RMAF 2020

Four Flankers performing a fly past at the RMAF anniversary parade in 2016.

SHAH ALAM: RMAF 2020. In his comments for the Gripen E for Malaysia post, regular reader … stated his preference for RMAF order of battle for 2022. This what he had to say.

RMAF Hawk and Sukhoi at Labuan airbase for Ek Paradise 2015.

My personal RMAF vision2022 plan

3000 mil budget

600 mil 4x Bombardier Global 6000 Erieye AEWC, 2x Global 6000 VIP

100 mil 6x Eurocopter EC225LP 2nd hand (4x SAR, 2x OGP; CHC mass helicopter sale 2017)

220 mil 8x Challenger 605 MPA, 1x Challenger 605 utility

1400 mil 16x TA-50M
28x FA-50M

100 mil 8x F/A-18D ex Kuwait

0 mil 6x F/A-18B ex Australia

300 mil 6x SU-30MKM ex India (nearly brand new)

25 mil 12x PC-7MkII ex South Africa

30 mil 35x PC-9M ex Saudi (for fighter squadron companion trainer program to save fighter flight hours)

80 mil 8x PC-24

15 mil 1x C-130H airod (short body for special forces flying support)

130mil SU-30MKM minor upgrade program

Minus sell

100 mil 18x hawk 108/208 – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
120 mil 3x C-130H-30 – use proceeds for C-130 upgrade program
25 mil 7x MB-339CM – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
50 mil 12x MiG-29N – use proceeds for F/A-18D upgrade program
10 mil 1x Global Express

Would give 2022 a total fighter capability of:

Hi end (1 squadron – gong kedak)
24x SU-30MKM (12 operational pool, 2 standby, 6 service pool, 4 labuan QRA rotation)

Mid (1 squadron – Butterworth)
16x F/A-18D (12 operational pool, 4 stanby/service pool)
6x F/A-18B (3 operational/training pool, 3 stanby/service pool)

low (2 squadron – Kuantan and Labuan, 1 Lead In Fighter Training – Kuantan)
16x TA-50M (12 operational pool, 4 standby/service pool)
28x FA-50M (24 operational pool, 4 standby/service pool)

Another regular reader, AM, has commented on this saying:

These orbats and cost figures bear no relation to reality. Operating and personnel costs are completely absent. I don’t think they add anything to our knowledge

RMAF F/A-18D Hornet M45-07 taken on Nov 19, 2015

I did not want to say anything about both comments as I had approved them, meaning that at least its deserved to be made public. Anyhow listed below is what I think should be RMAF order of battle in 2020.

2 X F-18C/D Hornet Squadron

18 X FA-18C/D Hornet (C, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 3 Ds from RMAF). Gong Kedak/Labuan AB
18 X FA-18C/D Hornet (C, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 3 Ds from RMAF). Kuantan/Labuan AB

1 FA-18D LIFT/OCU Squadron
8 FA-18D Hornet (6 Ds, ex-Kuwait AF aircraft, 2 Ds from RMAF) Butterworth

Two Kuwait AF F/A-18C seen here with a couple of F-16s. Internet.

2 X Hercules Squadron
Aircraft upgraded with ro-ro for ISR/CAS
20th Squadron, Subang
14th Squadorn, Labuan

M54-03 on finals at Subang airport.

1 A400m Squadron

22nd Squadron, Subang

1 CN-235 Squadron

Five CN-235-200Ms modified as MPA with Thales AMASCOS system
Four CN-235-220ms newly purchased from IPTN fitted for ASW
The MPA aircraft could still be used for utility and transport role. Two other CN-235s are used for VIP transport based in Subang.

1st Squadron, Kuching

Two RMAF Cougars flying in formation with a Nuri at the RMAF anniversary parade on June 1, 2016.

2 X EC725 Squadron

12 X EC725, 10th Squadron, Kuantan and Butterworth AB
12 X EC725, 7th Squadron, Kuching and Labuan

Saab Globaleye.

1 Globaleye Squadron

4 Saab Globaleye AEW aircraft. Labuan/Subang

Indonesian Navy displayed its IPTN/Airbus CN235-220 MPA.

