums and Tigers are retired there will be still be the 17 Hawk 200s [which in my view are still useful as point interceptors]. As we have recently spent millions overhauling the Adour engines and on a huge spares package, the Hawks are here to stay. As for the RF-5Es, I’m very curious if the RMAF intends to upgrade these or retire them and get a recce pod that can be fitted to the new fighters. Perhaps you can do some poking around to see how the RMAF feels about this Typhoon offer. I’m just speculating off course but something tells me the RMAFs main choice remains the SH. The pencil pushers at the MOF may be dazzled by the Typhoon offer but for the RMAF to operate the 10 Tranche 3s and 20 Tranche 1s, the defence budget will have to be raised to cover the operating costs, training and support. This report about BAE Systems offering us 20 Tranche 1s for free, subject to an order for 10 newly built Tranche 3s, sounds to good to be true.

    Isn’t the Nuri and Charlie upgrade also scheduled to be funded under the next Malaysia Plan?

    The Nuri and Charlie upgrades are supposed to start by 2013.

  19. @azlan

    why EF not with royal navy..its proved
    something EF lack of low altitude attack capability compared to rafale served with France air force and France navy..

    what happen to our 2nd hand skyhawk..why after
    few years we just grounded them due to safety RAF offer RMAF with same lobby even
    FOC for their 10 years typhoon..what play in RAF mind..why FOC and that the question we need to understand deeply why they’re so kind to the nation that used to campaign buy britain last..did high maintenance of this prototype typhoon will effect our MRCA readiness in the future..that hopefully answer u question why i called typhoon scrap..

    AESA radar will be the main issue..without AESA our MRCA just green air force..even our southern neighbor already got AESA MRCA..we just busy with FOC scrap that will be roast duck when face AESA MRCA..

    Libya theater proved rafale bring stealth
    technology that make it very confident to launch strike inside libya territory without detected by enemy radar..why only after rafale destroyed most of the libya SAM site only by then typhoon and F/A dare to joint the strike..the question what make rafale so confident and safe flight..

  20. Dave Malaysia

    Nice to hear your reply, it’s good to discuss.

    Thanks to Murhalim for replying to the first bit. I’d like to add to the price tag point. We’ve gone down this road before, if it’s the right plane than a couple of less planes is still gonna be better. Let’s recall the split purchase of the F/A-18s and Mig-29s. We got a lot more Mig-29s, but which plane does the RMAF wanna get rid of and which one do they wanna fly? I’m not saying the eurocanards will be in the same boat as the adders, just making the point of price and overall quality.

    Azlan (if I remember correctly) has already dealt decisively with the tech transfer issue in a previous thread. Seriously, if we got to manufacture little bits of the plane, don’t have problems with spares, plus received relevant training for all – it would be a superb thing. But things like radar/avionics source code? Is the local arms industry ready?

    Glad we do see eye to eye on some things like the state of the local industry, and the less than satisfactory results of past purchases (negotiations, technical debt and all). And yes how do we negotiate? Well partly perhaps, by keeping things simple? This was one of the many reasons I advocate the SH, we already have the legacy hornet and the SH was designed to blah blah…

    But like I said if any of the eurocanards party offer a good deal, why not? And as you’ve mentioned, do we have the means to obtain a good deal?

    The Typhoon deal is good for the numbers sake while the Super Bug deal is good for operational point of view, financially or otherwise. Despite Dassault’s enthusiasm it will be a bridesmaid, like the Typhoon and Gripen if the air force has its way.

  21. For the european users of Typhoon, to convert tranche 1 to the latest tranche 3 is unthinkable because their current commitment to buy the typhoon is over what they can afford or need. When they are forced to buy new tranche 3 typhoons, there are no reason for them to upgrade their old typhoons and it is easier for them to sell the old ones on while they have to buy the new typhoon. That is what UK is doing, they have to buy the tranche 3 planes, they cannot not buy the tranche 3, so they have to sell the old one’s on. It is possible to upgrade the old ones but it is not done, it is not because it cannot be done, but there is no requirement and money to upgrade them as they dont need so much plane anyway. Im sure if UK does not have the commitment to buy the tranche 3 planes, they would rather just upgrade the old tranche 1’s.

    As for malaysia, it would be very interesting development if we go for the typhoon, and more so if we really gonna get 30+ planes (enough for 2 sqn’s). The hard decision next if TUDM is to receive the typhoon is can they let go of their beloved hornets (personally i would love if TUDM can get additional used hornets rather than get new types or even the SH) in order to consolidate the fleet? Im sure we can get a buyer for our hornets (swiss and kuwait crossed my mind), and make use of the money to upgrade the hawks, or buy more weapons for the fleet.

    If we go the typhoon route, i for see TUDM fighter orbat (2015-2025) with:

    1x sqn MKM’s gong kedak
    1x flight MKM’s labuan
    1x sqn Typhoon butterworth (replacing the hornets)
    1x sqn Typhoon labuan
    2x sqn Hawk kuantan (with additional Hawk200 airframes from oman if possible)
    1x sqn mb339 butterworth (training)

    Another thing to ponder… is it really feasable for us to buy another type of fighter that cost the same or more than the MKM? Or would it be best if we add more (6 maybe?) MKM to create a 2nd Sqn, and use the balance of the budget to buy a new low cost fighter (korean T50, JF17 or similar?) and consolidate to only 2x MKM sqn and 3-4x low cost fighter sqn??

    Yes I have said before its more logical to have 48 MKMs rather than 18 and 30 more so what ever MRCA they choose in the end. The fact that they are looking for a new MRCA to complement the Flankers is a big put down of the Russian plane capabilities.

  22. Who’s the local agent for the EF Typhoon deal..? It’s same like’s MKM deal in 2003…?

    No idea yet but its not their baby, that s for sure. But there is a new law in the UK and the EU which forbids the hiring of local agents and representatives for bidding of any contracts. Thats why BAE Systems ditch its local agents two or three years back. The rest of the EU nations like France and Italy such bans have not stopped them from appointing local representatives.

  23. Actually the MKM is the “high” end of the MRCA. The requirement for new MRCA’s does not mean that the MKM is not capable. MKM is a large and very capable aircraft, for long range strike, maritime attacks and air superiority; with its BAR’s radar it is arguably the most advanced flanker version. That’s why the IAF loves their MKI’s very very much, and why it is very feared by all of IAF’s adversaries. But having an all MKM fleet will have a high operating cost. The TUDM is looking at “Medium” MRCA, as the bulk of the fleet, for close support, air defence etc etc, that have a lower operating cost than the MKM so that TUDM can afford to regularly fly more planes (and sqn’s) for their budget. That is what it is all about actually, with the whole hi-low fighter mix issue. Most countries do this, like the US with the F-15 hi and F-16 lo mix, latest the F-22 high and F-35 lo mix, ideally if USAF has tons of money they would like to have an all F-15 or all F-22 fleet. So it all boils down to operating cost and expenditure issue. Even the Indian fighter contest is called MMRCA emphasising the “medium”, which is intended to complement the MKI’s not to replace it.

    That is why im reluctant to agree to a plane that costs as much as MKM that is really designed to be less capable than it… I would rather see TUDM get a cheaper plane, with benchmark F-16 capability, in numbers equipping 3-4 sqn’s.

    The IAF may love its MKI but its not the same story with the MKM. I will not go into the hi-lo mix debate again as my position on this matter is clear. Lets put it this way, if the air force had gotten its way back then and they procured the Super Hornets instead of Flanker, there will be no second MRCA programme. It will be just SH Batch 2 buy…..

  24. To add to the above, for the eurofighter consortium to offer such a deal (if it is true), giving us a total of 30 airframes for the price of 10 new ones would be very hard to ignore (compared to the SH or Rafale) and the only comparable aircaft we can get with that much money is the gripen and the F-16 (which is arguably less capable than the typhoon). But with that much budget, we can get 50++ fighter versions of the KAI T-50 (F/A-50), so which is the better route?

    Its not the Eurofighter Consortium who offered the deal…

  25. I believe there are mixed opinion within RMAF themselves. Am sure not all are pro SH as i’ve talk to some of them who are more keen towards more flankers and JAS39. Bottom line is, there are always two side of the coins. Might be the person in charge of the evaluation or doctrine at the moment is too ‘Americanized’ hence we heard that RMAF is favouring SH more and loving the current hornets and bla..bla..bla…should the main person is favouring the Europeans we might hear a different story altogether….

    “Yes I have said before its more logical to have 48 MKMs rather than 18 and 30 more so what ever MRCA they choose in the end. The fact that they are looking for a new MRCA to complement the Flankers is a big put down of the Russian plane capabilities” ….agreed 100%

  26. Whatever the planes will be the choice for MMRCA programme it will be hard to us to evaluate its.. some person will say more MKM mean more money…. but what the cases for Rafales/Thypoon/Gripen or SH… it’s also money. How much price tag for 18 OR 24 SH E/F.. or 18 or 24 Rafales F3 and 18 or 24 Gripen NG…? The best solution is RMAF must go far away from middle man in the spare part.for the planes.

