SHAH ALAM: Remember me. In an extensive submission to Parliament yesterday, Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein answered various questions relating to his ministry as part of the current session. What is interesting – among the questions answered – was that the minister did not say anything about the MPA and UAS tenders even though those items preceded the FLIT-LCA one. Perhaps, it was not asked so there was no answer though I admit have not checked the written answers registry. Other answers were about the LCS; MD530G and LTAT issues.
Any how, on the FLIT-LCA, Hishammuddin said the decision on the tender has been decided by the procurement board of the ministry and it was now up to the Finance Ministry to make the final determination.
Seterusnya ialah perolehan LCA. Tidak seperti LCS dan MD-530G yang merupakan projek legasi, LCA merupakan projek perolehan akan datang. Keperluan perolehan ini dibuat bagi menggantikan pesawat MiG-29N/UB kerana telah ditamatkan operasi pada tahun 2017 dan menggantikan pesawat HAWK yang
akan berusia 32 tahun pada tahun 2026 serta pesawat Aermacchi (MB-339CM)
yang akan berusia 22 tahun pada tahun 2030.
Penggantiannya terbahagi kepada 2 Fasa. Bagi Fasa 1, ia melibatkan perolehan awal 18 buah pesawat FLIT-LCA (penggantian MiG-29N/UB). Manakala bagi Fasa 2 pula, ia melibatkan perolehan 18 buah lagi pesawat FLIT-LCA (penggantian Hawk dan Aermacchi).
Bagi memastikan tiada lagi isu ketelusan dan salah laku dalam proses perolehan, saya ingin memaklumkan bahawa perolehan FLIT-LCA secara Tender Terbuka Antarabangsa telah diiklankan pada 22 Jun 2021 dan telah ditutup pada 6 Oktober 2021. Pada masa ini, pihak Kementerian telah melengkapkan semua peringkat
penilaian, dan laporan sedang disediakan untuk diperakukan oleh Lembaga Perolehan Kementerian dan seterusnya dimuktamadkan oleh Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia (MOF) bagi memuktamadkan pembida yang berjaya. Secara kesimpulannya, saya bersama kepimpinan MINDEF dan ATM memberikan komitmen sepenuhnya untuk memulihkan projek legasi walaupun ia cukup menduga, mencabar dan rumit serta memastikan projek semasa dan akan datang berada pada landasan yang tepat agar masalah-masalah berkaitan perolehan tidak
MINDEF dan ATM tidak akan berpuas hati setakat ini. Kita faham, ketika ini situasi kewangan dan ekonomi negara bukan pada tahap terbaik ekoran pandemik COVID-19. Namun MINDEF akan terus bekerjasama rapat dengan pihak end user iaitu TDM, TLDM dan TUDM bagi memastikan keperluan keselamatan negara
dapat dipenuhi sebaik mungkin.
As usual there was nothing to indicate when the funding for the FLIT/LCA will take place. Or whether it will get the precedent over the MPA and UAS procurement and the LCS revival. It must be noted that according to the RMAF, all three FLIT/LCA, MPA and UAS are among the major procurements for the next ten years. The FLIT/LCA is divided to two phases – 18 in RMK12 and 18 more in RMK13 while both the MPA and UAS within the next five years.
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Again, it is explicitly clear that the LCA at least for the first batch of 18 is for the replacement of the MiG-29N/UB capability.
Something not supersonic like the M-346FA is obviously out of the window.
The good news is the FLIT-LCA decision has been made, now the ball is in the court of the pursekeepers.
As the MPA and UAV tender was not closed under the current menhan, probably they will not be a priority for spending now, when compared to the FLIT-LCA.
On the UAV tender.
The tender was supposed for 3x MALE UAVs.
It is said that the favourite to win the tender was the TAI Anka. Tunisia closed a deal for 3x TAI Anka, 3x ground control stations and the training of 52x Tunisian Air Force pilots and maintenance personnel in Turkey for 80 million dollars.
From what we know, the Bayraktar TB2 did not enter the tender.
Morroco bought 13x Bayraktar TB2, 4x ground control stations, a configurable simulation system for flying the drones, a digital system for tracking and storing information, a drone operations center and training for 70 million dollars.
A KAI FA-50 costs about 40 million dollars. So for the cost two FA-50, we could get a squadron of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs.
These day we can see that nations in conflicts, they send their drones and guided missile first for their pre emptive stikes. UAS/MPA is a top priority as it could bring huge leverage for us in this region. my dua kupang.
Even all three tender (MPA, UAV/UAS and LCA) already issued almost two to theee years ago, I thought MPA and UAS/UAV is the priority compared to LCA. BTW I hope UAS/UAV will be Turkey made.
gonggok – ”Again, it is explicitly clear that the LCA at least for the first batch of 18 is for the replacement of the MiG-29N/UB capability.”
I was under the distinct impression that 10 were to replace the Hawk 100s and 8 as LIFTs. Strange to see the release mentioning the Fulcrums.
Sigh… we really need someone to get us the full answer transcript, bits and pieces like this do not give a full picture. But it is ironic when he referred the LCS & Little Birds as legacy projects because these were HIS legacy when he was MenHan the 1st time. Let’s hope he don’t leave a legacy of legacy projects either dead or dying before he leaves.
Regarding LCA/FLIT, it appears TUDM has clearly prioritise LCA role over the FLIT role, in that the LCA purchase would take precedence over replacing Hawks. I guess the venerable Hawks will still soldier on until 2030.
The mentality of our Menhan. You can’t put up the excuse of pandemic or bad economic times when we are just procuring the minimum essential force required to defend the country. The same with the covid pandemic, we have to spend whatever os required. We are not a poor country. Even poor countries are upgrading their capabilities in this soon to be a multipowered world.