All the aircraft not listed here should be retired already. Note that the list does not include the aircraft at Kolej Tentera Udara and Subang used for training purposes. The cost of procuring the four Globaleyes and four CN-235 ASW should be around RM3 billion while 12 new EC725s should cost around RM1 billion.

ISR Hercules modifications from Lockheed Martin

The 36 Kuwaiti Hornets could be acquired from as low as RM100 million, if no extensive upgrading is called for. Another RM1 billion would be spent on upgrading of the Hercules and Cn-235s while around RM3 billion should be used to buy new ordnance, missiles, guided munitions and unguided ones for the whole fleet.

RMAF Airbus EC725 and Hercules.

Is RM5 billion enough to recapitalise the RMAF so it remain a credible force beyond 2020? Barely, I think. But based on the current economic situation I think that its the limit the government can spend on the RMAF alone. By retiring four fast jets at the same time (Flanker, Fulcrum, Hawk and Aermacchi) the money saved from their maintenance could be used to get the new aircraft mentioned above.

The new aircraft are optional extras, based on funds available around that period. Oh, yes, 2 Skuadron (VIP Squadron) will continue as well.

* This an updated version of the earlier post. The last paragraph is added for clarity.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2147 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Assalamualaikum dear sir,
    I think the opinion that been given is realistic and exceptable based on our economic situation. RMAF will have more assets even we will loose our beloved fulcrum, but will get more hornet and freshly globaleye in our inventory.For me, I really agree with your suggestion. “TAK DAPAT ROTAN AKAR PUN BERGUNA.”

  2. Why would you want to retire the Flankers? They are newer and much more capable than F-18 C/Ds

    The negatives outweigh the positive

  3. *Retire the Flankers ? Don’t not retire for it. But my suggestion is we better Scraped the MRCA And Buy additional MKM and Legacy Hornets

  4. Flanker is the latest MRCA and retiring them without selling them off would be wasteful. The long range of the Flanker is needed if TUDM wants any chance of having air superiority above the South China Sea. The F/A-18 could be best used until only up till 2035 the latest. Using F/A-18 as LIFT is expensive, and a wasteful consumption of precious hornet flight hours.

    As for helicopters:
    CHC helicopter (as per 2017) is selling off 21x EC225 as they don’t want to use any of them after the crashes in oil and gas industry. We could buy some for normal utility and normal SAR/HADR missions (no need for full spec Combat SAR capabilities). Used EC225 (plus additional military radios etc) is less than usd15mil each (new commercial EC225 is around usd18-20mil). Additional 6 EC225 plus 12 current EC725 would give 8 heli for each squadron, plus 2 rotation to esscom.

    For MPA:
    the Challenger 605 MPA would combine the range of the Orion but with a similar capability of a smaller CN-235 for the same price of CN-235.
    -used challenger 605 usd10mil
    -MPA system; VIDAR, FLIR turret, AIS, AESA maritime radar (vixen 5000 or equivalent) usd15mil.
    TUDM has experience flying challenger 601 previously, and is similar to the global express/global 6000 VIP aircraft.

    For companion trainer program
    MKM and hornet crews to have annual flying hours in their fighters plus the PC-9. 120hrs fighter, 50hrs PC-9, plus simulator hours. Companion trainer would save precious fighter flight hours for tasks like basic pilot skills practice, navigation practice, off airbase trainings etc. The flight cost of the companion trainer is something like 1/20th of the fighter flight cost. So can do cost cutting while still giving fighter pilots chance to fly.

    The AEW system:
    The saab Erieye system costs somewhere around usd100mil each, with a secondhand global 6000 (3-4 years old) for usd30mil. 11hours endurance. No need for super expensive globaleye (erieye+maritime radar) system (usd600mil each)

  5. Three IF; 1- If Kuwait is interested to letgo those Hornet. 2-If USA allowed Hornet to moved out to MY. 3-If MY politics are interested on those 2nd hand fighter planes.

    The trend of MY defence acquisition since year 2000 is mostly “fresh from the factory”, and IMHO, MRCA will be new ones too.

