MRCA: Its Typhoon or Rafale

SHAH ALAM: DESPITE the current travails, it appears that the MRCA programme is inching towards the final stage. And the aircraft shortlisted has been cut to two. Unsurprisingly, the two are the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale.

Industry and ministry officials said although Boeing and Saab are aware of the latest developments they are still plugging away their planes as no contract have been signed yet. That said however if the funding magically appears tomorrow, it will be either the Typhoon or Rafale that will be chosen.

The decision on the MRCA could be made soon, I am told though funding remained the biggest issue on the table. As both UK and France offers funding options under a government-to-government deal the tricky issue could be resolved, I am told.

Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Finmeccanica.
Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Finmeccanica.

If we go for the proposed funding options, the payment period for the aircraft may well spread out for at least 10 years based on statements made by the Defence Minister in the past. I am no finance expert but I think it could go up to 20 years. Which also mean that we will only get 18 jets only and not more.

A Rafale pictured in a F3R standard weapon load,  AASM Hammer for strike missions and MICA and Meteor missiles for air-to-air work and extra fuel tanks.
A Rafale pictured in a F3R standard weapon load, AASM Hammer for strike missions and MICA and Meteor missiles for air-to-air work and extra fuel tanks.

As which one is the more likely candidate for the MRCA programme, my guess is as good as yours. Both aircraft have their own merits so at the end of the day the political considerations will tip the scale.

A model of a Tranche 3 Eurofighter Typhoon complete with dorsal fuel tanks at BAE Systems showcase
A model of a Tranche 3 Eurofighter Typhoon complete with dorsal fuel tanks at BAE Systems showcase

What about the proposals about buying Hornets from Kuwait then? That is only a proposal made in this website, it was never AFAIK considered by the government.

Typhoon and the moon
Typhoon and the moon

Furthermore, how will the MRCA programme affect other projects of the Armed Forces? Little or no impact actually as the major programmes – the AV8, A400M and LCS – are already accounted for. It is this army/air force centric funding that leaves the navy scrambling to find funds for its own recapitalisation plans. That resulted in the proposed 15 to 5 plan.

— Malaysian Defence

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74 Comments

  1. Wow.if the typhoon get choosen we will be the first in the SEA region but 18 unit for me is very optimistic marhalim.

  2. The current weak global economic situation also works in our favour. Both the UK and France will be giving the best offsets they can.

  3. Whoever that can sweeten the pot would win the contract I suppose. France is willing to give M346 free of charge and willing to assemble the plane in malaysia.

    As for the brits, they would offer their AJT variant, upgrade our legacy hawk (which is a moot point because rmaf has selected a company to do the same), and, if I’m not mistaken, extra,zero-clocked tranche 1(upgradeable to to tranche 2) thrown in on the cheap?

    Sad too see f/a-18f not being seriously pursued anymore sonce it would definitely fill the MMRCA role to a tee.As for gripen, despite offering sweetest gravy on the pot(aew, mpa, offset deals), gripen are just too short legged for MRCA role and the price is really unjustified; almost 100 million usd for NG variant. For comparison, we can get an upgraded F/A-50 (with F414/eurojet engine, Aesa radar,targetting pod and CFT tank) for almost 1/3 the price of gripen NG and yet it has roughly comparable capability as gripen NG

  4. so…..can we afford to use/operate those 2 aircraft??i really hope RMAF getting more the 18 MRCA but it all up to the gov…

  5. Hmmmm……
    1. Show me the money than I’ll believe it.
    The price of both fighters are very expensive and both are new to TUDM so beside the price of each fighter then there are additional costs for tools, training, and ground support..etc. Will the weapons included? Then they will add the cost.

    2. It will another blow to ATM procurement. It will show a no plan procurement . It will show a “no continuation” plan with the previous. Buy completely different and start over again. Just like sgpv instead of a modified ngpv.

  6. Marhalim,
    If I had my way, I’d settle for 24
    F-15SE’s and 36 F-16’s latest version of course, for some hi and lo mix.
    Alas, in the real world Typhoon’s or Rafale’s would be nice just don’t know how many can the Gov afford to buy.

  7. I guess the winner is typhoon as the AIROD already signed a MoU with BAE systems to upgrade the hawks.

  8. Maybe a mix of T1 and T2. Perhaps 24 aircraft for 2 squadrons, 1 squadron with tranche 1 and the other with tranche 3s.

    I thought the MRCA was also to replace the F5s which only does air patrols anyway.

    Reply
    Nothing is set in stone yet not until the contract is signed

  9. Sigh we are still going to be a 4 fighter air force with no AEW. Getting the fighters would be an excuse to delay the AEW for an extremely long time.

