Not Yet, Selamat Jalan Fulcrums

One of the three Fulcrums performing a barrel roll shortly after take off for the flypast. One

KUANTAN: RMAF chief Tan Sri Roslan Saad today announced that its fleet of Russian made Mig-29 Fulcrums will slowly be phased out of service instead of being retired.

He said the retirement of the Fulcrums will only be finalised after a full report is submitted to the Defence Ministry. As of now there is no firm retirement date for the 17 Skdn aircraft.

One of the two seater Fulcrum  - M43-02 - preparing to take off for the 58th anniversary parade.
One of the two seater Fulcrum – M43-02 – preparing to take off for the 58th anniversary parade.

“We have been easing the MIG from service for the last three or four years. As far as I am concerned the Mig-29 is at the end of its service life. We will slowly phased out the aircraft,” he said a press conference after a parade to mark the 58th anniversary of the RMAF at the airbase here.

Paskau troopers exiting from a Hercules as part of the demonstration for the 58th anniversary parade. 30 Paskau operators were dropped in the demonstration.
Paskau troopers exiting from a Hercules as part of the demonstration for the 58th anniversary parade. 30 Paskau operators were dropped in the demonstration.

Three Fulcrums flew in the flypast for the parade while two more were on static display. Three more Fulcrums were on static display, two in the hangar while the third was part of the open day display.

Fulcrum M43-18 - with its green camo was parked inside a hangar used as a VIP holding room.
Fulcrum M43-18 – with its green camo was parked inside a hangar used as a VIP holding room.

Apart from the Fulcrums, the fly past for the parade include the Hornets, Flankers, PC-7 Mk IIs, EC725 and Nuri helicopters.

Roslan presenting medals to airmen at the parade. They are wearing the new digital camo of the RMAF. The last two recipients are RMAF veterans.
Roslan presenting medals to airmen at the parade. They are wearing the new digital camo of the RMAF. The last two recipients are RMAF veterans.

RMAF personnel at the parade including the top brass wore the new RMAF digital camouflage uniform which became official starting on June 1. The uniform will replaced the blue uniforms used mostly by the RMAF Provost Marshall and PASKAU. Other units will also used the digital camo during field training.

Two Fulcrums taking off for the flypast.
Two Fulcrums taking off for the flypast.

The Flanker also performed two aerobatic displays during the Kuantan airbase open day as part of the anniversary celebrations.

Fulcrum tail number 03 was a hangar display this time around.
Fulcrum tail number 03 was a hangar display this time around.

At least six of the Fulcrums had been service for the last 10 years from 18 procured in 1993. Two were lost in accidents.

One of the three Fulcrums performing a barrel roll shortly after take off for the flypast.
One of the three Fulcrums performing a barrel roll shortly after take off for the flypast.

Retirement is not the usual RMAF style as I had reported before so it will not be surprising that the Fulcrums will also fade away instead of leaving the stage in a blaze of glory. It had happened to the F-5, the RMAF first supersonic jet.

On the MRCA, Roslan said they were in the final evaluation phase although the government has yet to allocate the funding for the programme. The MRCA is main priority of the RMAF in the RMK11 apart from the MPA, AEW and new ground radars.

Four Flankers performing a fly past at the parade.
Four Flankers performing a fly past at the parade.

RMAF according to Roslan were still considering four candidates namely the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing Super Hornets and the Saab Gripen. He said the number of MRCA to be procured will be 18.

Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs taking off for the flypast.
Pilatus PC-7 Mk IIs taking off for the flypast.

Meanwhile, the third Airbus Defence and Space A400M airlifter for RMAF is expected to be flown home by third week of June. Roslan also said two new Pilatus PC-7 Mk II turbo trainers arrived in Alor Setar today. Three more are expected by July.

The two PC-7 MK II at KTU, Alor Setar upon arrival today (June 1) . TUDM picture.
The two PC-7 MK II at KTU, Alor Setar upon arrival today (June 1) . TUDM picture.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1188 Articles
Shah Alam

81 Comments

  1. Wait. Isn’t Super Hornet and Gripen has been disqualified from MRCA?

    Reply
    Well, LIMA 17 is on March 21, next year.