    Fast forward to decade 2020, I think we have to include elements of UAV for RMAF. IMHO by that time, the technology will be more matured, more platform to choose from and prices more competitive.

  6. @ Marhalim,

    RM 5 billion (usd 1.1bil) cannot buy the 4x Saab Globaleye that you want. UAE bought 2x Globaleye for usd1.27bil. As for the kuwaiti hornets i think we need to buy it from them or else surely USMC will buy them wholesale. Each basic CN-235MPA would cost about rm100mil. I believe TUDM should lobby to get similar development budgets as TLDM (around usd3bil), but telling the government that you would burn it all on superduper MRCA’s isn’t the best thing to convince them.

    BTW My vision2022 squadron Orbat:

    1 Skn 7x CN-235-220 – Kuching
    2 Skn 1x Airbus A319CJ, 1x Airbus A320CJ, 1x Falcon 900, 2x Global 6000 – Subang
    3 Skn 8x S-61A-4 Nuri – Butterworth
    5 Skn 6x EC725, 3x EC225 – Labuan
    6 Skn 14x FA-50 – Labuan
    7 Skn 8x S-61A-4 Nuri – Kuching
    8 Skn 8x PC-24 – Subang (utility, multi engine training)
    9 Skn 4x Global 6000 Erieye AEW&C – Gong Kedak
    10 Skn 6x EC725, 3x EC225 – Kuantan
    11 Skn 24x SU-30MKM – Gong Kedak (QRA Labuan)
    12 Skn inactive
    14 Skn 4x C-130H-30, 2x KC-130H – Labuan
    15 Skn 16x TA-50 (3FTC) – Kuantan
    16 Skn 8x Challenger 605 MPA, 1x Challenger 605 utility – Subang
    17 Skn 14x FA-50 – Kuantan
    18 Skn 16x F/A-18D, 6x F/A-18B – Butterworth
    19 Skn inactive
    20 Skn 2x C-130H-30, 2x C-130H, 2x KC-130H – Subang
    21 Skn 2x AS-61N-1 Silver, 2x VIP Blackhawk – Subang
    22 Skn 4x A400M – Subang
    1 FTC 33x PC-7 MkII – Alor Setar (21+12=33)
    2 FTC 6x EC120

    3x B200T MPA transfer to MMEA

  7. @ Marhalim,


    The money could be found but it wouldn’t be a great selling point if 90% of the budget is spent on 12 MRCA with dubious relevency towards current malaysian defence needs.

    It would be more convincing if the spending is spread for many operational areas; like on MPA, for maritime surveillance; AEW, for air surveillance; cost saving initiatives by replacing 3 legacy fighters (Mig/hawk/mb-339) with 1 (TA/FA-50); selling some hercules to fund their upgrades etc etc.

    We have seen great initiatives from the navy’s top leadership, hopefully some plans would come out from the new airforce leadership.

  8. As I’ve indicated previously, buying pre-used platforms are not a good idea; even if they’re low houred and are in good condition. Things tend to break down more often as they age and platforms – even low houred ones – tend to be more maintenance intensive and require more inspections due to age. Irrespective of the fact that they’re low houred, the key fact remains that Kuwait’s Hornets are still on average 23 or more years old – deliveries started in 1992. There is also the question of how much spares Boeing will continue to produce for legacy ‘C’ models over the next decade or so. Note that some key components on the ‘D’ and ‘C’ are not common.

    On the MPAs, the RMAF will argue [and it has] that as most of the missions new MPAs will perform are maritime centric, that the budget should come from the RMN. Problem here is that the RMN has neither the budget or the infrastructure to operate MPAs. Granted, there are a lot of administrative/bureaucratic issue to sort out but on paper the most logical solution would be for RMAF operated and maintained MPAs under joint control, with mix RMN/RMAF sensor crews but for the operational budget to partly come from the RMN.

    Given that ASW [and AsuW] from fix wing platforms are expensive to get into and also to maintain the needed skill sets [as well as having the trained people and infrastructure to maintain the torps, ASMs ans sonabuoys]; I would rather have future MPAs have as their main roles surveillance, SAR and other roles including OTHT. For the time being emphasis on airborne ASW should be placed on helos.