    It also means we potentially have one more type of trainer.

  10. There is news going around that our country probably gonna hit recession next year so this new development regarding the MRCA isvery interesting 2 me.

  11. Support for Rafale.
    hopefully go for 24 unit, so Kuantan base get 12 and other 12 unit put in Labuan base.

  12. What recession next year,,we are already in recession…in reality but not on paper only

  13. I had a sense we going for typhoons even our country key defense equipment had go for France solutions. We will go for Rafale, if India sign it. Anyway, $ come first, how we going pay..what will our hornet n mkm faint.

  14. Supposing we acquire the Typhoon and want to base fighters at Labuan, I suggest moving the Hornets there. The Hornet is marinized and should have fewer problems with corrosion.

    Although most of our bases are along the coast, none would be more affected by this than Labuan.

    Even if we get the Rafale which is marinized, we should still do this so we have the two squadrons on the peninsula to simplify logistics.

  15. I hope the got the Typhoon with a mixture of brand new F3 and used F1. That way we can get more units. Hopefully 24-36 unit enough as the MiG n F5 replacements. Wonder where the gonna get the funding though…

    No incountry assembly plz. We do not need another cash hungry programme like AV8. Economic of scale need to be understood. Just advance maintenance n rocket/bombs manufacturing is good enough.

    Reply
    Rockets and bombs manufacturing also requires tonnes of money. And where do you expect to site the factory? In Mulu?

  16. just get the rafale & our thales umbrella doctrine in ATM will completed.trust Rafale more then Typhoon in combat

  17. Irsa – ”I guess the winner is typhoon as the AIROD already signed a MoU with BAE systems to upgrade the hawks.

    Based on this argument; the Super Hornet should be selected as we – some time ago – signed an agreement with Boeing to upgrade our Hornets ….

    DCNS – ”trust Rafale more then Typhoon in combat”

    No. Both haven’t been used against peer adversaries. Performance in Syria and Libya don’t really count as nobody contested the presence of the RAF and French Air Force in the skies.

    What will really make things ”complete” is when we get an AEW and common data link to link the MKMs, Hornets and whatever MRCA we buy. Amidst all this euphoria about a future MRCA [despite the ”systems” and not the platform that will make the difference as its not the 1970’s anymore]; has anyone actually asked about the LIFTs we badly need and how we’re going to churn out adequate numbers of fighter crews without a new generation LIFT [the MBB-339CMs don’t count] that really simulates a MRCA?

    Hazwan – ” n rocket/bombs manufacturing is good enough.”

    You mean ”license producing”. BTW, almost all the key components for the ”license producing” of ordnance are imported.

    Dundun – ” Aesa radar,targetting pod and CFT tank) for almost 1/3 the price of gripen NG and yet it has roughly comparable capability as gripen NG”

    Not without an AEW and a common data link does a F/A-50 have ”comparable capability” to a Gripen. We don’t have to go far; just ask the RTAF about the new capabilities they have gained by having a Gripen/Eriye combo.

  18. Recently, thete was a tri-national exrcise that pitted thw f15 with the Typhoon n rafales. According to the report, the typhoon combined with the new helmets that makes off boresight weapons release n targetting easy made the Rafales to quickly change theirvtactics to counter the typhoons characteristics.
    So i think the typhoons may have some advantage over the Rafales.

  19. A rafale or typhoon buy will affect the funding of all other armed forces buys up till probably 2030.

    The airforce can say goodbye to the aew&c and mpa, navy its 2nd batch ngpv and LMS, the army a follow on batch of gempita, mbt and amphibious capability.

  20. To me, better choose none. You wanna expect the TUDM to waste more time, training and money for another brand new shiny plane?

    Seriously, ‘Rojak Air Force’ program which is sponsored by government needs to stop.

  21. Me like the rafale more. Assemble 36 of these locally and jv with the france to build more here with minimum 60% local content plus local production of weaponry to sustain the wish of the air force to have 6 sqdns of mrca. Eventually let the rojak air force turn into a potent single type mrca with single type LIFT, just like the navy 15 to 5 concept, slowly but surely, no matter if it takes years to achieve.

  22. I would prefer we buy AEW&C platform and 2nd hand FA18 from Kuwait and wait for availability of 5th gen fighters in 5 to 15 years time.

  23. No for rafale. Tudm should come out with recapitalisation program like the navy to structure back their logistic and maintenace line. The way i could see it work is by retiring one of the airforce main work horse either the mkm or the hornet. This would mean pre mature retirement but to in order for the program to take place this must be done. I would take out the hornet as it more smaller in number. Keep the mkm and get the typhoon as a hi-lo mix backbone for the airforce. All hawk is reassigned for Lift. Getting typhoon also mean we didnt need to set up new weapon line as typhoon can use the hornet armament, getting the rafale is more troublesome as new weapon line must be set up and those weapon are exclusively used only for rafale no commonlity.