  27. Zamura,

    For goodness sakes!!!! The F-35 was meant to replace the Sea Harrier. The RN originally intended to get the VSTOL variant of the F-35 as there was no VSTOL version of the Typhoon planned. None of the countries that participated in the Eurofighter project had carriers except for Britain! The fact that Brtiain is buying the F-35 when it already has the Typhoon does not indicate the Typhoon is inferior to the F-35 as you suggest! You need to understand that both aircraft were borne out of different requirements and are meant for different roles…… With regards to Libya, is it really a good yardstick to judge combat performance?? The French were the first to get the ball rolling simply because there are closer to Libya and had the assets in place NOT because the Rafale has superior stealth qualities….
    You seemed to be utterly convinced that Congress won’t allow the sale of an AESA. If indeed that were the case, Boeing would not take the trouble to market the Super Hornet to us because they know fully well that the RMAF will not accept it if the AESA is denied. I would also like to mention the AMRAAM issue which you brought up elsewhere. At the time of the Hornet contract in 1993, the Clinton admistration had a policy of not wanting to introduce a new capability in the region – there were no ‘fire and forget’ BVR users. AMRAAM at that stage was denied not only to us but also to Singapore and Thailand. The AMRRAM restriction was NOT Malaysia specific and the only reason we got it when we did was because we did not ask for it sooner….

  28. Maya,

    A big plus point in operating the Super Hornet is that a lot of the existing training and ground support infrastructure that was put in place for the Hornets can also be used for the Super Hornet. Some but not all of the spares are also interchangeable. If we get the Typhoon or Gripen, our pilots and ground crew are going to have to be re-trained, and the RMAF is going to have to stock up hundreds of new spares. It’s water under the bridge but if only Dr.M had not insisted on the Fulcrum back in 1993.


    The question of source and product codes is irrelevent to our needs. Its that that we’re planning to integrate non-standard stuff on whatever we buy. As for manufacturing spares, it doesn’t make economic sense as we don’t buy aircraft in huge numbers.

    There is also the question of training the pilots and ground crew.

  29. Out of the topic… It’s true that the Navy chosed the Gowind Class Multipropose for thear SGPV programme… if true we can imagine that the winner for the MMRCA will be 12 SH and 12 Typhoon T3 pluss 18 T2 FOC… that was hapen in 90-an… and RMAF will faces a lot of trobule with spare part for thear Typhoon… likes their Hawks 100 and 200..

  30. Azlan

    Yes it is irrelevant, I was using source code as an example of a tech transfer, freedom of use – in reference to another post. The point being we’re not in a position to make the most of it anyways.

    Training – yep, I’ve been pressing on this loads in earlier posts.

  31. P.S. Correction – Its not that we’re planning to integrate non-standard stuff on whatever we buy and as such, we have no use of the source and product codes.

  32. I know I’m jumping into this thread late, but here are a few of my observations (in no particular order):

    It is VERY important in any procurement process NOT to be ‘penny-wise’ but ‘pound-foolish’. In other words, what may look like a good deal today, may have the MoF in tears 10 years from now.

    There are MANY ways to size up aircraft. So whether one favors the Typhoon, the Super Hornet, the Rafale, the Gripen or whatever, there is undoubtedly some benchmark by which one can justify it as the best option for the RMAF. Any procurement should be made on the basis of a complex analysis of all factors. Case in point, just because the French dropped a few bombs on Libyan tanks in the open desert with their Rafales, does not mean that the Rafale is somehow the ‘best of the best’ and suitable for Malaysia.

    Lastly, taking a look at the entire inventory:

    – Marhalim, you mention: ‘If only the Flankers were not around…’ and ‘But how to junk the 18 new Flankers?’ Why not sell them? It may be better to cut one’s losses than to hold onto planes that the RMAF does not want, are excessively costly to operate, apparently lack the capabilities desired and will likely not serve a lengthy life anyway. They may be difficult, if not impossible, to sell, but perhaps the USAF would be interested in them for dissimilar combat training, an adversary squadron or at least targets!

    – Azlan you mention retaining the Hawks. Why not look into replacing these in the long-term with Gripens? If the RMAF eventually procures the Super Hornet, the Gripen would be a good complement considering that both operate essentially the same engine.

    – Lastly, are the limited number of MB-339s capable of handling the necessary training? If not, what good are more fighters, if we don’t have enough qualified pilots. I lean heavily towards increasing the number of trainers, along with the quality and duration of pilot training, at all levels. Using the oft repeated Proton and BMW comparison, I would rather have a good driver in a Proton than a so-so driver in a BMW.

    Finally, many good points Azlan, and others. If only we could get some of the ‘powers that be’ involved in these discussions.

    I dont think we can sell the Flankers to the US even if we want to.

  33. If the British Gov wiling to offer us with 10-20 Typhoon T3 with add some 20-30 Typhoon T1 for free and some joined produced parts and tech support plus training in affordable price and bonus package includes with F2000 batch 2 frigates project for our navies, i thing it good buy for long term investment but i suggest that the 20-30 ex-RAF Typhoon T1 can be used for training or parts canniblized used if not active duty. Typhoon Fighter is king of swing……..

  34. @azlan

    its proved that Typhoon only design for air superior and not suitable for multirole function compare to rafale which battle proven in Libya & afghan..even royal navy pilot today need to learning French since they training on CDG carrier and fly rafale while waiting F35 arrival in 2020..the question why rafale & not american platform..

    even Libyan airforce not strong but russia provided them with modern SAM..Gadafi only few month away from getting S300 from russia..Libya theater proved the capability of rafale to complete low altitude mission with high score..without stelth capability do u think rafale pilot will be so confident to enter enemy space..rafale ability to jamming gadafi SAM radar before destroy it and that make rafale something to be consider..the combination of AESA radar together with spactra enough to make RMAF own stealth squadron in this region that battle proven..

    strongly accept SF only if Boeing able to give us GROWLER..without GROWLER our SF just consider green and no match for AESA MRCA..the big question rather congress will allow RMAF to operate GROWLER in this region..

    regarding the AMRAAM better we remember back what DR M mention the reason behind we chose Flankers then SF..why we need to keep our AMRAAM on foreign soil by nonsense reason and that make we must be more careful on MRCA selection since this MRCA will determine RMAF doctrine 15-20 years ahead since south china sea getting hot time after time..

  35. Well if i hav to say, i believe that the SH and more Flankers with AESAs would be the best route the RMAF should take. SH and Flankers is better suited to form the core of our MRCAs forces while the Hawk for CAS duties. The F5 and MiG retirement should ease our logistics strain from operating too many aircraft from too many sources…

    As mentioned, buying SH will be a hell lot easier for our logistics, training and interoperability with existing units. We had operated the Hornets for years and if was an open secret that they are the most efficient, capable and economic planes that we had ever operated. The AMRAAM and AESA is a non-issue as it will definitely be offered together. No way the SH will be considered if they hadn’t been offered.

    While operating the Flankers will be costly due to our own heavy customization of the aircraft, it arguably one of the best MRCAs operated in the region. The SU30MKMs is a very capable heavy MRCA that allow for long-range strike, maritime interdiction and air dominance which is critical to our need given that some of our neighbors operate a lot more aircraft than us. it is a leveling stick that we need. Although i am still not entirely convinced that we had the RVV-AE in our inventory. We already have a training and logistics programme with the IAF on the flankers and further cooperation should be seek to learn from the IAF operation with the MKIs. With China misbehaving all over South CHina Sea and now claiming even our oil & gas fields in Sabah & Sarawak. The needs for heavy MRCAs can’t be questioned anymore. We should learnt from the IAF and can take the opportunity to create strategic ties with India as deterence to China emergence influence within the region just like Vietnam.

    While the Typhoons offer was good, the operating cost and technical difficulty will be a nightmare to our logistics. The Rafales are too expensive to buy and operate. The JAS39 is a good aircraft and economic. It might be a good choices but choosing MRCAs other than the SH will force the RMAF to retired the Hornets to giv way for it since it is in the plan to only operate 2 MRCAs type(it a big NO since we are about to show the Fulcrums and the F5s the exit door of the hangar.)

  36. So what is the problem with the MKM? Is it the integration of software and equipment from various countries? Or is it intrinsically less capable than that what the RMAF expected? Someone at RMAF should take a Logistics 101 class before we add more planes to the mix.

  37. Looking at the current situations at South China Sea.. we needed the planes who’s more capable to operated it in low sea lavel… at a long times.. Quistions… it the Typhoon or Gripen or Rafales can do it…?

  38. Sometimes it is funny to think about it that Malaysia cant even afford 2 sqd of fighters on other hand our gov just decided a 1.8mil facebook page.

    Its a different issue altogether. If you want to compare, its funny that we can afford some 40 fighters to protect our airspace which had been never been breached but we could not afford to buy 20 modern patrol boats to secure our waters which are repeatedly encroached daily by smugglers, subsidy breakers, pirates and illegal immigrants

  39. Marhalim,

    Was going through a recent magazine. This is what I found out.

    1. There are only minor difference between the Tranche 1 and 2, the forward bulkhead and micro processors.

    2. The Tranche 1 can be upgrades to Tranche 2 without major problems and cost. Had Austria not canceled its plans for a mix of Tranche 1s and 2s, Eurofighter would have upgraded their Tranche 1s for free.

    3. 18 of the RAF’s 2 seater Typhoons are Tranche 1s.

    4. Until the Tranche 2s get their Multi Swing Capability, the Tranche 1s are the only ones fully capable of air to ground taskings.

    Fareed LHS,

    For the simple reason that we already have the Hawks and that they are relatively ‘new’. The ground support infrastructure is already in place and our people are trained on the Hawk. We have already spent millions overhauling the Adour engines and a 5 years spares package. The surviving 4 or 5 Hawk 100s are used for LIFT, which is something the Gripen can’t do.