  9. Nimitz – ”and IMHO, MRCA will be new ones too.”

    Buying new is of course more expensive but we have to look at cost incurred over a longer period or over a particular platform’s projected service life. On paper, buying pre-used is cheaper but there are a lot of issues to be looked at first. No point buying
    pre-used to save money in the short term if ”pre-used” [on account of age and other issues] becomes expensive and problematic to operate and support over the long term – as some countries have discovered the hard way. In short, there are some things we should buy pre-used and some things we shouldn’t.

    Nimitz – ”Fast forward to decade 2020, I think we have to include elements of UAV for RMAF.”

    I would rather have UAVs operated jointly. either as in independent ‘UAV Command” or something similar under the JFC. Granted, some units will have a need for an organic UAV capability [like the Royal Intelligence Corps and hopefully in the future, the Royal Artillery Corps] but the best solution would be for longer range/higher altitude UAVs to be operated jointly for be the best results, including ensuring that the service [or services] that need the info gets it in a timely manner.

    Platforms aside, the RMAF also has a requirement for additional are primary and gap filler radars.

  10. Mastertank – ”They are newer and much more capable than F-18 C/Ds”

    How so? Newer yes but not necessarily more capable. And how about which platform is more expensive to run and is more maintenance intensive? Also, in this day and age it’s not specific capabilities or technical specifications that determine the effectiveness of MRCAs/fighters but how networked they are.

  11. @ azlan

    The D model is basically a 2 seater version of the C hornet, there is no big (or as you say “key”)differences between them other than the additional rear cockpit in the D. There is actually a rear seat space in every hornet model (no additional fuselage length in 2 seat hornets, unlike most other fighters), so theoretically converting a C model to D (new canopy plus rear seat systems) is possible.

  12. About the fascination with Kuwait’s Hornets, they only had the Super Hornet purchase approved last November. Considering the time for production, delivery and operationalising them, they will be holding on to their Hornets for a long time from now.

    That’s why I said 2020…they are also getting Typhoons at the same time. So its likely that some of the C/D Hornets will be left idle as the pilots moved in to train on the Eurofighter

  13. Breaking News!

    Indonesia buying 5x Airbus A400M for USD 2 Billion!!! (kita nak mintak usd3bil dengan kerajaan pon susah adoii)

    No firm order yet just that funding is said to be agreed upon. US$3 billion is almost RM13.4 billion according to today’s exchange rate.

  14. On UAV RMAF for decade 2020, I think they should go for a unmanned weapon platform. It can detect,identify,target and release AGM/AAM, keeping flyboys/flygirls safe in the airbase. ISR UAV yes agreed for JFC or others, while Combat UAV exclusive for RMAF.

  15. @ AM

    The Kuwaiti 28 Typhoon tranche 3 (costing usd9bil) will be delivered to Kuwait Air Force between 2019 and 2022.

    The Kuwaiti 40 Super Hornets, if taken up (already approved by US government) would cost them usd10.1bil, including contractor supplied service and support.

  16. …….,

    There is indeed some internal stuff on the ‘D’ that’s not common to the ‘C’; the mission computer, differences in the cockpit, wiring and various other parts/systems – to be expected given that from the onset the ‘D’ was intended to be an improvement over the ‘C’. Theoretically converting a ‘C’ to mirror the ‘D’ [the limit is how much one is willing to spend and what the OEM is willing to do]
    may be possible but it involves quite a bit of work, some of which may not be as clear cut as seems and won’t come cheap.

    In the past we looked at upgrading our MBB-339As to CM standard but found that it was almost as expensive as buying newly built CMs. In the case of the F/A-18Cs, even assuming upgrades [as desired by the customer] can be done without breaking the bank, there is the matter of how much a customer is willing to spend on platforms that are almost 2 decades old and the fact that despite an upgrade, the air frames will still be more than 2 decades old.


    What trade off will we get by the RMAF exclusively having armed UAVs? As it is, despite the recent improvements made in ”jointness” over the past decade or so; we still have a long way to go with regards to doing away with ”infighting” amongst the 3 services and parochialism. To be fair we’re not the only ones; even Tier 1 militaries like the U.S. still have ”jointness” issues. Given our limited resources we have to ensure that we get the most bang for whatever we buy; one way of doing that we UAVs is to have them operated ”jointly” so that all 3 services benefit and that the right info gets to the right people on time.