  24. If based on comprehensive defence coverage, i think gripen is the best choice.

    However offset programmes do matter. Both rafale and typhoon capable to penetrate heavyweight defence. Both French and British governments are very supportive. Hence it is advisable to be another rojak mixture of mrca. Anyhow, we have been in rojak mixed before. Ie during the hornet and mig saga. Why not become another rojak for one more time. Even our naval fleets are also rojak from multiple countries. Let preserve our rojak identity

  25. If prevention of rojak is the aim, the only solution is to order the F35. Lets face it, in another 10-15 years when we get round to ordering more fighters to replace the su30, the only one in production is the F35. Only then we could eliminate the rojak.

  26. Gonggok,

    The mkm is another deal as it is a heavy weight class long range air superiority bomber-fighter. Tudm need a replacement for the daily use mmrca which is low version of fighter in our hi-lo fighter arsenal.

    The most cost effective way is getting the gripen actually, not the NG one but c/d version bundle up with erieye for common network centric. Team em up with the mkm for hi-lo mix. Hell we doesnt need another jet flying the same fly hour cost as mkm to do mud mover job. Just go for lease gripen deal and we are done actually, if not, another batch of mkm would make it more practical

  27. I duno what is TUDM MKM status. Could they facing the same problem? Or just due to OEM engine produce by Indian?

    Su-30 engines failed 34 times in 2 years
    New DELHI, May 7, 2016, DHNS

    India’s most-advanced fighter aircraft Su-30MKI experienced 34 cases of mid-air engine failure in the last 2 years, generating concerns on its operational reliability.

    “The fleet has encountered mid-air engine problems due to which single engine landings were effected. There have been 34 occasions between April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016 when the Sukhoi 30MKI aircraft were forced to land on single engine due to mid-air engine problems,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
    Between April 1, 2007 and March 31 2015, there were also 5 crashes of Su-30MKI, out of which 3 were due to technical defects.

    The Russian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) was informed about the engine problems. The OEM suggested several technical improvements while producing new engines and overhauling the existing ones. The suggestions have been implemented by the Russian supplier and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which licence-produce these aircraft in India.

  28. “If prevention of rojak is the aim, the only solution is to order the F35. Lets face it, in another 10-15 years when we get round to ordering more fighters to replace the su30, the only one in production is the F35. ”

    It does not mean we must strictly operate one type because different needs call for different aircraft. No need to send an F-35 for everything. Having different types for the same role is the problem.

  29. Lee – ”So i think the typhoons may have some advantage over the Rafales.”

    There was a recent exercise [covered in AFM] about how Rafale pilots had to adjust tactics employed by RAF Typhoons. At the end of the day, in a real life engagement; the question we should ask is how [not that I’m into into ‘x’ vs ‘x’ discussions] how Rafales operating with an AEW would perform against Typhoons operating with an AEW; with both sides having no clear advantage over the other. Situational awareness is everything, irrespective of the actual platform : who detects who first will have a big advantage. There is also the matter that the vast majority of air to air engagements over the past 2 decades have been at BVR and not WVR.

    Rrrrrrrrr – ”If based on comprehensive defence coverage, i think gripen is the best choice.”

    There is no ”best” choice; as it’s not the platform that makes the difference but the systems. RMAF Fulcrums [without an AESA] operating with an AEW would have better SA if operating against Rafales or Gripens operating without an AEW : simple as that, as proven time and time again over the past few decades. If you take the F-22 or F-35 as examples; what most don’t get is that both are not intended to operate alone BUT in conjunction with ISR assets; to bring out the best of what they can offer.

    MILSPEC – ” You wanna expect the TUDM to waste more time, training and money for another brand new shiny plane? ”

    The reality is that the RMAF will face immense difficulties meeting it’s peacetime [never mind wartime or times of tension] operational and training commitments with the limited number of fighters it has. Hardly a waste of ”time, training and money” …. You make it sound as it the RMAF doesn’t have a legitimate need for additional fighters.

    Nanonano – ”Assemble 36 of these locally and jv with the france to build more here with minimum 60% local content plus local production of weaponry to sustain the wish of the air force to have 6 sqdns of mrca.”

    Will ”assembling” any fighter lead [irrespective of the ”local” content, which will largely be imported anyway], lead to long term tangible benefits for the local aerospace industry? For that matter, has any of the local, licensed production of various stuff we undertake actually led to benefits? After the limited number of fighters we order are assembled locally, what do we do with all the equipment we bought to assemble those fighters? And who will pay the cost [with zero economics of scale] of setting up the assembly lines of these fighter? The taxpayer and the RMAF …..