    You seemed to be fixated with the Rafale and the AESA. Pls explain to me what the Growler has to do with an AESA equipped MRCA?? I assume you know what role the Growler is meant to perform? As to Libya’s supposedly ‘modern’ SAMs, the Sa-5, Sa-2s and Sa-3s were delivered in the 1980’s……………. The only ‘modern’ SAMs Libya reportedly have is a handful of Iglas….. Mahathir chose the MKM because of the package that was offered… Boeing could not offer our ‘astronaut’ a place in a NASA space shuttle, period. The MKM and Fulcrums were not the RMAFs main choice, they was forced upon the RMAF by a political leadership who placed a priority in other areas. As for the AMRAAM issue, Mahathir got his facts wrong with the source and product codes… You keep mentioning the Rafales supposed superiority in penetrating Libyan airspace. Has it ever occured to you that RAF GR4s are doing precisely the same thing? As for your repeated mentioning of ‘stealth’, the Libyan AD network was in such a bad shape that having ‘stealth’ or not, was not an issue. A lot of aircraft have the ability to jam radars not just the Rafale. Rather than speculating and making inaccurate statements, back up your claims with facts and sources, to prove to all of us here that the Rafale is indeed superior to everything else, as you so boldly claim.

    Yes the Tranche 1 can be upgraded to Tranche 2. But even Tranche 2 cannot be called a true MRCA but I guess it is enough for our needs….

  40. Let me clarify my comments on working with the 4 countries involved in the Typhoon project,Marhalim.

    This is how it would work. Our MoD starts with thier MoD’s, our Foreign ministry gets involved and when the ground work is done,when they have built the basis for the governments to decide ,our PM meets with theirs.

    The agreement should be that : to the level of cooperation on the typhoons with us.
    First,for the initial buy and second for future upgrades.Third would be as a supplier or the manufacture of parts or the MRO done completely by Airod.

    Once they have agreed,we just deal with the company probably thru the brits ,on the typhoon.
    Hard work done ,now its just a simple route forward.

    The four countries involved all will or might have different configurations on their typhoon fleets based on their budgets and their requirements. We can explore and pick what we need.

    As I mentioned in the post, its a British offer. Yes the other three countries will be glad if Malaysia wants to involve them but in a real world that will not happen. Just look at the Saudi buy. Furthermore, in the real world, Airod might be the preferred MRO but it cannot be the only Malaysian company involved. The other local players will make sure of that….

  41. Fareed LHS,

    You have a good point with the Gripen. The Gripen is in a different league than our Hawks.
    But there is no way we can afford to replace the Hawks. Marhalim mentioned about a year back that feasibility studies had been done to upgrade the Hawk 200 with a Selex Vixen. One problem is cash, the other is integration has yet to be done by Selex.


    The MKMs are not bad. It just not the most combat effective MRCA in the region, as our local defence magazines and politicans would like us to believe. Unless I’m mistaken, there are still no data links installed on the MKMs.
    When the MKMs entered service the RMAF Chief said they were the most ‘sophisticated’. I don’t know if in his view, being the most ‘sophisticated’ equates with being the most capable or even capable.

  42. Agreed that we can get the money to buy any type of MRCA we wanted, but based on projected economic situation next 3-4 years, with budget deficit issue….personally no way in hell we can afford to operate the hawk, operating the hornet, operating the mkm and operating the new mrca at same go.

    Our total maintenace and operating budget for the defence force roughly 4-6 billion shared by 3 services. Assuming that TUDM get equal share, say 33%, that would mean about 1.2 to 2 billion a year to shared with about 200 type of craft. Mana cukup to tambah lagi and at the same time to maintain high level of operational capability.

    Like it or not, we have to stream line and reduce the number. I still believe maximum combat aircraft we can have is not more than 36.

  43. Its a yes and no actually. The separation of powers did work out very well in Malaysia. At a certain extend one of the branch have even acquire themselves the power to change the constitution to suit their needs. In turn a few influential people are controlling this particular branch. But as I stress earlier, no mater looking at our GDP or the actually number we spent, the capital we own to date does not reflect a reasonable picture. No doubt our money power is weak. But Malaysia Ringgit is not boycott in the world trade market? Then why?

  44. must admit that this is the mentality of current gov, … like fancy things to show the world not their effectiveness and requirement

  45. @azlan

    perhaps this will answer AESA with GROWLER..

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has delivered its 100th APG-79 active electronically scanned array radar system to Boeing and the U.S. Navy for use on F/A-18 and EA-18G aircraft.

    The company marked the occasion with a ceremony July 1 that attracted senior customers and local dignitaries to its Consolidated Manufacturing Center inForest, Miss.

    The first operational deployment of an APG-79-equipped F/A-18 Super Hornet Block II squadron is in progress. The first EA-18G Growler to sport the radar was delivered to the Navy June 3.

    “The outstanding performance of our APG-79 systems in the fleet continues to exceed expectations,” said Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 program manager. “Boeing and Raytheon have provided warfighters with a cutting-edge radar that is already demonstrating phenomenal performance along with unprecedented levels of reliability, which is critical for combat operations. This sensor backbone of the F/A-18 and EA-18G helps take the aircraft to the next level of capability we need at home and abroad.”

    Raytheon is under contract to deliver 437 of the systems to the Navy. The company’s sophisticated multi-role APG-79 is the radar of choice for the F-15C, F-15E, F/A-18E/F and EA-18G. It is approved for export to such international customers as Singapore and Australia and is a candidate for the F/A-18 entry in India’s fighter competition.

    The big question if boeing treat RMAF as a true
    ally why they cannot offer Growler..if they fail to do so why double standard since RMAF already have 8 F/A 18D since 1996 even FPDA base in penang..why we so proud of SH with outdated technology & soon RMAF will required again new MRCA for AESA radar in the future..

    perhaps this will answer u question about libya air defence capability and the reason rafale SEAD system has show its true color
    undermine Libyan air defence system..

    The presence—not announced yet—of the jam-resistance weapon was a surprise to U.S. and international military analysts because there have been only rumors of a possible Igla-S/SA-24 sale to Libya and no mention of it in officials sources, such as the U.N. Arms Register. Pictures of the SA-24 have appeared on television since the start of the war, but were not publicly identified by the intelligence community.

    “The SA-24, or Igla-S, is an improved variant of the SA-18 ‘Grouse’—or Igla—with better performance, lethality and countermeasures resistance,” says Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. “It is believed to have a maximum slant range of up to 6,000 meters [3.7 mi.] and a maximum engagement altitude of 3,500 meters. Development of the system appears to have been completed early in the last decade. The SA-24 represents a credible threat to aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles operating within its engagement envelope.”

    DR M chose the MKM not solely due to first astronaut program but more on political agenda especially after iraq invasion in 2003 few month before DR M chose MRCA winner that time since SH just very closed to win that contract and that what we call reason that cannot been control by aircraft technology & capability no matter how good u aircraft..

    when you refer to tornado for RAF ground attack in Libya again its proved Typhoon fail to strike on low attitude target and dont forget its typhoon that enter RMAF MRCA tender not tornado panavia..

  46. @azlan

    This some of rafale impresive result in UAE..

    Concurrently, the Rafale shown one’s claws. At the end of the last autumn was held on the Al-Dhafra air base, the annual edition of ATLC (Advanced Tactical Leadership Course). Organized since 2000 by the UAE Air Warfare Center, ATLC aims to help air forces pilots of the Arabian Peninsula to improve their tactics and techniques by confronting them to the pilots of major Western air forces. For this particular case, the Rafale from the Air Force take the opportunity to confront their main competitors on the international scene. Especially since , in parallel , stood the Dubai airshow, which could be used as a sounding board for results obtained during the exercise.

    The Army Air has shipped on site for five weeks, from November 8 year December 12, not less than 6 Rafale and 3 Mirage 2000-5E. A detachment served by only 125 people and which required only 60 tons of material. The availability rate of the Rafale, which have accumulated 220 flight-hours in 148 missions, while shotting down – virtually meant – not less than 61 hostile fighters, was 97% for the entire period. And no missions has been canceled . According to Lt. Colonel Fabrice Grandclaudon, squadron leader of the EC 1/7 in Saint-Dizier and commander of the detachment,” the weapon system Rafale, taking its place in COMAO (raids) of thirty different combat aircrafts, made at the ATLC the demonstration of his extraordinary flexibility. And to cite the case of this mission on November 29 during which a Rafale pilot, has launched, in barely 66 seconds, 3 Mica on 3 enemy planes (two virtually destroyed) and six AASM bombs on as many targets, some 48 km far . All destroyed!

    Better yet, december 7, a pair of Rafale which protected a SAR combat device shot down 10 incoming hostile fighters while dropping six AASM on 6 different land targets forty km far , everything without leaving their CAP racetrack.In addition, the Rafale OSF allowed the positive identification of hostile fighters forty kilometers far. And, December 6, a MICA has been assigned its target – indeed virtually destroyed – only with the SPECTRA system. SPECTRA which was also capable, twice, to detect and classify – and to propose flight path changes to the pilot to avoid detection-specific envelope – some air defense systems (SA-6) that even the F-16 CJ American specialized in the SEAD mission (suppression of air defense opponents), yet also in flight, were not able to collect.. Certainly, the F-16 CJ in question had not been equipped during the flights with their common SEAD equipment, namely the HTS pod (HARM Targeting System), while their threats library had not been refreshed to integrate some of the air defense radars in the area. SEAD was not their daily mission. But it was not either the case for the Rafale. And yet, the Spectra, with no other equipment than those onboard daily, has done better than the F-16 CJ which, however, are specialized in the SEAD mission. That’s the difference between multirole who need to return to land on its base to switch from one type to another mission and versatility that allows flight operations at the same time in different roles. It also demonstrates, incidentally, the ability of the AdA to quickly take advantage of “hostile” ground-radar records tunes operated the day before and to integrate them into the rafale SPECTRA library. This allowed the Rafale to classify them without any difficulty. In short, the performance was moderately appreciated by our American allies! Especially since the six F-22 Raptor deployed there by the 27th FW Langley FS/1st proved incapable of giving the beating promised to the Rafale. Of the six dofights – gun limited – which pitted the two types of aircraft in the Emirians skies in late 2009, only two saw the virtual destruction of a Rafale. Other meetings were concluded without a winner. A “performance” for the Rafale against the most modern [and most expensive] fighter in the world, presented as particularly agile thanks to its steering nozzles and moreover stealthy. Because the Rafale was, according to the lieutenant-colonel Grandclaudon, “a serious challenger in matter of maneuverability ” And the french pilot to regret that his USAF colleagues had not allowed the simulated employment of MICA missiles during these confrontations.

