RMAF and Simpang

Personnel from3rd Squadron posed for a group picture as part of the farewell from Sg Besi in late 2016. TUDM picture.

SHAH ALAM: As most of you has find out already, the Kuala Lumpur Air Base or the Simpang Airport will soon be consigned to history.

A new beginning is going to take place at Labu Sendayan, the new site for the airbase. The site was formally the abortive LCCT by Air Asia and Sime Darby in the Pak Lah era.

Personally, my link to Simpang is small, I broke the story of the plans to re-develop the air base last year. It was initially denied but as usual the truth eventually comes out. For others it is where they practically grew up while others lost their loved ones.

This morning, June 1, 2011, RMAF is celebrating its 53rd anniversary at the Butterworth air base, the first time in the service short-history. I wanted to go as I had only a short stop-over at the air base a few years back but the tight schedule arranged by RMAF meant that I had to fore-go the visit this time.

Oh, well, perhaps I will get the time to go the RMAF museum this weekend. Lets hope the 53rd anniversary is held in a more jovial mood.

–Malaysian Defence

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

About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Yes congratulations to the RMAF.Having hurled many breakbats at the RMAF over the many purchase programs lately, its time for us to look back at history. The RMAF ahd done a sterling job since its inception in helping the country counter the insurgency during the first emergency with the Twin Pioneers providing transport services to the armed forces, doing psy op broadcastings(and you can even hear the planes doing various testings of music being broadcasted over the city of KL), BOMBING THE INSURGENTS CAMPS(YES the Twin Pioneers are fixed with two small bomb racks at the main wheel sponsons to the Dart Heralds that even flew over to Indonesia dropping propaganda pamplets during the confrontations. The Single pioneers which brough resup to the many lonley bases and forts in the jungle and which can land on a foot ball field. The crashes which happened during ops and also during search and rescue ops.
    Then for the second emergency, the Caribou and the Nuri had provided sterling services airlifting troops, supplies and medivac ops which saved many lives. The inevitable crashes of the Nuri’s and those shot down by the commies resulting in many deaths-those were the dark days. The bombing missions by the Tebuans and the F-5’s. the air interceptions by the F-5 of Russian spy planes which overflew Malaysia testing our reaction time and jamming all of our radio transmissions.
    Many had paid the supreme sacrifice for the nation and it is times like this that we must remember them and the work whcih they had done protecting the nation irrespective of race, creed and religion.Syabas to the RMAF

  2. Yes, it’s often forgotten that the 2nd Emergency could not have been conducted without the help of the RMAF. The Nuri squadrons, with some pilots clocking up to 80 hours a month, flew thousands of sorties in support of the troops from – airlifting them to forward operating areas, resuply runs, lifting 105mm artillery and medevac flights. The Nuris ,in the late 70’s, were coming under such heavy fire from the CTs, that the RMAF had to fit Mauser 30mm cannons on the Aloutte 111s, to provide supressive fire at landing zones and to escort the Nuris. One Nuri was shot down at Gubir and numerous Nuris returned to base with mutiple bullet holes from CT small arms.

    On Sungei Besi – the reports that have come out indicate that the new base will have a runway and dispersel facilities built by the contractor. In short in will be another base similiar to Sungei Besia. BUT another report indicated that it will only be a ‘servicing base’, so which is which? Will the new base have a longer runway than the present one or Sungei Besi? Will it also house the air defence centre which is currently underground? Will there be a new building for the RMAF Museum with enough space to house all the exhibits indoors? Or will the RMAF again be shortchanged and f****d by politicans in the interest of ”big business” and politics?? Hopefully the senior leadership of the RMAF show some back spine and are vocal in demanding that the RMAF actually gains something from this move rather than vice versa.

  3. The most precious asset in the Sungei Besi air base is the national air defence centre or the Malaysian Air-defence Ground Environment-or MADGE.It has been many years in operations and even the Singaporeans came over to take a look at it. High time to upgrade the system especially the monitors and softwares.