  30. Rrrrrr…

    I don’t care if the Army or the Navy is keeping its Rojak. Air Force needs to stop it. Hell, they want to stop it too.

    Don’t tell me you don’t even pity them when it comes to maintenance? Maintaining a multiple air craft wasn’t easy. That’s why we want to cut down to few type that can pull many multirole operations rather than multiple types of planes that has a certain roles. This ain’t Ace Combat where we can operate a number of large types of planes.

    Its not about showing off, poyo with other neighbors, its about what we really needs. I was hoping for Super Hornet cause we already have the Legacy Hornet with us. Easy, simple, and we already know how to maintain it. I don’t know what the guys at MINDEF were thinking…

  31. Milspec,

    Actually getting super hornet is not wise like you think, the only commonality between legacy and the E/F version might be it name (the hornet) and the armament. Super hornet is actually 90% differ from the old legacy version and it is whole another new design. A few times, people pop up with an idea that getting super hornet doesnt need us to train for new maintenance line and logistic. As us navy transition to super hornet, whole lot marines and older legacy hornet struggled to keep flying as there is no spares and even marines went to amarg to scavenge from old aircraft as the spares between super hornet/legacy hornet is never the same as you suggested. The only wise move is getting used low hour legacy hornet from the kuwaitis or getting new type of plane would be fine as long we get rid of the legacy hornet.

  32. Malaysia is trying to develop its aerospace industry for such a long time, albeit MRO and certain parts and avionics production. I dont see any harm Malaysia venture further into Rafales assembly and parts production as offered by the french company itself.
    Its good for the nation for long term gains and benefits, we need to start somewhere sooner or later. Its a lost not to accept something good as Rafale which is as good as or better than the Typhoon in which both types are designed to stay for at least another 30 years with much upgrade capacity available.

    Dassault is right since the very first day, Rafale for Malaysia.

  33. It is obvious that no one here has learned anything from years of discussing the MRCA. We can discuss for years and those supporting various platforms or local assembly will be exactly the same.

  34. It’s either or. But what weapons can be integrated on the MRCA?

    Reply
    What is already available

  35. Nananano – ”Its good for the nation for long term gains and benefits, we need to start somewhere sooner or later.”

    Perhaps you’ll like to elaborate what exactly the ”long term gains and benefits” will be in investing in an assembly plant for a small number of fighters? And who will bear the costs of establishing the facilities and equipment needed to assemble those fighters? Answer: the taxpayer and RMAF.

    If we continue to develop the local industry at the expense of the armed services [when priority should be in ensuring the armed forces gets the desired capability and the taxpayer what he/she paid for] we will continue to have problems and the armed forces will be neither here nor there ‘like it is now]. Before we draw any conclusions with countries such as Turkey and South Korea; both have economics of scale. We don’t.

    Nanonano – ”as Rafale which is as good as or better than the Typhoon in which both types are designed to stay for at least another 30 years ”

    Again; it’s not the actual platform that makes the difference but the ”systems capability”. The days of platform centric air arms are over : it’s not the actual platform that will make the vital difference but the systems that go with it. No use buying Rafale, Gripen or Typhoon if we don’t have a common data link and have no AEW or other assets…… And it matters not whether both are designed to operate for 30 years [which actually depends on hours] but stuff like operating costs and which has a larger footprint.

    Johnrambo – ”A few times, people pop up with an idea that getting super hornet doesnt need us to train for new maintenance line and logistic. ”

    Indeed; the Hornet and Super Hornet are different planes but the key fact remains that both share some commonality in parts, both use the same ordnance [some of which we already operate] and that the brand new simulator we have can also be used to train Super Hornet aircrews. Not to mention the fact that converting crews to the Super Hornet, rather than a type which has zero commonality to what we have, will be easier and faster.

    AM – ”It is obvious that no one here has learned anything from years of discussing the MRCA.”

    Yes it’s 2016 but people are still fixated on the actual platform despite recent and not so recent conflicts so very clearly demonstrating that the days of platform centric warfare is largely over. .

    On another note, a veteran of the 2nd Emergency, Warrant Officer Daud, has passed away at the Kluang General Hospital. He was an Alo 3 gunner.

  36. To discuss the MRCA, a few things must be noted

    1) What previous performance/capability that is fulfilled by the fighter that is to be replaced. The MRCA is to replace the MiG-29 and F-5E in basically 2 squadrons worth of fighters. They are basically employed in QRA Intercept and point air defence, with basic air to ground capability as a secondary role. Is it worthwhile to buy something that is extremely over spec-ed as a replacement (typhoon and rafale) and sacrifice other capabilities (MPA, AEW&C for eample) that could be bought with the budget? Is something like FA-50 golden eagle could be used as QRA intercept and point air defence, at a cost less than a quarter of the Rafale and Typhoon?