    Concurrently, November 16, the Rafale gave, according to the french pilot, a memorable beating to the RAF Typhoon – the most recent version – which were also deployed in the UAE for the ATLC. To put it bluntly, Lieutenant-Colonel Grandclaudon said the two air battles – battles with IR-guided missile and cannon – which opposed Rafale and Typhoon gave a score of 7 wins for the first and 0 for the second, the only Rafale considered as having been destroyed flew below the allowed flight floor ! Obviously this statement has immediately raised an outcry among British pilots, relayed by the media and the Anglo-Saxon specialized blogosphere, including claims that the Typhoon does not fly as such during the fighting, but simulated “red” attackers, MiG-29 and Su-27 in that case. So ,the 1/7 Provence squadron leader made a point to recall that 2 of his Rafale were also”red chest” (MiG-29 index “Charlie”) when they shot down 4 “blue” Typhoon – flying as Typhoon – while being reduced to use virtual russians AA-10C missiles to be guided by the Rafale until the impact on their target, which forbade to shoot multiple targets at once . For Fabrice Grandclaudon, the limitations of the “red” plastron role don’t prevent a weapons system to show its real capabilities, because the pilots are taking advantage of the real human-machine interfaces and sensors on board, one of the Rafale has benefited from a refresh of its tactical situation by his teammate via Link-16. In other words, even if some of them simluated Su-27, the British pilots virtually shoot down were using the sensors and the avionics of their Typhoon and not those of a Su-27! And the french pilot to recognize, with great sportsmanship, that the Typhoon pilots who had been opposed to the Rafale the week preceding the ATLC were young and relatively inexperienced, as the French already benefits from lessons learned from 3 operational detachments in Afghanistan (one year of presence in all) and 4 of its pilots had participated in Red Flag 2008.

    funny thing even French pilot give face to RAF pilot after score 7-1 rafale vs typhoon.. everybody know RAF pilot among the best in the world so what wrong with Typhoon and know we are very proud to operate this piece of junk machine..

  47. Wonder what will happen to ATSC when the Fulcrums are retired? Does it do anything apart from work on the Fulcrums?

    They are supposed to move to the Sukhoi maintenance programme but nothing official has been announced. I am chasing the story but as usual no one is talking officially.

  48. Off topic, but anyway…

    Australia Chooses MH-60R Over NFH

    AWIN First Jun 16 , 2011

    Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin will supply Australia with 24 MH-60R Seahawk naval helicopters after winning a competition that may boost their chances in Malaysia and South Korea…

    …Lockheed Martin has been looking forward to a win in the Australian competition partly because it would imply an endorsement of the MH-60R, which would help in marketing the aircraft to South Korea and Malaysia. Both of those countries are looking for maritime combat helicopters. Malaysia wants to buy six helicopters and is considering the AgustaWestland AW159 as well as the MH-60R…

  49. Zamyra,

    Thank you but you did not have to include detailed info on the Growler. I may not be acutely familiar with the Growler but like most here, I’m aware of the roles it’s meant to perform. The Growler contains sensitive technology that will only be shared with the closest of U.S. allies. Your claim that the U.S. should sell us the Growler simply because we already operate 8 Hornets is not only misleading, it is downright false, as the fact that we already operate 8 Hornets has got NOTHING to do with whether Uncle Sam will sell us the Growler. It is just as false as your previous claim that the Typhoon is inferior simply because the RAF is also ordering the F-35 – without realising that both were designed for different requirements. The base at Butterworth is an FPDA base and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Growler or the U.S.

    Question for you – have any of the ‘modern’ SAMs in Libya downed any aircraft???? Have they been actually fired? If a 3rd generation SAM had actually been fired at the Rafale and had failed to down it, then the sales chaps at Dassault could all jump for joy – but it hasn’t happened yet. I have nothing against the Rafale but I would hesitate, putting it on a pedestal like you have, until the time comes when it meets a more capable foe than Libya, who’s armed forces have not degenerated due to an arms embargo and neglect. You need to separate the marketing hype from reality. I think you missed the plot, with regards to the Tornado. The point I was trying to make is that if the GR4, which has an airframe based on 70’s technology, can conduct low and medium altitude strikes over Libya – is it a big deal that the Rafale, which is more than a generation ahead in technology, can also do it? The fact remains, that even if your beloved Rafale was not used, NATO would still be operating with impunity over the skies of Libya. To think otherwise would only be indulging in flights of fantasy [mind the pun]. Furthermore, your claim that only the Rafale can match the Raptor is highly debatable…

    DACT and simulated training only gives us an idea as to how any particular aircraft would perform for real. Detailed simulations have been done to show how badly F-15s would perform against Su-27s and even how the F-35 will not provide as great an advantage as advertised, but do these give us the real picture? Nothing is holy writ or written in stone… The only thing we can really be certain of is that it will take a real war to determine how the Rafale or Typhoon will really perform. As you are absolutely convinced that you, and only YOU, know best, it is really pointless in debating with you..

  50. Doubt if the RMN will get the MH-60 as no RMN ship has hangar large enough to accommodate it.
    The next logical step would be the Wildcat which is a much improved Super Lynx, with a new engine and sensors. It also has the IR version of the Sea Skua.

    I believe the rumour about the RMN looking to the Romeos were simply marketing ploys. Furthermore they won’t allow us to buy the Romeos in the first place. An international variant perhaps but then as you pointed out correctly out none of the RMN ships can accommodate it. Perhaps they were thinking about the old plans for the MPSS.

  51. @azlan hopefully now people will have ideas what Growler means all about and what type of SF been offer to RMAF for future MRCA..if just basic SF that we get from Boeing meaning we just love to pour our tax payer money into the drain as long as we can be consider as important ally in this region..even FPDA got nothing to do with US but why FPDA members like singapore & australia have aces to latest US military equipment but we just get outdated equipment as u mention its impossible for RMAF to get SH means WE JUST PUPPET..

    due to igla sa-24 threat that make NATO plane need to fly above 6.2 altitude km compare to 6.0 altitude km max igla sa-24 can about FA 15E downed and immediately pentagon classified it as mechanical problem but who knows.. its funny when u compare tornado with rafale as i mention before its all about the typhoon..Tornado battle proven aircraft for low attitude mission but how about typhoon design with latest technology but still barking for tornado help for ground attack and this kind of plane that going to enter RMAF hangar soon..we malaysian just easy to get blind when related to FOC and we will regret same with MKM problem as u admit from u post..Libya only a study case how rafale will benefit RMAF in the near future since its can carry multirole mission since we have issue with spratlys dispute and MKM design more for long air engagement while rafale will carry low altitude mission and that will make rafale the perfect complement for MKM and dont forget MKM electronic mostly made in France means this plane combination will be more dynamic & strategic for RMAF..if rafale able to show its signature to raptor means this plane is the best in 4.5 generation fighter segment..RMAF will be one of the best air force in this region if we able to operate this beast..

    please get real how come Europe vs France or america vs France will going to happen now days..through exercise then we can decide which plane are more proven and this indicator result more towards rafale then typhoon now days..maybe India MMRCA winner this september will open the pandora box of future malaysia MRCA..adios

    Do note that only the US and some Nato countries (and Russian) have enough funds to have specialised SEAD aircraft. Now even the USAF no longer have such aircraft as such they rely on the Growlers. Some of the RAAF Hornets are wired for SEAD missions so they will have the capability. Even Singapore are not rich enough to have dedicated SEAD aircraft as do RMAF. Its not whether the US will sell it to us the Growler or not.
    So what is the best next thing, MRCA of course. The Rafale does SEAD too as the French cannot afford a specialised variant.

  52. exclusive for Typhoon fans boy

    By Ian Drury

    Last updated at 11:29 AM on 16th June 2011

    The RAF is tearing apart state-of-the-art fighter jets for spare parts to keep warplanes flying over Libya.

    Three Typhoons, costing £125million each, are being cannibalised at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to cover a desperate shortage of parts.

    Eight Typhoons are taking part in bombing raids and enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya. The jets also patrol the Falkland Islands and provide the Quick Reaction Alert force protecting UK airspace.

    But to save money, air chiefs did not order enough spare parts for the warplanes when they came into service two years ago.

    that why RAF offer Typhoon to RMAF
    with special package buy one free 20..

  53. Again off topic, but anyway…
    India Selects Pilatus Basic Trainer
    AWIN First Jun 16 , 2011
    Jay Menon

    NEW DELHI India has selected the Swiss Pilatus PC-7 aircraft as its beginning trainer for Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots.

    …I only mention this because there are 40+ of these in RMAF inventory, but most are older version…

  54. Even though that I’d love to see the Typhoons in our AF inventory,i think we should stick to the SH because of the commonality with the Hornet which we are currently operating and plus it is more combat proven than both the typhoon and rafale. IMHO,after retiring the migs and f-5’s and if we do get the SH we should install recce pods in 3-4 of our hornets for recon missions no? Just my two cents.