That was his script for the parliament. Not the whole thing of course
Azlan, “I was under the distinct impression…”
Probably LIFT will continue at ITPS Canada with leased FA-50, until batch 2 of the FLIT-LCA buy is completed.
But if we reshuffle our priorities, for the FLIT-LCA, UAV and MPA; we could sign for all of them before 2025.
Around 1.2 billion dollars would get us 36 FA-50s. No need for 2 different batches.
70 million dollars for 13 Bayraktar TB2s, or better spend a bit more 140 million dollars to get 25 Bayraktar TB2s.
150 million dollars to convert 3 more MSAs.
Those Bayraktars could also be used to undertake MSA/MPA missions along with manned aircrafts. Need to start thinking of our maritime surveillance from a systems, not platform perspective.
At least something is happening! Hallelujah!!!
Would like to see H2O answer about the way forward with LCS. I’m curious what else he talked about the Little Birds as well, since TDM has taken delivery so whatever issues faced is in the past.
“Strange to see the release mentioning the Fulcrums”
Well known for sometime the LCA are to replace the Migs & Hawk100.
“excuse of pandemic or bad economic times”
We have a 2021 debt to GDP ratio of 62.1%, a historic ever high. If we gonna spend to fight covid, welfare the rakyat, allocate budget for public works to stimulate economy, and at same time spend adequately on defence… how much higher is our debt level gonna be? The rakyat will see and appreciate the first 3 but will they care about the last?
“Well known for sometime the LCA are to replace the Migs & Hawk100”
No it certainly hasn’t been “well known”” as you put it ..
Time and time again statements made by the RMAF clearly and unequivocally indicated the LCA is to replace the Hawks. Also, one does not replace a full fledged fighter – which the Fulcrum is – with a lightweight single engine platform…
gonggok – ” start thinking of our maritime surveillance from a systems, not platform perspective;
This is something I’ve been harping on for years. Unfortunately many are still locked in the platform centric mindset as if it’s 1954 and not the late 2000’s. Not only maritime surveillance but everything has to be looked at from a systems centric mindset. Of all the services the RMN has the most ingrained network centric mindset.
gonggok – “70 million dollars for 13 Bayraktar TB2s”
Prices are prices. Firstly we should have enough UASs for ISR roles first before we get into the armed UAS business; Secondly we can’t and won’t assume operational circumstances here will be as conducive or permissive for UASs as Nargano Karabakh; Libya, Iraq, Tigray, Afghanistan and other places – unless we have an oracle as Alexander the Great did. As it stands various countries in the region are already taking steps to acquire a anti UAS capability. In the regional skies will be more restricted for UASs. Thirdly before we even get into the armed UAS business we have to look at acquiring a recce/strike complex; without which we’d be unable to effectively operate armed UASs – the very challenging part.
“Well known for sometime the LCA are to replace the Migs & Hawk100”
No it certainly hasn’t been “well known””..
Time and time again statements made by the RMAF clearly/unequivocally stated the LCA is to replace the Hawks. Also, one does not replace a full fledged fighter – which the Fulcrum is – with a lightweight single engine platform…
gonggok – “Those Bayraktars could also be used to undertake MSA/MPA missions along with manned aircrafts”
If we ever get TB2s I doubt we’ll use them much for routine surveillance for the reason that we would want to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on them; especially given that UASs by large don’t last a long as manned platforms. We would also want to onserve their airframe hours for their main role of delivering munitions. With unarmed UASs that’s a different matter as we bought them for the specific role of ISR.
Yes armed UASs are used for surveillance but this is for the specific purpose of searching for targets to deliver their payloads; not for routine EEZ and other peacetime taskings in conjunction with manned platforms.
With only 3 MALEs I suspect that they will either be given separate areas to operate in or in circumstances where MPAs aren’t around. The trick would also be to avoid a cumbersome mechanism to enable RMAF UASs to share data/intel with other armed services and the MMEA and for UASs to.Also have the ability t harvesting with MPAs. It’s for this reasons and to avoid role duplication and service rivalry that as we mature as a UAS operator and acquire tertiary skills; we should and must raise a tri service “joint” UAV Command;as the SAF has done.
The Mig replacement discussion have been done to death and widely acknowledged on the replacement. Whether there is a need for a full fledged fighter replacement is up to TUDM to decide and to perform the Migs role as QRA doesn’t require full fledged fighter. If the situation warrants such a response, there is always the Hornets which is why I been pushing to augment that fleet with Kuwaiti ones.
The Mig replacement discussion have been done to death and widely acknowledged on the replacement”
Has it really now? Just because the is to assume QRA duties dies not mean it’s a replacement for the Fulcrums per see… Time and time again the RMAF has stressed that the OF A is to replace the Hawk and how can the LCA which is a different category of aircraft be a replacement for the Fulcrum? Yet you’d so confidently [like various things] say it’s “done to death” and “acknowledged”; to you no doubt but in actual reality is what I’m interested in….
“I been pushing to augment that fleet with Kuwaiti ones.”
You’re “pushing”? Well that settles things then .. Unfortunately the politicians and the RMAF both have legitimate reasons why they are reluctant for a 30 odd year old platforms which will only get older when they arrive [with all the inherent penalties] – this has truly been “done to death”…
It’s sound like only 2 sq of LCA will get & 2 sq MRCA. On paper we do not have any extra new sq at all but just replace the old machines. When i read the original CAP55, it should have 3sq + 2sq.
Looks like Columbia will be getting 20 FA-50 and TA-50 for around 600 million dollars.