    2) The navy is planning to consolidate its fleet from 15 to 5 types. Why hasn’t the airforce having any similar plans? The airforce fighter fleet IMO should consist of just 3 fighter types, High end (Su-30MKM), Medium (F/A-18 or new MRCA, only 1 type please), and Low End (Hawk, FA-50 or the like, also only 1 type please, for both LIFT and light fighter role)

    3) The cost. The buy of rafale or typhoon, is extremely expensive. India is expecting their 36 rafales to cost about Euro 8 billion. So we could expect a fleet of 18 to cost no less than Euro 4 billion.

    There is so many of us who just say ” ah just buy 30 of this and localise it bla bla bla…” Malaysia does not have infinite amounts of money to buy just about anything under the sun. And IMO buying something at the end of its “state of the art” (remember none of them are stealthy) like Rafale and Typhoon at exorbitantly high prices is not a prudent way to spend the Rakyat’s money. Or lets put this in another way, if the typhoon or rafale costs less than usd 100 mil each, that is fine with me but not at the price they are trying to flog it right now.

  37. Yeah!! As expected of the gov-mil-industry complex, always going for the most expensive “solution”. Reports of gov trying to woo UK investments will likely tip the balance toward EF, the priciest and notoriously problematic. Anyone looked at the global economy forecasts/trends for the near future? Good luck funding the RMAF “European shopping spree”. Now gotta put a few more holes in that old leather belt… Jeez… Best hope is no signing before next GE…

  38. I guess I dont have to elaborate further on what the future benefits the nation will have when we locally produce aircraft parts since CTRM and other parts manufacturing plants in the country has demontrated on how much they can generate from some parts production. Its not s short term or short sighted gain we are looking into. The prospect is enormous. Plenty of parts and locally produce bla bla bla that not neccessarily meant for Rafales could also be produced,this will ensure a sustainable and continuous supply of parts not only for our air force but also others throughout the world.

    Reply
    What you mentioned is true but it’s the argument by the Eurofighter consortium that if we are going to tap into the global component market Malaysia will be better served by buying Typhoons. As we will be tapping the markets of the four nations instead of just one.

  39. Yes, other countries are lining up to buy our AUG, M4 and AV8. Why would they? We can’t produce them more efficiently than the OEM. And who can provide better support, us or the OEM? You don’t even have the common sense to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and assume they want to help our rich businessmen.

    Our kit-assembled AV8 costs five times as much as the same thing from FNSS. This is just a way to make certain “national interests” rich.

  40. That’s what I’ve been thinking. I’ve been reading comments on fb stating that Rafale is the best or perhaps that Typhoon is the winner. Reading those comments makes me pity on them, they were still living in dreamy fantasy.

    They never take a lot of other things into account like training, maintenance and etc. etc.

  41. A major problem we’ve been facing is that big ticket purchases [Fulcrums, Flankers, PT-91s, etc] have been aimed at benefiting the local industry and other national interests; rather than ensuring the MAF gets the desired capability. Assembling a mere 18 Rafales or any other aircraft for that matter, will lead to no long term, tangible benefits for the aerospace industry. We’ll be fooling ourselves if we think otherwise.

    …… – ”Why hasn’t the airforce having any similar plans?”

    Off course it has such plans. The problem is, the RMAF really can’t prematurely retire anything or even start to make firm plans when the government is unable to provide a firm commitment as to when exactly additional planes will be bought. At the moment, everything that can still economically be flown and maintained; has to be operated as the RMAF is so short of airframes.

    AM – ”We can’t produce them more efficiently than the OEM.”

    Even if we can produce them just as efficiently and to the same specs; what benefits would another country gain by buying from us when they can buy directly from the OEM? In the case of the M-4, we’ll have to pay royalties to Colt for every M-4 exported so how we expect to remain price competitive is a great mystery that only can be answered by the politicians who spoke about exporting the M-4.
    Nanonano – ”Plenty of parts and locally produce bla bla bla that not neccessarily meant for Rafales could also ”

    That comes at a price …… Dassault is not going to hand out such goodies so easily or cheaply to a customer who buys a mere 18 air frames and who is unable to commit to a follow on order anytime soon. The example you provide in making parts benefits the local industry; it doesn’t necessarily benefit the MAF or the taxpayer. Look at all the ToTs and MOUs we’ve signed over the past few decades : how many have actually benefited the MAF?

  42. I guess that technically rafale will win due to its merit.

    But the decision maker will choose super hornet due to geopolitical reason and affordable price.

