MRCA: Updates, Sort Off

A Rafale and F-15 at LIMA 2015.

SHAH ALAM: YES its a week after LIMA, I am only starting to write about the MRCA programme. It is just to show there is not much really moving on the MRCA even at the country’s premier airshow. Three of the MRCA candidates were present at LIMA 2015 but only the Dassault Rafale took part in the flight displays. In the exhibition hall and corporate chalets, however, all was relatively quiet.

French AF Rafale meets up with the PACAF F-16 during the daily display at LIMA 2015.
French AF Rafale meets up with the PACAF F-16 during the daily display at LIMA 2015.

Well some may argue that the offer from Dassault, the same financial package to Malaysia like those for Egypt was the big news from Langkawi. And what about the offer from ATSC to upgrade the Fulcrums to the NM standard then?

A model at ATSC stand featuring the proposed Fuclrum modernisation. Among others it will be fitted with the Flanker's avionics.
A model at ATSC stand featuring the proposed Fuclrum modernisation. Among others it will be fitted with the Flanker’s avionics.

And yes, the British Government offer to lease the Typhoons remained on the table. And they could also deliver the Typhoon (RAF Tranche 3 standard) within months of a contract being signed. All of this maybe news to some but to me “its Ground Hog Day” all over again.

The Typhoon was not displayed at LIMA 2015 but the full size mock-up proved very popular
The Typhoon was not displayed at LIMA 2015 but the full size mock-up proved very popular

Perhaps I am being snobbish about all of this but as the Defence Ministry and RMAF were pretty quiet about the project during the whole week was an indicator to me that it was better to wait for a sunny day.

RTAF Gripen was at LIMA 2015 as a static display only
RTAF Gripen was at LIMA 2015 as a static display only

I guess we have to wait until June to see whether or not we will be getting the MRCA. In the meantime, I am taking a break from chasing the MRCA story. If there is any significant updates, hopefully you will be the first ones to read it here.

One of the two Super Hornets of the US Navy at LIMA 2015
One of the two Super Hornets of the US Navy at LIMA 2015

Anyhow, I made a mistake in my preview when I posted that the both the Rafale and Super Hornet were expected to conduct flight displays at LIMA 2015. I was wrong. Only the Rafale performed at LIMA 2015, something which also surprised Dassault officials. Two USN Super Hornets were on display but they did not take part in flight displays as did the Gripen. The Typhoon was only represented by a full size replica and a booth dedicated to show the plane’s capabilities including a simulator.

The other more colourful of the two US Navy Super Hornets at LIMA 2015.
The other more colourful of the two US Navy Super Hornets at LIMA 2015.

And yes, the F16V is a suitor though not yet an official candidate for the MRCA.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1632 Articles
Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. … says:
    April 9, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Another update from boeing

    Dan Gillian, programme manager for sh and growler, has hinted that an order for the super hornet from the middle east would be forthcoming this year. Most probably that means Kuwait and the super hornet line would still be open after 2017. And some legacy hornets would be available after that…
    … says:
    April 6, 2015 at 8:59 am

    @ marhalim…

    If according to your reply

    Know much about su-30sm? Almost 95% same as mkm (with all the thales avionics and holographic huds) except the saab avitronics maws. It is more similar to the mkm than the mki.

    And for dacm, they also have mig-23/27, mig-29, mig-31, su-27
    … says:
    April 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Since we are on the mrca subject… And since our top leader is now very close to the Kazakh elites…

    Here are the 1st pictures ot Kazakhstan air force sukhoi su-30sm

    http://russianplanes.net/images/to160000/159842.jpg

    It would be great if tudm su-30mkm could do annual trainings with the Kazakh su-30sm, at their huge ex soviet base at tady-kurgan. Not to mention their huge airspace and vast bombing ranges.

    Reply

    We will better off training with the Indian Air Force. Not only our Flankers are similar but IAF got different AC which is good for DACM
    Hasnan says:
    March 30, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Lets say 60% readiness…we have only 10 fighters at any one time the next few years
    MILSPEC says:
    March 30, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Let’s just hope that we will have it’s answer soon enough or else, mmg berjanggut nak tunggu….
    MILSPEC says:
    March 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Let’s just hope the RMAF have sufficient fighters by 2020. I bet by that time, our neighbors already had higher number of fighters to cover their airspace…
    Azlan says:
    March 30, 2015 at 3:30 am

    If we don’t make a decision soon, the various OEMs won’t be so enthusiastic to respond in the future and we might have to pay for fighters to perform at the next LIMA! We apparently issued several RFIs these past few years and OEMs responded; next time around they might not take us seriously; even taking into account that they are desperate for even a small order due to tightening worldwide budgets and stiff competition. The statement by the Defence Minister that threats we face might be better dealt with by a mini-gun rather than a fighter may be true but is hardly assuring to companies who make a lot of time and effort to respond to RFIs and who spend tonnes of cash to exhibit at LIMA (and DSA).

    Given the state of the economy and the number of programmes that have to be paid for; I will be pleasantly surprised if we actually order a new fighter within the next few years.

    Marhalim, thank you for posting the pics and the serials of the fighters. I don’t suppose you or anyone else here knows the serials or the unit of the Super Hornet that came to LIMA 2001? 🙂 Apparently Najib flew in the back seat.
    SydGustav says:
    March 29, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    i think 2017 will deliver something “interesting” on the MRCA deal.
    bujot says:
    March 28, 2015 at 2:34 am

    As expected the MRCA programme initially to keep momentum on Lima even. However since now it is on the dead end what would happen on next 2017 Lima. Repeating scenarios may and news may well see again.
    AM says:
    March 27, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    This is not good. The same engines as ours.

    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/india-s-new-russian-fighters-have-serious-engine-failures-41fd7edbe94c

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