  55. I read this in Defense Today dated May 2007 “In conclusion, the Flanker in all current variants kinematically outclasses the Super Hornet in all high performance flight regimes. The only near term advantage the latest Super Hornets have over legacy Flanker variants is in the APG-79 AESA and radar signature reduction features, an advantage which will not last long given highly active ongoing Russian development effort in these areas. The supercruising Al-41F engine will further widen the performance gap in favour of the Flanker. What this means is that post 2010 the Super Hornet is uncompetitive against advanced Flankers in BVR combat, as it is now uncompetitive in close combat”. This was written some 4 years ago. So what’s the fuss about all the SH and the others. We are already operating one variant of the superior flanker so why not just add SU35s perhaps to complete the lot, which China is also getting. At least we don’t need to cannibalize the free jets just to keep the other 10 flying.

    Russian support sucks. Enough said.

  56. Zamyra,

    An example of you knowing best and drawing the right conclusions, is you linking the stripping of the Typhoons for spares with the offer to give us Tranche 1s, if we were to buy Tranche 3s. This may be news to you, but the main reason the Tranche will be retired is because it is expensive and illogical for the RAF to operate a large fleet of Typhoons with different levels of capabilities. The fact that Typhoons are being stripped for spares indicates that the RAF, like most European air arms, has problems engaging in extended out of area combat ops, with the number of aircraft operated and the budgets they have – it does not indicate the Typhoon is ‘inferior’ to anything, as you would have us believe.

    As I have said before, I have nothing against the Rafale, it is a good aircraft. But until it operates against a more capable and modern AD network than Libya and until it actually ‘kills’ a 3rd fighter for real rather than in exercises and simulations,it would be silly to place the Rafale on a 500 foot pedestal, like you have done. As I have said before, the Libyan AD network is not only outdated, it was in a serious state of neglect way before the no-fly zone and strikes started.

    The only thing the Rafale shares in common with the MKM are the LCD panels from Thales and the Damocles pod, nothing else. It is possible that the Thales HUD is also the same. So your argument that interoperability with the MKMs is a plus factor, for the Rafale being ordered, is simply FALSE. FYI, the Damocles, that has only been integrated on the Rafale, way after the MKMs, is inferior in performance to the Sniper, Litening and ATFLIR, that is why Thales is working on a new pod.

    Different countries have different levels of relationship with each other. Singapore and Australia have a more ‘refined’ relationship with Uncle Sam. Instead of repeating yourself about the Growler, do you know for certain if the RMAF actually has a requirement for such a role? Can it afford to operate such a small number of specialised role aircraft, as Marhalim pointed out? Using your analogy that Uncle Sam should sell us the Growler simply because we operate 8 Hornets is as silly as saying that if we buy the HIMARS or MLRS, they will also sell us the Tomahawk.

    You obviously didn’t get it the first 2 time, so even though it is tiresome, I will explain again. You started out saying that the Rafale was such as good aircraft simply because it was able to operate over Libya, was the first to enter Libyan airspace and was able to conduct strikes. I simply pointed out, that being closer to Libya, the French had assets in place that were closer than the RAF and that other aircraft such as the GR-4 were also conducting strikes, not just the Rafale.

    FareedLHS, About 30 surviving PC-7 Mk1s and 18 Mk2s [at least 1 Mk2 has been written off] operated by FTC1 and FTC2. As most of next defence budget will be allocated for sexy items, I doubt that there is any cash left for more MBB-339CMs. And the next big question is how the RMAF will train pilots with just 8 MBB-339CMs and 5 Hawk 100s, especially if a new MRCA enters service. Which brings to mind – what is the status of the leased ACMI system? Has it arrived Marhalim?


    Other advantages the Super Hornets have over Flankers is combat proven ordnance and engines, radar and avionic with a longer TBO and MTBF – that leads to lower operating costs. A number of simulations done in the past were exaggerated to secure funding for more Raptors.

    My colleagues at Perajurit say yes and according to my sources yes too but no one will say whether it has been integrated on MKM…

  57. For this purchase, Singapore too modern, too many, too far ahead. No way to beat whatever RMAF buy in near term.
    Thailand same-same, a little more in number, possible to equal or better them.
    Phillipine/Brunei/Vietnam/Timor/Laos/Campuchea/Myanmar. Majai. Do nothing also RMAF better.

    Indon. Soon better quantitatively (FOC US F16), but Majai qualitatively. Thus at par with RMAF. Also most pressing threat.
    China in Spratly scenario. Very real threat. Quantitavely (one that can fly there and returnlah, (VARYAG no count yet) and qualitatively today equal with RMAF.

    So I worry Indon and China. How to ensure RMAF superiority with this opportunity? I think we should look along this line. Dont think the overriding concern of the RMAF is sexy airframe, powerful engines, blah blah blah (in isolation)

    My 2 cents.
    Typoon got got number, so good against Indon. Smaller range, not so good against China Scenario. Maritime strike capability? so-so. Labuan – Sparatly 120nm++.
    Rafale got quality and medium range. No quantity (too expensive mah). OK against China, OK against Indon.
    Super Bugs – Good against China (Maritime strike – excellent, OK against Chinese Sukhoi if got AEWC/strike director lah), still OK against Indon scenario (only concern abt 4 Flanker, but still not enough quantity).
    MKM – Equal with China (some range advantage) and Good against Indon scenario (although a little short on quantity)

    Then of course there are logistic train, training and price tag issue to consider.

    Shit, my stupid analysis say we should go for more or Super Bugs or Flanker OR BOTH AGAIN despite the shitty Russky support and American Senate thingy. But purrlleassee ditch the MIGs – tanggung biawak hidup (blind biawak summore).

    Please feel free to counter this arguement, it will be much appreciated. TQ

  58. Well, the deal on the Typhoon looks good. If we buy 16 Tranche 3, we get 32 Tranche 1s (buy 1 free 2). ==> That makes 3 squadrons!
    In one stroke, this will transform the RMAF into a very credible airforce in South east Asia with 2 squadrons in Pen M’sia and at last a dedicated squadron in East Malaysia.

    Whatever choice other than this Typhoon deal will only result in just a meager or worst, half a full squadron. The Rafale is just to expensive, that is why tak laku. If other richer countries can’t afford it, M’sia certainly cannot afford it also, so just forget it. We don’t want to end up being the only user of this type of aircraft apart from France.
    What’s the point of getting half a squadron?

    If we select the Typhoon because its more cost effective, than the remaining 8 hornets will just play is dedicated maritime strike role, or can be sold off, if tthe RMAF just want to maintain 2 types of front line aircraft ie. Su-30 and Typhoon.

  59. @marhalim
    since impossible for RMAF to get GROWLER
    that means RMAF still have an alternative with u claim rafale lack of SEAD capability perhaps this will answer..

    SPECTRA can detect radar signals of A2A and A2G targets with the RWR and identify them via ESM, EF can do the same, because it has similar systems (although not as capable). That means both detect a possible threat, identify it and gets a basic bearing to avoid it, this mainly adds to the situational awareness of both fighters and to the self defense capabilities, but now comes the difference of both systems!
    SPECTRA also uses interferometer antennas to geo-locate the radar and gather accurate target datas. SPECTRA makes use of all these sensors, not only for enhanced situational awareness and self defense by avoiding these threats. It also use them for offensive actions, by providing these datas to FSO, or directly to weapons and engage the threats. That’s why Rafale can do SEAD with AASM and SPECTRA, or why Rafale can engage passively in BVR, with MICA IR and SPECTRA.

    Thast the reason RMAF wants MRCA, it want a jack of all trades. The plane should be able to do SEAD and at the same time do other stuff, AA, AG and MS. But a dedicated SEAD aircraft is best because it is equipped with the dedicated equipment for the role and the pilots are trained to do it. As I said before life is unfair. Beggars cannot be choosers…

  60. @azlan
    my question just simple..would
    u mind if RMAF operate SH basic
    even without AESA radar since malaysia
    just want to show our goodwill to uncle
    SAM and we dont mind if we just ordinary market to them and not even important allies compare to our neighbor even small..if that so better we just sign in the MRCA without need any open tender regarding RMAF MRCA..

    regarding the EF typhoon even the RAF now got sick with its spare parts that costly and why RMAF want to jump into the same black hole if our military man know what best for RMAF MRCA
    for next 15-20 years ahead..

  61. @azlan,

    As for the PC7 MKII’s, 3 of them already crashed (1st one, 2nd freak crosswind langkawi, 3rd UUM aerobatic crash) so 16 survivors out of 19 bought. If im not mistaken we have ordered additional 12 MkII’s in late 2010/early 2011. As for the remaining PC7 MkI’s, it would be nice if the COIN/CAS sqn idea in the 80’s revived with some of the surviving aircraft, as they are replaced in the training role by the new MkII’s. (still remembered the beautiful shark-mouthed, camouflaged PC-7 from kuantan flying fast and low, clipping the rhu trees near my school…)

    As for the MB-339’s, good 2nd hand additional airframes to add to the 8 CM’s are aplenty… Just need some will to get them… There are the very2 cheap low hours kiwi MB229CB (16units) that is still currently for sale (with a flight simulator also); 4 low hours ghana MB339’s (now heavily canibalised, only good as an airframe for rebuild to CM spec) and the 12 Nigerian MB339’s now in italy if not mistaken, for upgrade to MB339C spec but not paid for by the nigerian govt…

    If the new build MB339CM was not added in the 1st place i would have prefered to get the 16 ROKAF hawks that is being retired, reducing the type of fast jets in the inventory…

  62. From

    Commander Nigel ‘Sharkey’ Ward, decorated for flying Harrier jump jets during the Falklands war, said: ‘The Typhoon is an astronomically expensive aircraft that is ill-suited to any role outside UK airspace. ‘It is essentially a very expensive RAF sacred cow.’