    While waiting t50 to be mature enough for rmaf next project.

  43. timetraveller – ”I guess that technically rafale will win due to its merit.”

    What ”merit”? There are areas where the Typhoon does better than the Rafale and vice versa. If one believes Dassault’s sales pitch; Rafale is the best there is and BAE Systems will say the same about Typhoon. Talk to Rosoboronexport and they’ll tell you that an upgraded SU-30 is better in terms of instantaneous turn rates, affordability, servicibility, etc. Talk to the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China and it’ll give 100 reasons why the JF-17 has more merit than the Rafale and Typhoon.

    What the sales people and glossy brochures don’t say is that current gen MRCAs are not intended to be used by their own but as part of a wider network comprising various assets which are all integrated; as such the individuals merits of the various platforms do not make the key difference. If logic was the deciding factor; then the Super Hornet would be selected but unfortunately, logic doesn’t determine the ultimate decision.

  44. Since this is a topic about RMAF, I’m going to touch on the extremely high flying mishap rate of our aircraft. Let us see what we bought and what we have left. I’m going to list down those we bought brand spanking new in the 90s buying spree, if you can call that.

    Hawk 100, bought 10, left 5
    Hawk 200, bought 18, left 10(? Not sure)
    Mig 29, bought 18, left 10 (9+1UBN I guess)
    F/A-18, bought 8, left 8 (not sure about the one that the WSO punched out in Kuching, was it repaired and returned to service?)
    MB-339CN, bought 8, another one bites the dust yesterday…
    Su-30MKM, bought 18, touch wood, don’t want to talk about it!

    And now about those old assets

    Nuri, bought 40, left 24 (?) I read sometime ago we’re only operating something like 20 after the communist insurgency era. Something like 12 are in storage, and were even sent to Cambodia for UN missions.
    Pilatus PC-7, bought 40, don’t know how many left
    Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II, bought 8, with ejection seat! Bravo!
    MD-aero tiga, status unknown to me.

    We can forget about the A-4 Skyhawk. Just look at the jet fighters (including the MB-339CN), we bought 80 airframes since 1992, and we’re left with 58! That’s a write off rate of 27.5%! Whoa! I never heard of as much accident happened to our SEA neighbours!

    We shouldn’t even talk about all the mishaps happened to the Nuri, Pilatus, Skyhawk, or Anwar’s Super Puma! If those added in I don’t know what the percentage would look like.

    What is/are the cause for this problem? Is it

    a. The rojak force and pittance number of each type, hence causing less competent service crew due to lack of experience
    b. Shortage of fund to procure or to perform all the recommended 5000km service?
    c. Air crew proficiency?
    d. Combination of all the above?

    Reply
    Only two Fulcrums were lost in crashes, 5 airframes were retired so 10 could be maintained in flying condition. Hornet tail 07 is in service, check out my Labuan airbase story. B is BS. Accident happens.
    As for the Hawks, Pilatus and Macchis, they are training planes so the pilot compentencies are of course much lower.

  45. My next question then would be, in other air forces, is it common to have that many accidents involving trainers? I remember Air Forces Monthly do publish the mishaps happening around the world, and as far as I can recall I don’t see ‘that’ many accidents in the USAF/Navy/Marine involving their T45/T38. On the contrary the accidents involving F15/F16/F18 are more common.

  46. Jonathan Koch – ”MD-aero tiga, status unknown to me.”

    No longer in service – retired ages ago. The plan was for trainee pilots to fly this first before the PC-7, as a costs savings measure. BTW, a PC-7 with a Bangladeshi pilot also made a rough landing.

    Jonathan Koch – ” I read sometime ago we’re only operating something like 20 after the communist insurgency era.”

    Various RMAF Board Of Inquiries have stated the main reason behind crashes as human error. Bear in mind that a lot of sorties undertaken by Nuris [even after the end of the 2nd Emergency] were taken in adverse weather and flying conditions; over rough terrain, in conditions that the Nuri [without an upgrade] wasn’t suppose to fly in; not to mention that many landing spots were extremely small and in hard to get places. Before we form conclusions lets first look at the operational conditions the flights were undertaken.

    An RMAF Chief in the 1990’s went public by saying that the high attrition rate of the Hawks was cause by a higher than plan utilisation rate, a shortage of trained ground crews and spares – working with BAE Systems [then British Aerospace] most of the issues were gradually rectified.

    Jonathan Koch – ” Whoa! I never heard of as much accident happened to our SEA neighbours! ”

    Never mind what you’ve ”heard”. Do some research.