    Can use this shift to attain the upgrade and also dig deeper this time far away from city folks.
    The RMAF museum should remain in its present place so that it is accessible to the public and maybe even improve the museum too.The museum should not shift.

    The ADOC is supposed to go to Jugra while the fate of the museum remains unknown..

  4. In the past, a ‘donation’ from BAe Systems was very useful in improving the RMAF museum. However, as we are unlikely to buy anything ‘big’ from BAE Systems in the near future, it’s highly unlikely that they will provide funding again.

    In today’s SUN, the RMAF said that from early next year, new assets including the Cougars will be delivered. What other new assets are there??

  5. Isn’t MADGE based in Butterworth with the FPDA IADSHQ?

    The main ADOC is in Sg Besi. The rest are sectors hq only.

  6. I know what the FPDA is about and the history behind it. But I’m totally clueless as to what the the Integrated Air Defence HQ [IADSHQ] at Butterworth does. It is headed full time by an RAAF officer with an RSAF deputy, but what exactly does the IADSHQ do all year around when there are no FPDA exercises????? Anyone?

    Me neither…

  7. The fpda defence centre in butterworth is meant as a radar defence centre to monitor the northern air space.This is because from the perception of threat they think threats will come from the North and the west. So thats why the radar station is put on top of Penang Hill and the control centre in Butterworth.They were correct.During the cold war, the Russians often sends their large tupolev intelligence planes to overfly Malaysia-for two aims-to gather electronic intelligence on our Radars, Radio frequencies and our reaction time. Once these unidentified planes are detected by the FPDA radars, either the miragesor our Sabres and later the F-5’s would be scrambled to intercept these intruders and escort them out of our airspace.During such sorties the Ruskies would jam all the military transmissions and the planes would be flying blank without communications with the control centre until these planes are escorted out of our airbase and the planes start to return to base

  8. Ym Lee,

    Thanks for the interesting feedback.
    As you know the ‘traditional’ reason the FPDA was formed was to counter Indonesia. Then in the 1980’s we and and out neighbours were worried about the Vietnamese in Kampuchea and the Soviet presence in Da Nang and Camh Ranh Bay. Before an S-600 was placed on Penang Hill in 1969, there was an RAF radar there.

    Do you know of any other units that were given the AR-70 apart from the 3rd Rangers and an RMR regiment?

  9. We may still end up getting the Erieye as there’s not many other options available to us. We are extremely unlikely to want to integrate anything on C-130s or surplus P-3s so the platform will almost certainly be an Embraer [the SAABs which the Swedes would rather we buy are all former Scandinavian Airlines examples that have been refurbished]. And if we do get the Super Hornet, it will be fitted with Link 16 which we probably won’t receive permission to install on the MKM’s so the MKMs will probably have to be fitted with a new data link Thales has developed which is ccompatible with Link 16. If we are not going to end up with a common datalink for the MKMs and whatever MRCAs we buy, we might as well forget buying AEWs as having no data link will defeat the whole point of having AEWs. We can argue about the need for AEW aircraft [as MR T has done], when so many other areas remain unfunded, but there is no doubt on the importance and usefulness of having an AEW aircraft.

    I’m am very doubtful however if there is any spare cash for an AEW if indeed a contract is to be awarded for MRCAs within the next 24 months or so. As for the Gripen, whatever chances it had of flying in RMAF colours were dashed when the RTAF ordered it.

  10. Just Asking… It’s true that the MOF is more favourable to EF Thypoon instead of Super Hornet..???

    Yes, its the package…will explain later….

  11. It’s truely that the Labu Airforce Bases not only for Coper HQ.. It’s will deploy new once RMAF MRCA Squadron…? If RMAF select Rafales/Thypoon or Super Hornet… some of that(may be 12 aircraf) will deploy at this new built airbases…?

    From what I gather no fast jets there…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.