    Enough said, we are not in the UK. Go get the SH. Another aircraft type in Orbat is just gonna kill the logistic, unless the govt raise the budget which is all of us knew unlikely. No need for Growler, too expensive for us. Unless the RMAF plan to enforce a no-fly zone in a hostile country anytime soon, what are we gonna do with it? ELINT mission on the border?

    The same could be said of the Rafale.

  63. @hazwan

    RMAF must ready for future conflict unless malaysia foreign policy neutral like swiss..
    since we have dispute territory claims in south china sea and ambalat so what do we aspect from RMAF if we just prepared our MRCA with basic technology that suited for national day parade or LIMA exhibition..our MRCA must able to make enemy doubt to challenge our sovereignty right on those dispute territory..if RMAF just worried of logistic matter then better malaysia foreign policy change to neutral and just forget out dispute territory claims..

    Logistics is king whatever you want to say about it. Thats what I have been saying all over the website. We do not spend enough on defence to justify a single MRCA type let alone two.

  64. Zamyra,

    And do you understand that all Super Hornets comes with an AESA. This has already been explained to you…. Boeing is NO longer marketing the Block 1 with a non-AESA radar. And has it occurred to you that even if Boeing was marketing Super Hornets with a non-AESA, which it doesn’t, the RMAF would not touch the Super Hornet with a 50 foot pike?

    What makes you think that spares for the Rafale will be any cheaper than the Typhoon? Or are you just speculating again without firm facts to back you up? Anyone who’s been observing the industry over the years will tell you that ”Made in France” stuff is notoriously expensive, even compared to its Western equivalents. If you have figures to show the Rafales hourly operating costs against the Typhoon or the Super Hornet, I would be very interested. I suspect, but I can’t prove it, that the Super Hornet is cheaper to operate and maintain than the Rafale and Typhoon. Similarly, what is the MTBF or TBO of the Snecma M88-2, compared to the General Electric F414-GE-400 or the EJ200. I have no idea, so I would be very interested if you know, then we can start making comparisons.


    The RAF has confirmed that the operating costs of the Typhoon are way higher than the F3s it replaced. Ward is right, the Typhoon is expensive, but bear in mind, being a FAA man and the former CO of 801 Squadron, he has been very critical of the decision to axe the Sea Harriers and later the Harriers.


    Finland has 16 Hawks that have a have received an overhaul at Patria, that were offered to Poland. I have no idea why a decision was made not to get the ex-RNZAF fleet and instead get new MBB-339CM airframes with refurbished engines from the A’s. I’m still trying to get info on the PC-7s of the Light Attack Squuadron, with the shark’s motif, when they were formed and how many aircraft were allocated.

  65. be it typhoon’s, super bug’s, rafale’s or gripen’s. they sure looks nice on the tarmac for this coming Lima. and not forgetting the erieyes. plus some aerial display by them. can’t wait to waste my money on that.

  66. @hazwan

    You are quoting a very bitter man who i think still cannot accept that his beloved sea harriers are retired, and now all harriers in UK forces too.

    So face it, nearly every aircraft shortlisted in the TUDM MRCA is very expensive, and all of them are more expensive than the MKM. So the billion dollar question is, can we afford to operate them in meaningful numbers to protect our country? Useless to buy super duper hardware so thet they can be a hangar queen. If we can really afford to buy the Typhoon, so be it.

    We already have our MRCA. We have the F/A-18D and SU-30MKM’s. And don’t say that they are not MRCA’s. Both of them are designed from the start for swing role missions, so cut the crap of MRCA has to have AESA and what not. If the MKM/MKI are not good, India would have its MMRCA competition to replace it, not as an aircraft to sit below the MKI. As for the dreaded russian spares issue in the past, it was really amplified by the middlemen mafia. If there is still issues with spares, India wouldn’t buy 250+ MKI’s as their main fighter, the US wouldn’t buy lots of Mil-171 for afghanistan rather than US heli’s.

    The only thing is now to have some aircraft replacing the MiG’s, which is a focused air superiority fighter. So what is our direction? So do we want to add another type to the inventory? Which of the current types do we want to retire? Should we add more aircraft of our current types(either new or 2nd hand)? Should we go for less capable but more cheaper aircraft so that we could equip more sqn’s and also replace the hawks to consolidate the inventory?

    Its not just spares but also support especially with our own ala-carte MKM. India will be in the same boat if they do not have 200+ MKIs and HAL. Yes, I prefer more MKMs but its the air force that are having issues with the support from Sukhoi. Politically we do not need to split the buy when they bought the Fulcrum and Hornet, which in the first place was mostly in our minds not theirs. Dont think the middlemen Mafia are not around, they are!

  67. @azlan

    South Korean AF BAe Hawk Mk67’s, the strange hybrid between Mk60 and Hawk100, are still quite new, and they are similar in age (and specifications mostly) to our own hawks. They still have 16 of them. The Finland Hawks are old (most build in the 70s early 80’s although 7 are from the 90’s), and they themselves are partially replacing it with 18 low hour ex swiss hawks, putting their oldest ones in storage and for sale.

    As for the Kiwi MB339’s, actually they wanted to sell it to us, then we can’t give any answer if we want it. Then some consortium from the US wanted it, so the Kiwi’s agreed. So we tought it was sold, so we got the new planes. Fast forward a few years, those US guys cannot find the budget to buy them, now the skyhawks are scrap metal (as they are stored outside), and the MB339’s still without buyers (they still fly them occasionally to make sure each of them is still in flyable condition). Well we can still now say yes and get them to add to our MB339CM’s.

  68. …..,

    Which brings us to the question as to which airframe is more suitable for our LIFT needs, additional Hawks or MBB-339s? In the past, the RMAF has said that ideally, it would like 4-5 new Hawk 100s as attrition replacements, but then the MBB-339CNs are cheaper, even with new engines. I’m also not sure if Bae Systems still makes the Hawk 100 and 200 series. BAE System did try to scuttle the MBB-339 deal by offering us Hawk AJTs and sponsored a visit for local journalists to their plant at Warton.
    I was very suprised that the deal for the ex-RNZAF MBB-339C was cancelled after the RMAF had already confirmed it. During a visit to NZ, the Agong was also shown the MBB-339Cs.

    The ideal but expensive solution would be to customise the cockpit of the Hawks, to whatever new fighter we are getting, like what the RAAF did with its Hawks and Super Hornets. Then again unfortunately, this might be too much to ask for.

    The CMs were bought mostly due to Rome decision to approve the extra landing rights for Malaysia Airlines. As always the Armed Forces takes a back seat to National Interest

  69. A few folks here have raised the flanker vs sh scenario as a point of concern. We’ve tackled this in some of Murhalim’s earlier MRCA thread but I’ll recap and add to this a little:

    1) So a lot more people now are buying the idea that good maintainability adds to training and operational combat readiness. E.g no good if a squadron of fighters with good paper specs has a low rate of readiness. We need pilots flying and training in them often (well, as often as RMAF budget allows, but see how maintainability affects this).

    2) One of the most glaring performance attribute on paper that the flanker does better than sh is t/w ratio.

    (i) This is mainly relevant when we go into close range, dog-fighting. While Vietnam/Bekaa valley has shown us that close in fighting can’t be forgotten, all air forces try to avoid this whenever possible. Destroy enemy fighters in BVR, or on the ground whenever possible – I’ll ignore the latter for now otherwise we’ll start talking about strike fighter qualities as well. But what all fighter pilots prefer to do is sneak in and score a kill before the other even knows about it (not very Tom Cruise, Hollywood eh?). And when it comes BVR, sh avionics is up there, and, also being refined not only in blocks, but with actual combat feedback- probably more so than any of the other ‘4.5’ generation fighters. Actually, while we’re on this, do we have any ‘update/upgrade’ plans for the mkms?

    (ii) When dog fighting does come into play, training and tactics makes the difference. We’d be better of having pilots that have been trained to understand and exploit all aspects of their particular jet, rather than rely on hitting the afterburner all the time. US sh pilots routinely train with F-15s and F-16s, both of which have superior t/w ratios. There are various articles floating in the net which cover some of these. If you can’t be bothered to read, just remember, tactics have been developed to deal with adversaries that have superior manoeuvrability, (e.g. thatch weave which was first developed way back for wildcats to deal with more nimble zeroes) while maximising your airframe’s advantages (e.g. .sh’s handling at high AoA ).

    (iii) F414 EPE, This brings sh thrust/weight ratio to over unity! Yes it’s still in development but the core technology has already been tested in the EDE form for USN. And apart from thrust, I’ve already mentioned before that the Saturns have a much lower MTBO compared to the F414.

    3) The EPE is just one of the listed improvements in the sh roadmap. I understand the flankers are about to receive some upgrades to. But at this point in time, I think the USN and Boeing has a better thought out improvement roadmap – see sh roadmap versus mki and su-35 (the latter is pretty nice on paper).

    Ok, I could go on but I’m not a diehard sh fan, I keep up to date on all fighters and when I believe there’s a better choice for the RMAF, I’ll be sure to raise it for discussion. Remember, it’s ultimately not about a fighter type (any of the planes in, say, the Indian MRCA can do the job), but about becoming the complete air force. It’s just unfortunate we have a bit of a mess to sort out from previous purchases. So while we can’t afford it all, there’s still other stuff to remember e.g. C4I infrastructure, AEW (which at least two of our neighbours have!), training, support, logistics etc. Yes, there’s the question on whether this mrca purchase should be happening at all. Also, stop and look at the trainers (I’m separating from the discussion of training itself here). Never mind sh, the current hornets and mkms have reasonably up to date glass. Our trainers need to start reflecting that, even the turboprops. I doubt our PC-7 cockpits reflects 4th generation technology. Meanwhile RSAF are training in their new PC-21s. Yes, they’ve got a much bigger budget to play with – but we could have done so much better with our purchases and planning too. Indonesia is likewise getting the super tucanos although they might not be using them strictly in the training role lol. And they are getting a bunch of LIFTs as well.