    Jonathan Koch – ” we bought 80 airframes since 1992, and we’re left with 58! That’s a write off rate of 27.5%! ”

    About 40 Skyhawks entered service and about 6/ 7 were lost. One of the causes was believed to have been due to the engine. A Board of Inquiry [which included RNZAF participation] recommended further upgrades.

    Jonthan Koch – ”and were even sent to Cambodia for UN missions.”

    Yes they were; to ferry election officials and ballot boxes. We also sent a Nuri and an Alo 3 to Manila during an ASEAN Summit. There were worries of a coup and the Nuri and Alo were there in case we had to evacuate the PM to RMN ships docked in Manila bay. The longest overseas flight the Nuris undertook was to East Java for a MALINDO exercise.

  47. Kuala…

    I like your thoughts. Its just that the maintenance will be a pain in the arse since we always think about brand new shiny planes first before the operational capability…

    Seriously, I’d go for Super Hornet even if its different than Legacy Hornets. Nuff said.

  48. The main reason Super Hornet out of the competition is due to US Government not plan to get more for this jet and eventually the cost to operate this aircraft will getting higher and higher.

    If we no go for Russia then Eurofighter is the solution. Rafale might be our choice if the India deal settled.

    Reply
    It’s likely there is no off-set programmes on offer from the US government unlike Typhoon or Rafale

  49. Michael – ”The main reason Super Hornet out of the competition is due to US Government not plan to get more for this jet and eventually the cost to operate this aircraft will getting higher and higher.”

    There’s a bit more to it than that.

    Kuala – ”I vote for eurofighter typhoon”

    I ”vote” for anything; as long as it gets a data link and we eventually get an AEW.

  50. ‘But the decision maker will choose super hornet due to geopolitical reason and affordable price’.

    I have to agree with this rationale. A deterrent not only comes with the number of jets, but who or what ally that comes with it.

  51. SMK – ”I have to agree with this rationale.”

    I’ve been harping about the Super Hornet being the obvious choice from a political, strategic, and commonality [shared parts, common ordnance, new simulator that can simulate Super Hornets, existing ground support equipment that can also be used to support Super Hornets, an available cadre of trained air and ground crews, etc] viewpoint for ages but since when does ”rationale” or ”logic” enter the equation? If they did, the Super Hornet and not MKMs would have been ordered in 2002 and instead of Fulcrums in 1993; we would have placed a single order for Hornets. For that matter we would not have bought the Laksamanas : the RMN recommended against it but was overuled.

  52. For me… i would say it is a good idea to get 26/34 rafales and retire the 8 hornets + remaining mig29. Hornets are really2 nice planes but operating too many different types of jets from too many different countries can be cost consuming. It is good to have fighters from few different countries but not too many la. Rafale can also carry the hornets weapons which is a plus point. Typhoon on the other hand… really great fighter too but haha a little too over the budget i blv and their matre missiles are not there yet. Matre scheduled to be in service by 2020… and how much better are they against the harpoon/exocet/kh… i admit dou… the down side of rafale it can only carry 1 exocet.

  53. Just buy Rafale,18 rafale is cost like 15 Typhoon…after 5-10 years take another 6 and another 6 after 5 years..
    Maintance Sukhoi..until 2030..
    F18 until 2036 Hawk until 2026
    Then maintance just two types fighter start from 2036

    36 two engines (same type)
    54 singgle engines ( same type)
    Just my dream for rmaf…

  54. Do you guys realise that 30+ rafales equal to the price of

    100+ su-30mkm or gripen c

    or

    200+ fa-50 fighting eagles

    or

    3x of the new toll-less pan borneo highway.

    30+ rafales will affect all other defence procurements up till 2030. Even the relatively smaller cost of the 4 A400M has massively affected TUDM’s Mrca programme, do you guys think the huge rafale buy (this would be the most expensive malaysian defence project ever) won’t have any affects?

  55. Nothing is set in concrete. Dont be surprised if a decision is made to purchase a plane we have dismissed. Its all politics

  56. This is off topic. I was looking at Kem Gubir, Kedah which was an operating location for Nuris during the Second Emergency.

    Noticed that the EC725 is now operating there. You can also see the remains of earth berms that were used for storing aviation fuel or other stores.

    Reply
    There are many such sites that were pioneered by the British.

  57. JF44,

    It’s NOT the actual platform that counts but the systems capability we eventually acquire. As such, it’s really pointless debating the merits of one particular aircraft over the other as all can do the job for us. What we should be concerned is the logistical footprint and maintenance costs; not the individual merits of the Rafale over Typhoon or vice versa.