  17. RMAF 2020 Aircraft Fleet

    24x Sukhoi 30MKM- MRCA long range
    12x F/A-18 SH (option 12 more)- MRCA
    12x M-346- Light Attack/ Advance trainer
    12x M-345 HET- Jet trainer
    36x PC MK II- trainer
    24x EC725/EC225
    12x C-130 Hercules upgraded- transport
    6x A-400M- transport/ strategic lift
    6x CN-235- transport
    4x CN-295- MPA
    2x Saab Global Eye- AEW/ multi mission
    12x EC120- trainer

  18. …… – ”We have seen great initiatives from the navy’s top leadership,”

    The 5/15 programme is indeed innovative and if implemented properly will result in huge costs savings.The question is whether the LMS will replace some capabilities that we have lost in recent years with the retirement of the MM-38s on 8 ships and the Aspide [never mind that it hardly worked]/Otomat combination on the Laksamanas. As it is, the initial 4 LMS will enter service ”fitted for” but not ”with” missiles simply because there’re insufficient funds at the moment and there’s the worry that certain stuff will be standalone [a big no in this day and age] due to integration costs.

    Quite a few RMN people [whilst understanding the value and need for the 5/15 plan] have expressed concerns about how effective the 5/15 plan will fan out and I’ve been told that the 5/15 plan encountered some bureaucratic hurdles that required intervention from the top to proceed. The plan on paper is sound – retire old and expensive to maintain ships [the FACs and Laksamanas] and use cash saved from maintenance/operating costs to acquire a common class that is newer and cheaper to run and maintain and is more practical for shallow water operations. The RMN gets new ships and the government doesn’t have to allocate new funds : everyone’s happy. The problem here is whether in the coming years there’s sufficient funds to ensure the RMN gets the desired capability with the introduction of the LMS.

  19. I’m just curious, why still insist to buy 2nd hand hornet (I know is cheap) but the condition of it will be compromised a lot?

    I have been told that the Kuwait AF Hornet fleet is almost in the same condition as our Hornet fleet. Apart from some minor differences, radar etc, it would be much easier for RMAF to operate them.

  20. Why can’t we go with Su-30s or super hornet instead of getting old second hand hornet from Kuwait?

    RMAF dont want more Sukhois, and no money for new Super Hornets.

  21. I think future armed UAV would allow airstrikes without the risk of losing pilots. Strike damage assesment can be done safely and real-time. It could also be a deterrent during border disputes.

    Maybe operating and maintenance cost of armed UAV lower than manned fighter aircraft. Maybe it can perform QRA assuming future UAV is capable.

  22. Marhalim any idea why Rmaf don’t want more sukhoi? Is it because of the issue with Russia in Ukraine?

    Nothing to do with Russia in Ukraine though the current sanctions make ordering parts just a bit more tedious. Its mostly got to do with maintenance and support. Even India which is a more important and bigger customer find it hard to get maintenance and support.

  23. @ azlan

    The D is not an improvement over C model. It is produced in the same batch, and the differences only in regards to the second seat. The only operational difference is some of the air to ground targeting workload done wholly by the pilot in the C model is done by the WSO. All the computers, targeting pods, radars etc are the same for C and D variants. The big differences is between A/B and C/D variants and even this is now blurred as updates to the A/B variants would take the capability on par to the C/D versions.

  24. Sam,

    On paper buying ex-Kuwaiti Hornets is a great idea; especially given that they’re low houred and in good condition. Going down that route will simplify things as we have experience on the Hornets and have a brand new simulator. The problem here is their age; at the end of the day, despite whatever upgrades we put them through, the air frames and various components [which will not be replaced as part of an upgrade] on these platforms are still 25 years old – this leads to it own set of problems in terms on maintenance costs and intensiveness. It is for this reason that the RMAF in the past has declined various offers for pre-used platforms.

  25. @ Hazimin

    Do you know how much would it cost to implement your suggestions?