    Ok, I better leave it at that, good to see the interest.

    The Indonesians is getting more like RMAF every day when it comes to combat planes, more of everything but not enough of anything scenario

  70. For whatever its worth, can somebody here get the message across through the thick skulls of Defence and Finance Ministries high ranking civilian officials that this, along with the SGPV/LCS requirement is U.R.G.E.N.T.

    Everything under the Armed Forces is urgent, not just the LCS. As for the LCS it is less urgent than the re- capitalisation of the MMEA patrol fleet. Priorities has never been our forte especially with funding and localisation casting a large shadow on everything

  71. “As for LCS it is less urgent than re-capitalisation of the MMEA patrol fleet”

    Now where did you get that from? small talk with ex navy MMEA officers (aka sources) over teh tarik? In a world of simple journalistic logic perhaps it is. We are not at war, who is our enemy blah blah blah..

    I assumed you are not privy to the going on in our airspace, Ambalat, SCS, Batu Putih etc. There is good reason why MAF dont share war games result, intel and strategic assesment with general public.

    Currently MMEA assets albeit old, does serve it purposes. Hell MMEA’s 100 over ships, a/crafts, boats and crafts is bigger than many nation’s navy. As a former navy guy, Adm Amdan Kurish knew and never denied that. On the other hand RMAF and RMN asset is for a different purposes and in a different, far more complex situation.

    Lets hope it is not too late by the time we decide. I am sure you and your kind will be the first to ask for head to roll in case the MAF were unable (you would call it ‘failed’) to fulfill their role.

    However I do agree that priority has never been our forte.

    Sorry for the harsh word, but it is what it is.

    Sorry, I didnt know I have to get your permission to say what I want to say. Next time I ask first.

  72. Zamyra,

    Are you arguing for the sake of arguing?
    Boeing has STOPPED marketing the Block 1 with a non-AESA, period! It appears that you’re the only person who doesn’t get it………. despite being told a number of times.


    According to Janes, the deal for the Scorpene was also tied to something else – MAS landing rights to Paris.

  73. overseasbased,

    From what info we do get from the media, our exercises – Cope Taufan, Bersatu Padu, Air Thamal, Malindon – all remain centered on WVR engagements. As we don’t have a common data link for our fighters, no AEW, no ACMI, there is only so much network centric, BVR training we can perform. Whilst WVR/dogfights engagements are essential, unfortunately for us, recent conflicts have showed that BVR will be more the rule, rather than the exception.

    I don’t know how true it is, but a report in Tempur some years ago said that the MKMs don\’t have a HUMS and that the RMAF had already done a feasibility study on a future upgrade that would include more ‘glass’ panels and a towed decoy. The instruments on the MKMs, as seen from photos taken of the first 2 MKMs that were handed over at Irkurst, are also not fully ‘glass’, it still has analogue dials.

    Tempur is correct on the issues on the Flanker.
    You cannot do BVR without AEW support period unless its a Pearl Harbour/1967 war scenarios but you and your wingman are the only blue fighters that managed to take off.

  74. @azlan

    for aussie & india yes they got
    SH blockII from Boeing..malaysia
    i never heard any block II offer
    to RMAF & that why i’m asking u
    if u can provide me with any
    link to proof u claim..even from
    previous marhalim post only mention
    SH blockI same as 2002 offered by
    Boeing to RMAF MRCA..

    The Aussie SH are basically S Hornets build for US Navy but delivered to RAAF to expedite delivery. I mentioned the Block 1 order as it was the one announced back then 2001/2002? when we were looking to buy the first MRCA squadron. As whether or not we specify AESA on the new MRCA or not remained a secret until the DSCA announcement is made. And it has yet to be made.
    That said all of Boeing International S Hornet road map to India so far showed it was going to be the Block 11 the one fitted with the AESA.

    The fact remains that since its an International variant, it is most probable the AESA radar and the whole plane will not have all the features as fitted on the US Navy jets.

    That said one cannot expect the French, British and Swedish to sell us their planes fitted with 100 per cent of the kits that’s being flown by their respective air forces. Blimey are you out of your mind, as the Brits like to say

  75. Azlan, Marhalim
    Yes, BVR is gonna be hard for the RMAF. In very limited scenarios (I’m choosing my words carefully here) where RMAF jets are already flying CAP and their radars are able to locate non-friendlies first in ideal conditions then it is possible to engage in BVR combat. In my last post, I wasn’t limiting discussion of sh and flanker solely to RMAF use, but happy to do so too.
    As for the current hornet and MKM cockpits, I didn’t imply that they don’t contain any gauges/dials at all. And I’ve seen those MKM cockpit photos too, I think there were at least 3 MFDs per crew, if I remember correctly – pretty significant enough? Even most of USAF F-15s and F-16s still got a couple of them, and I think at least early versions of sh, if not all. That’s not my point at all though, what I am saying is turboprops trainers are now reflecting this trend (of reducing analogue instrumentation) and getting the trainee pilots starting out on what they are going to be using eventually, early on. Affordability issues aside, I was also suggesting it’s yet another area that needs to be planned for in the future.
    Good to hear that there are some plans for the MKM updates, Tempur is one thing not available to me so do keep any interesting news coming. Adding a towed decoy would be a good thing. Did the study mention it to be a Russian system or otherwise?

  76. Zamyra,

    No offence, but at times you are really stubborn aren’t you, even after being given firm facts.

    1. Have a look at the Boeing website. There is no mention of a SH Block 1 with the APG-79 being offered. Why you might ask? Simply because it is NOT being offered anymore. Similarly,as an example, the Colt and MBDA sites do not mention anything about M-16A2s or Rapier, simply because it is not offered anymore…

    2. As I have asked you many times before, do you really think the RMAF will accept a SH variant with a non-AESA, even granting the fact that it has not officially stated anything about an AESA?

    3. Would Boeing go through so much trouble trying to sell the SH if it knew that export approval would not be granted, and that the Typhoon Tranche 3 and Rafale [both with an AESA]is in competition with it? ALSO, ask yourself, has a tender been issued? A RFI or an RFP?

    4. FYI, the RMAF was the first non-U.S. customer to get the APG-79. As Marhalim so kindly pointed out, the offer for 18 SH Block 1s was in 2002. The Block 2 only came out a year later…..


    I was merely pointing out that the MKM cockpit is not fully ‘glass’ or ‘digital’. Yes, the towed decoy is Russian.

  77. @azlan

    it seen we just draw back to square one all over again..the same issue when deal with american toys..correct Boeing just doing business and even if venezuela order SH, Boeing will accept it with arms wide open..The only problem when dealing with american toys only regarding congress..again in u opinion will congress pass AESA radar technology transfer to RMAF..if this transfer then block by congress did RMAF still fly SH BLOCK I just in the name of loyal allies..

  78. Marhalim,

    An AEW provides you much better SA and detection at longer ranges but you can do BVR without AEW, it has been done. The Fulcrum that was shot down by Dutch F-16s over Kosovo was detected by the F-16s radar. Data was shared with an F-16 that has a radar breakdown via data link, for the AMRAAM shot.

    The MKMs can’t share info with the others, but I’m curious if they can share info amongst themselves, via a Russian data link.

    Aah.but you forgot that the Dutch had access to an AWACs ….

  79. Sorry to share some opinion. The Boeing company announce recently that they want to offer SH International roadmap beyond 2015. Which include some upgrade for the engine, conformal fuel tank, glass cockpit similar to F-35 and etc… they need to compete not only in the same class MRCA from other manufacturer but also fifth generation aircraft. When F-35 entering operational status, DASS and EOT will replace AESA as primary sensors and revolutionize air warfare. Why you should go active when you have an option for spherical passive detection??. A couple of years from now AESA are NO Special.

  80. Marhalim,

    For that pacticular engagement, no AEW.


    Even if we were to buy 40 year old P-3s from AMARC it would need congressional approval. That’s they way it is. Comparing us to Venezuela is like comparing apples and oranges. And no Venezuela is not cleared to buy even M-4s, let alone fighters. The EU also has export licenses that need to be approved for exports, not only Uncle Sam. Do you seriously think that when the Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon are offered with an AESA, Boeing would expect anyone to accept a Block 1? If Malaysia was not expected to get export approval Boeing wouldn’t even bother to compete for the requirement. As for the AESA, it’s not exactly new, its been around for 8 years, its not on the list of restricted technology, the way other stuff is.

    Is that the shoot down which another two Fulcrums were killed by two USAF Eagles. As far as I know the ROE in the Balkans were strict. No air-to air engagement without prior approval from AWACs.

  81. @azlan
    The comparison between venezuela & Boeing only to show the meaning of business & democracy when involving american toys..Boeing means business without border but congress just control weapon selling especially when involving sensitive american military technology transfer..what do u mean by AESA radar not restricted technology that required congress approval before export to foreign government..Why the aussie need to do so and malaysia just get exception??

    Feb 6/07: Australia has submitted a formal request. The US DSCA has announced the $3.1 billion request and its details. In addition to the 24 F-18Es, Australia has requested:Feb 6/07: Australia has submitted a formal request. The US DSCA has announced the $3.1 billion request and its details. In addition to the 24 F-18Es, Australia has requested:

    – 48 installed and 6 spare F414 engines
    – 24 AN/APG-79 AESA radar systems
    – 24 AN/USQ-140 Multifunctional Informational Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT Link 16)
    – 30 AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electric Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets, the same kind that will also equip Australia’s other Hornets after the ALR 2002 project’s failure.
    – Integration of the AN/ALE-47 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Systems
    – 145 LAU-127 Guided Missile Launchers. These wingtip launchers allow the plane to launch AIM-9 Sidewinders or medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM air-air missiles.
    – 30 AN/PVS-9 night vision goggles
    – 12 Joint Mission Planning Systems
    – AN/ALE-55 Fiber Optic Towed Decoys
    – System integration and testing, software development/integration, test sets and support equipment, spare and repair parts, maintenance and pilot training, software support, publications and technical documents.