    Ordnance cleared for the Super Hornet [Sidewinder X, JDAM, AMRAAM , etc] is not cleared for use with Rafale [Paveway 2 recently was] and there is no ”matre” missile for the Typhoon : I believe you mean ”Meteor”. There was a French maker of missiles called ”Matra” but it no longer exists. It merged with Aerospatiale which also no longer exists : both became MBDA. Also, the Meteor is an AAM; as such it can’t be compared with Harpoon, Exocet or KH-31 which are all air to surface missiles.

  58. … ,
    Wow!! 30 Rafales = 100 Su-30MKM’s = 200 FA-50’s.
    As I’ve said before, I’m surprised the South Koreans have not plans for a dedicated single seat (single canopy) F-50 version.

  59. The FA-50 is primarily a LIFT and therefore most aircraft will be two seaters. Since few single seaters will be built, it might not be economical to develop a specific variant.

    Take a look at the MiG-35. The single seat variant retains the same canopy and most equipment of the twin seater. There are minimal modifications.

  60. I saw a fighter jet documentary somewhere …the film predicted that in future many country will choose rafale due to abilities and french attitude towards its arms business(less restriction etc)…

    But as discussed before, the price is very expensive…

    Can the price match the purpose of buying them (18 -24unit ?)

    Since our motto is defensive and many believe we cant deal with china in a military way ,plus with limited budget we have to recalculate n thinking million times to buy new expensive mrca.

    I believe if we opted for small number of new mrca it is compulsory to pair them with long range S400 sam + aew/awacs+ potent anti submarine aircraft such as poseidon for optimum deterrence/strike effect if needed.

    Be it gripen+aew+S400+poseidon+anti subs heli is still far more better than rafale/handsome typhoon alone.

    Hidden and super hardened air base,subs base,ammo,army base is really important…

  61. Like I said, this won’t end until everyone is satisfied with

    36 Rafales
    28 Typhoons
    And…
    18 MiG-35
    20 Gripen
    etc
    etc..

    I mean, we’re busy looking at merit without thinking the cost or even the logistical nightmare that will follow afterwards. Some of us are still living in super wet dream.

    And plus, I read all the comments at social medias, they are afraid about buying from USA because they would ban us and we might get low rated version or something. They really need to learn more…

  62. That’s because no air force chief has the guts to say Mahathir’s statement was bull. He made the air force and even himself look like idiots when he said we discovered too late that we did not get source codes and that we need them to bomb. The public is even more idiotic to believe it.

  63. Marhalim

    Why was purchase another batch of mkm was ruled out?

    Reply
    Because they wanted a Western MRCA fleet

  64. In my humble opinion, the single engine gripen and F16 Viper should be seriously reconsider. Do we really need to be 2 engines? With 2 engines we have two fighter jets instead of one. We have 36 jets instead of 18 jets. Military jets, purchase and maintaince are not cheap and it cost a substantial amount of money to the total cost of the plane. Our jets are to defend Malaysia territory and are not suppose to cross other country airspace. If the plane does so, it is consider Act of War! Remember this is fighter jets not commercial jets…If an engine failure or the jet hit by an enemy, the pilot will have to eject and parachute down to our Malaysian territory. Impossible he will land at enemy line. The distress pilot can call for help to be rescued. Two engines jets are suitable for attack role whereby the jets are required to cross enemy lines to attack. Do you think our country can afford to attack other country? Buying jet planes already a big issue….
    Talking about range, even children know this term always quote in movie show. We land at the nearest base , refueled and take off again. Malaysia is a small country and we have a lot of airbase around our country….Unless of course, there is a sizeable herd of cow moving grass around the airfield…..
    Forget about trainer jets like Kai FA50 fighting eagle, just top the money and get a full fledge F16V with the latest option available…
    As for russian plane, it is troublesome to learn their language and lack of after sales support like our junk Mig 29 jets………Not only in military but everyday life, without efficent after sales support the product as good as junk. US after sales support is good and we are in no position to mess with them. Their one carrier carry 80 units fighter jets and we mulling our teeth just for 12 nnmbers of jets
    Instead of buying expansive european jets with small quantity say 12 number, with the current budget we have. It is best to consider cheaper F16Viper withmore quantity, i bet it will be more than the european fighter jets. What more the F16 is a proven fighter jet. RMAF should request the manufacturer to allow us to install our kind of suites suitable to our country…just in case…

  65. I wonder whether the rmaf would have a change of mind, since both offers look kind of…in my opinion expensive compared to even our MKMs. And we do need a lot of new planes…im getting giddy just looking at the amount of fighters we have available…

  66. Hi,

    Found out from a reddit post that Malaysia(AIROD) is a class B partner of TAI TFX. How true is this news?

    Reply
    You better get the confirmation from the poster

  67. Well, the poster account was deleted. And that reddit looks like a global espionage threads (conspiracist haven). I ll take this as a grain of salt then.

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