    Rough figures:

    usd2.5bil 12x super hornets
    usd0.55bil 12x m-346
    usd0.8bil 2x a-400m
    usd1.27bil 2x globaleye

    That is already more than usd5billion, or at the current exchange rate rm22.5billion.

  26. For the mrca program. Suddenly the gripen e looks like a very good candidate.

    In terms of weaponry, it can uses the same munitions as our hornets. Except for anti-ship missile. Seems like the logistics and maintenance of this craft is also good. Not sure about the operating costs but looks like it will be lower than typhoon n rafale n super hornet.

    Yes its single engine. But seems like suitable for qra requirement. A high/low mix of su-30 n gripen e looks good.

    The Su-30 sead capability with electronic warfare capability is something that cant be bought anywhere. Chances to get EA-18G seems low. So we need them in my opinion.

    And both do share some avionics. Just an idea mate.

    I think the global eye systems is expensive due to full equipment under the global eye program. I think a bombardier global 6000 with only erieye er system minus the eo/ir, maritime radar and ability to use torpedos n anti-ships missile will be less expensive.

    By 2025 our air force in my imagination should be

    18x Su-30MKM
    15x Gripen E
    3x Gripen F
    8x F/A-18D Hornet
    18x Hawk 108/208 LIFT
    24x Pilatus PC-7 Mk II
    4x A400M
    12x C-130H (all upgraded avionics and maybe all have tanker capability)
    4x Global 6000 (erieye er system only)
    4x Global 6000 (saab swordfish minus weapon carrying capability)
    24x H225M (upgraded avionics)
    6x EC-120 Colibri

    Pls comment haha. Part of learning.

  27. Nimitz – ”I think future armed UAV would allow airstrikes without the risk of losing pilots.”

    This is already happening and has been for some time now. The current problem is the inability of UAVs to defend themselves if fired upon. Actually, the idea to have UAVs doing what they do now has been around for decades. As far back as the 1960’s drones [as they were called then] were already being used for various purposes and drones were used in combat by Israel [as decoys against SAMs] and the U.S. [to direct gun fire from battleships] in the 1980’s. The big difference now is rapid technological growth allows us to do many things that were not previously possible.

    Nimitz – ”Maybe operating and maintenance cost of armed UAV lower than manned fighter aircraft. Maybe it can perform QRA assuming future UAV is capable.”

    UAVs [or UAS as they’re mostly called by those who operate them] are always cheaper than man platforms to operate. We have many years to go before unmanned platforms can take the place of manned ones as far as QRA and air to air goes.

    A few years ago Dr. Kua Kia Soong questioned why we were buying MRCAs when UAVs can do the job of fighters. Now of course this the same individual who has a history of hitting the keyboard without any prior research; amongst other things he questioned the need to have 10 Para when according to him, the unit was not deployed to Lahad Dato.

    Nihd – ” Suddenly the gripen e looks like a very good candidate.”

    It was always a good candidate which at one point had strong backing but politics and the RMAF’s requirements played a part.

    Nihd – ” Not sure about the operating costs but looks like it will be lower than typhoon n rafale n super hornet.”

    If course …… For one it has a single engine and was designed to be maintained with a minimal ground support equipment as possible, by conscripts.

    ……. – ”The D is not an improvement over C model”

    It is an improvement in the sense that it was designed to do things the ‘C’ couldn’t and contained a number of minor – internal – improvements over the ‘C’. Granted, it may not be a very different aircraft from the ‘C’ as both share the same air frame and many similar components but there are minor differences. I had this discussion many, many years ago with the 2 USMC pilots [both Majors if I remember correctly] who were based here for a while to provide training.

  28. I am inclined to support the principles of Nihd’s plan.

    1. It does not increase investments in aircraft that are non-standard aircraft and were not originally wanted by the RMAF. This applies to the MKM and potentially the A400M.

    2. It only maintains upkeep on assets already paid for, where prudent. This includes the A400M, MKM, Hawk and Hornet.

    3. I don’t see a problem if our “highest” capability fighter is the Gripen E backed up by AEW. The Gripen E is packed with competitive technology, is affordable and does not have more range and payload than we don’t need. But its true value is as part of a networked force.