    Then malaysia will be next uncle sam golden boy of SEA..

    By law, the Defence Department has to inform Congress of any impending arms sale. The Congress can held up a sale if they want to or make noise so the intended country will be embarrassed from making an actual purchase. The DSCA notice does not meant a sale has taken place or not. The notice is standard policy even for close allies like Australia, British and even yes, the Israelis.

    For any items that is restricted for export or to a particular country, the DSCA will not be even bother to issue a notice. The companies that manufactured them will not be even allowed to market the product or to the country.

    In our case, as Boeing has already confirmed it is involved in a fighter procurement programme in Malaysia.
    When the tender is issued and Boeing do make its bid and its entrant is shortlisted, only then DSCA notice will come out.

  82. Zamyra……..

    No need to cut and paste. And spare us all the lecture on Venezuela, democracy and big business. To claim that only the U.S. requires export approvals and that there is always an element of self interests involved only in buying U.S. arms is a fallacy, and is again a case of you being mis-informed and shooting the wrong calibre. The EU has the same export approvals in place, so does the Russian Duma. All arms sales are linked to foreign policies/relations, strategic interests and business, not just those from Uncle Sam. Are you under the mistaken impression that the Europeans are the beacons of righteousness and do not engage in hypocritical policies when it comes to their arms exports?

    When I said that AESA was not restricted, I meant that it was not restricted in the way other sensitive technologies are, in that it CAN be exported with approval. Stuff like missile guidance technology and stealth technology CAN’T be exported to anyone period, unlike the AESA on the SH Block 2.

    When it comes to U.S. arms export approvals, countries are placed in several categories.

    Tier 1 – these are the original NATO members.

    Tier 2 – new NATO members.

    Tier 3 – close strategic allies such as Australian, Taiwan, S. Korea, Japan etc. Then there are non-NATO classified allies such as Thailand and the Philippines who enjoy certain privileges.

    With regards to your statement that we are the ‘golden boy’, let me ask you this:

    1. Which country’s military presence in the Asia Pacific enabled us to concentrate on developments and not bust our piggy bank on defence toys in the 70s and 80s?

    2. Even-though we don’t say so publicly, which country’s military presence provides us with reassurance in case China gets idea on establishing hegemony on regional smaller countries?

    3. Which country’s ships visit Malaysia for visits and for mantainance more frequently than any other navy?

    4. Which country’s military, since 9/11, has been granted more overflight rights in our airspace?

    4. Which country is our biggest foreign investor?

    5. Which country is the U.S.’s 16th largest trading partner?

    6. Which country funded a chain of surveillance radars for Sabah?

  83. @azlan

    well that element come and haunting when dealing with american toys.Business and democracy agenda just come together and that make american weapons look less attractive..correct every country have their own military export law but european look more open compare to the US..even european starting to export military technology to china which apposed by we need arms supplier which more sincere to our foreign policy or more to full fill their own foreign policy agenda..

    AESA radar can be export by congress approval even the aussie & singapore has done it about malaysia chance to get approval by congress to get AESA radar and that the issue what i means all about..

    if malaysia feel we owns something to uncle sam then no need to do open MRCA tender..just be like aussie last time make direct offer to Boeing otherwise this MRCA contest just make we
    look double standard to other competitors since we put all the economy & political agenda on our military procurement that suite with malaysia foreign policy..

  84. why rafale the best choice for new MRCA RMAF..

    Libya Rafale made when a 35-hour (google translated):

    During the first three months of operation Harmattan in Libya, the Rafales (Air and Marine) made over 700 sorties and a total of 3800 hours of flight – either out of an average of 5:30.

    Rafales up to 28 were engaged at the same time …compared to a figure ten Typhoon (Eurofighter) that the RAF was able to deploy a few weeks.

    The planes, which availability is excellent (1), are under stress. One of them flew 140 hours in a month … or 35 hours per week! Several have exceeded 130 hours, while the average is around 100 hours.

    The Rafales have taken ten Scalp cruise missiles, bombs AASM 182 and 116 GBU, not counting the 300 out of recognition.

    (1) There are only three mechanics per aircraft.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Jean-Dominique Merchet

  85. I knew that this kind of off topics, but anyone want some 2nd hand Mirage 2000-5Es from Taiwan? They are about to retire them soon coz they prefer US warbirds like F15s, F16 Block 52s and F35s. They have around 48 upgraded version of them are pretty advanced MRCA due to the China-Motherland-phobia.

    I would say this is way better than the Rafales and Eurofighter Typhoons offer. The French use older version of Mirages currently in Libya…Its a good opportunity, yes?

    They won’t retire them anytime soon as the US is not keen to sell new Electric Jets to the island republic. And I don’t think we are keen to get anything military from Taiwan due to the PRC connection….

  86. Off topic a bit…

    Latest news on the Kiwi MB339CB’s

    New Zealand opens bids for surplus jet trainers
    By Greg Waldron

    New Zealand has invited proposals to purchase 17 surplus Aermacchi MB-339CB trainer aircraft, with bids due by 22 August.

    Following the disbanding of the country’s Air Combat Force in 2001, Wellington tried to sell the aircraft, presumably to another country, but no sale was concluded. As such, New Zealand is opening bidding in an effort to sell the fleet either as a complete package or in portions.

    New Zealand’s defence ministry said the aircraft last flew one year ago, and have been maintained under an “on condition” maintenance regime at the air force’s Ohakea air base on the country’s north island.

    The package comprises airframes, spare engines and support equipment, including a simulator. Weapons are also included provided the prospective buyer has the necessary clearances.

    TUDM, this is an opportunity that wont come by easily. It includes spares, spare engines, weapons and a simulator.

  87. Exactly, how similar are the MB-339CBs to the MB-339CMs operated by the TUDM? Provided the TUDM needs them and feels that they could maintain, repair and overhaul them, there should be no question that the aircraft should be bought.

    The only other operators of MB-339Cs out there are Italy (CDs) and Eritrea (6 CEs). Ghana, Nigeria, Peru and the UAE operate older models.

    I don’t know the full specs but I believed the Kiwi birds especially avionics and wirings will be much closer to the original CDs flown by the Italians. Ours are much closer to the upgraded CDs by the Italians now. Engine wise it will be much of the same thing

  88. Reason why Rafale will be the best RMAF asset in the future since passive detection and passive SA element will play vital role in future air combat and not active radar…

    This is what the observer comment..

    As you can see, according the EF consortium itself, passive detection and passive SA are the important capabilities for future air combats and not the active radar!

    Which brings us directly to the Rafale, where you first have to understand, that the diameter of Rafales radar is not limited by the size of the nose but by the integration of FSO!

    As you can see on the following pics, the FSO is fully integrated into the nose, which takes away internal space, that otherwise could be used for a bigger radar. The PIRATE of the EF on the other side, is mounted on the side of the nose, as an external part and even the retractable refuelling probe is not fully integrated, to safe more internal space:
    design for it..

    Especially this last pic, of the back side shows the difference of the diameter that the radar has in the front and that it could have without the FSO.
    Now why would the French limit their fighter in such this way and reduce the radar detection range?
    Because they understood from the start, that passive detection features and fully passive SA as an equal alternative to the radar will be important for the future!
    That why they compromised purposely on radar diameter/detection range (which doesn’t tell you much about how capable the radar is), to integrate more passive sensors (IR and TV channel), as well as focus on fully passive SA and sophisticated geolocating capabilities, to remain less observable, but fully capable in air combats as well as ground strikes, without the need to use an active radar!

    These capabilities had impressed in several exercises, but now even in real combat in Libya, where numerous reports are praising the the FSO / SPECTRA combo as the key advantage of Rafale! Be it the penetration of enemy airspace in reconnaissance, air superiority, or strike roles (while Libyan air defence and air force were fully operational), the long range target identification capabilities of FSO, or the passive geolocation and weapon cueing capabilities of SPECTRA in SEAD.

    Looking at your various comments I am seriously thinking that you are involved in the selling of the Rafale to RMAF.

    I wonder if I can started charging money for further Rafale endorsements here. The rates are negotiable but of course befitting the multi-billion cost of the programme….

  89. @marhalim

    it just only my personal view of rafale for our future RMAF MRCA..I dont even get a cent if rafale wins our MRCA tender but that my duty to let public more aware why rafale should be RMAF major consideration:)..

  90. since BERSIH rally has done something to malaysia image worldwide and this fact must be reconsider since same kind of rally still will be organized in near future.Maybe the outcome of BERSIH demo will jeopardize SUPER HORNET military technology procurement to RMAF by congress.We should move to country that less noise regarding RMAF MRCA military technology transfer.

  91. lol at this zamyra , the hornet proposed to us is the block III which is already equipped with aesa radars.duh! pretty much like the aussie’s ones.
    lol take the typhoon deal already Malaysia!

  92. This is from a layman’s point of view:

    Maybe we should buy more SU-30MKM (+ 10 units)and SU-35MKM (20 units/yes folks no this designation yet for the SU-35) and some YAK-130’s (20 units).

    Come to think of it,some Russian T-90MS tanks(50 units) and some Russian ships : Buyan class corvettes’ (8 units), Steregushchy/Gremyashchy class corvettes’ (4 units)and Ivan Gren class landing ships (2 units) would be nice too.

    Everyone is a layman here..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.