    4. My only suggestions would be to have more than 44 fighters, to replace the MKMs, Hornets and Hawks with more Gripens as they age out. I would sell them and the A400M if there were takers.

    5. Bear in mind only 13 of the Hawks are two seaters. You might need more advanced trainers. Furthermore if you acquire a more modern advanced trainer you can shift some training modules off the fighters, and it will save costs. Sweden will be replacing their jet trainer before long, it would be worth considering their choice.

    6. Azlan said we have barely enough fighter pilots to fill a large bus. Since your plan starts with 44 fighters, I assume it is workable in manpower terms.

  29. @ AM

    Actually only 6 of the current available hawks are two seaters. Tudm only bought 10 two seaters in the first place. The 13 number is for the single seaters, survivors of 18 originally procured.

    Getting 44 fighters like the gripen e would cost a lot. The previous cancelled order for 22 gripen e for Switzerland was for around usd3.5billion. so 44 gripen e would cost something around usd7billion.

    The original nihd plan is workable cost wise, something like usd2bil for gripens, probably usd1bil for the erieye and swordfish. But there will still be 4 different fighter types, with LIFT 2 seaters reduced to only 6 aircraft. The best way for that plan to be better is to remove the hornets altogether, and add more hawks secondhand, probably from Oman.

  30. AM – ”This includes the A400M, MKM, Hawk and Hornet.”

    The reality is that we’ll continue flying them until they have no more hours left on their air frames. Also, as the Hawks and Hornets get older and accumulate more hours; they’ll be less desirable for any potential buyers.

    AM – ”Azlan said we have barely enough fighter pilots to fill a large bus. ”

    Like I said, I might have been exaggerating a bit :]

    For me, the cause of concern is not really the number of pilots we have at the moment but the numbers we can continue to attract [at FTC 1] and graduate every year [at FTC 3] and the fact that at present we don’t have a dedicated LIFT.

    …… – ”CHC helicopter (as per 2017) is selling off 21x EC225 as they don’t want to use any of them after the crashes in oil and gas industry. We could buy some for normal utility and normal SAR/HADR missions (no need for full spec Combat SAR capabilities).”

    I would think that the main issue here would be the fact that CHC’s EC225 Super Pumas have a different cockpit layout, as well as navigation and comms suite compared to RMAF Cougars. I know an ex-RMAF guy currently flying EC225s at Kerteh. Converting a heli to ”full spec Combat SAR capabilities” merely entails a FLIR, hoist, searchlight and NVG compatible cockpit.

  31. out of topic….so…indonesia just about to order 5 Airbus A400M at USD2 billion…wow…their economy must be really great

    No lah, both the Indonesian Armed Forces chief and the AF COS have denied any order coming soon. The Armed Forces chief even said President Joko Widodo have said no to even the proposal to buy the Airbus plane. Indonesia like Malaysia is also having problems due to low commodity prices

  32. then thank god it was not approved..actually that last sentences was sarcasm..thanks for clearing on that matter…

  33. “indonesia just about to order 5 Airbus A400M at USD2 billion…wow…their economy must be really great”

    Indonesia’s GDP and defence budget are about three times ours. They spend a similar percentage of GDP on defence.

  34. I have been into the cockpit of both ec225 and ec725, and most of the cockpit arrangements are the same. Do not confuse with the older as332 which has different cockpit but even that needs just a day of familiarisation for a pilot to change from both versions.

  35. Like us, Indonesian procurement is heavily driven by political considerations. There was a strong lobby that pushed for T-90s instead of Leopards and if some politicians had got their way, the
    TNI-AU would only order Russian platforms [they haven’t forgotten the embargo placed on them due to East Timor in 1999].

    Like the MAF the TNI faces commonality and logistical issues due to operating a hodgepodge of various gear sourced from multiple sources but at lease the MAF is taking steps to improve in this regard. For some reason Korps Marinir operates 2 kinds of similar range MLRS – Czech RM-70 and the Chinese Type 90B 122 mm.

    BTW, not sure if the local media covered it but it seems a PLAN Type 039G1 Song class SSK and its tender docked in Sepanggar early this month for rest and re-supply. Both had completed a deployment to theIndian Ocean.

    TUDM did published it not sure about the local media. AP did and make a big fuss about it completely missing the fact that 2 Japanese came two days earlier

  36. Since RMAF may not get the fund they need, is it possible that Malaysia consider of single engine aircraft? Like the Gripen or maybe F-16V?

    They could but I am not sure they will. Furthermore there is no guarantee that funding will be made available if they went that road

  37. …… – ”I have been into the cockpit of both ec225 and ec725, and most of the cockpit arrangements are the same.”

    I have no first hand knowledge as I’ve haven’t been in either the EC225 Super Puma or the Cougar. All I know about the EC225 is from a friend who’s a co-pilot on one belonging to MHS. I’ve sent him a message to ask him about the cockpit and other differences between both.

    Given that there are no big differences in the cockpits; then main work to be done would entail modifications to the comms and navigational suite, as well as maybe adding a FLIR. For me a big advantage of going down the Cougar route is a Super Puma/Cougar maintenance/overhaul centre at Subang and a simulator.

  38. Sam – ”is it possible that Malaysia consider of single engine aircraft? Like the Gripen or maybe F-16V?”

    Anything theoretically is possible but if we stick to reality the fact remains that there are only 2 contenders at the moment – the Rafale and Typhoon. The main obstacle is funding. Of course if the political scene or the economy drastically changes then maybe the RMAF will be forced to look elsewhere but this hasn’t happened yet.

    At present; we can safely rule out the F-16 [it wasn’t even offered – this time around – and no RFPs or RFIis were issued by the RMAF]. The Gripen too has been dropped but obviously Saab feels that it still has a chance and will continue to market it; irrespective of the fact that the RMAF has a requirement for a twin engine fighter and that the list has been narrowed down to the Rafale and Typhoon. Come March, the presence of RTAF Gripens at LIMA [previously Saab sponsored them] will say a lot about how good Saab feels it chances are.

  39. Myanmar in Advanced Negotiations to Licence-Build JF-17 Fighter

    When will us? When our Defence industry put a little more on national interest? I personally feel our country defence or heavy industry no $ no talk no major RnD…

    We even fail to build a rifle…..

  40. @ Michael

    Myanmar even designed and build their own Fast Attack Crafts, corvettes and Stealth Frigates.


    Kyan sittha frigate

    Tabinshwehti corvette

    Myanmar Navy 491

  41. Michael,

    The question really is what do we have to gain by license assembling fighters? Answer : nothing. We have no economics of scale [unlike say Turkey or India] and the taxpayer will have to pay for the set up of the whole assembly line.

  42. Just get the gripen with aews lah. No point have good fighters without early warning systems. Present day requirements.

  43. yesterday (20/2/2017) indian air force announced that they are going to order additional 39 more su-30mki, built in india by HAL. this would extend the su-30mki production in india to 2020 and increase the total indian air force buy to 222 aircraft. this could be an opportunity for additional mkm for tudm, bypassing the currently politically sensitive direct buy from russia.

  44. Sg raises defence bajet for 2017.

    2016 defence bajet: $13.84 billion
    2017 defence bajet: $14.21 billion

    It was expected with the current economic uncertainties

  45. It is confirmed recently that pakistan is ordering additional saab 2000 erieyes. The order for additional 3 aircraft would cost around usd160 million. That means each erieye on a saab 2000 turboprop costs around usd54 million.

    Rough calculations, if add the erieye system on the bombardier global 6000 jet. Erieye system + used global 6000, 54+30= around 84 million each. Say each one is usd90 million, plus 2 more standard global 6000 vip to replace the older global express variant, that would cost around usd420 million, a bit less than my previous budget of usd600 million for those. If all 6 aircaft are brand new, it would jack the price to around usd500 million.

  46. Since we were talking about our helicopter requirements a while back. I found this in a 2014 article:

    “The lack of funding to purchase additional EC725s to add to the 12 in service has forced the RMAF to prolong the life of 15 S-61s as the Malaysian Armed Forces has laid down the requirement that the RMAF must have a minimum of 27 medium-lift helicopters in service.”

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