  2. Encik Roslan… Kerajaan tak ada duit nak beli jet pejuang harga rm 20-30billion. Beli yang murah2 dan kos terbang pon murah2 seperti FA-50 sudah memadai untuk menggalas tugas Mig-29 dan F-5e.

    Kombinasi 16 TA-50 (sebahagian untuk LIFT) dan 24 FA-50 boleh dibeli dengan harga lebih kurang rm 6billion. Gandingan SU-30MKM, F/A-18D hornet dan FA/TA-50 mampu memberikan pertahanan kedaulatan ruang angkasa malaysia yang baik, berbanding kos yang tinggi untuk mendapatkan hanya 8-16 biji MRCA yang memang diluar kemampuan kerajaan malaysia pada waktu ini.

  3. At least six of the Fulcrums had been service for the last 10 years from the 18 procured in 1993.

    What does it mean?

    Reply
    They got 10 airframes still servicable and six are always ready to fly AFAIK

  4. “RMAF according to Roslan were still considering four candidates namely the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Boeing Super Hornets and the Saab Gripen.”

    ^^^
    I thought that the RMAF had shortlisted the Typhoon & Rafale?

  5. Marhalim,

    Will there be an air force open house this year?

    Reply
    They hold it just now at the Kuantan airbase for half a day. I did not bother to take pictures as there were too many people at the site. I did mentioned in the re-work of the original post which I did in Kuantan.

  6. As expected. Just a token force will be maintained. Just enough for the national day parades. Just fund it or kill it. Will the token force even have any missile with life left on them. If not then whats the point?

  7. D. W. – ”I thought that the RMAF had shortlisted the Typhoon & Rafale?”

    Think about another angle. If we openly rule out certain contenders; that’s means a smaller presence at the next LIMA.

  8. I think the RMAF chief was just being diplomatic. The most likely winner is either Rafale or Typhoon, but it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

  9. Really wish that they will go with mig-35. Didn’t know that they are in need of new ground radar. New ones like Thales gm400 to replace the selex rat-31dl?

    Reply
    Mikoyan offered the Mig-35 as a replacement for the 29s. As the 35 remain a prototype it was declined. Yes especially for Sabah and Sarawak

  10. At the very least, the remainning Fulcrums can still play a creative role by standing QRA n air intercept missions

  11. With only 18 aircrafts seems like our air force will still be lacking in numbers.

    Are there any specific requirement for the mpa and aew? Maybe same platform with different suite like the saab proposal? Propeller based or jet engine aircraft?

  12. Well, at least they still have their time before fading away.

    And yeah, wasn’t it was shortlisted with those fancy Eurocanards?

  13. Also, Kementah’s FB page had posted a pictures of the personnel in newly recolored Army digital camo. It was all blue. Some weren’t very fond of it due to not being enough garang or enough to cover the wearer. PASKAU probably won’t wear that for operations, they stick to the old camo. Probably this is one of the ways to identify the TUDM personnel rather than sharing camo leaving you wondering who’s the Army or the Air Force…

  14. I don’t envy the RMAF Chief : he has to ensure the RMAF can meet all its peacetime operational and training commitments and has to ensure that it’s ready for any emergencies; all on a penny pinching budget and stretched resources. On top of that the RMAF has to ensure the government doesn’t fully delay the MRCA programme. Unlike most of the political leadership and the general public; the RMAF is aware that to keep up with advances made by neighbouring countries and to ensure it doesn’t fall too far behind technologically; the is no alternative to a current generation MRCA; even if only 18 are ordered.

    Nihd – ”Really wish that they will go with mig-35”

    The MiG-35 offers no capabilities that are not offered by any of the contenders for the MRCA programme. Another way of looking at it is that the MiG-35 is based on a design that was first designed in the 1970’s. It would be nice if whatever MRCA we eventually order was based on a newer design.

    Nihd – ”Didn’t know that they are in need of new ground radar. New ones like Thales gm400 to replace the selex rat-31dl?”

    Rest assured; if you’re aware of it; I’m sure the RMAF is also aware of it ….. BTW, there has been a pressing requirement for additional radars and gaps filler for a while now. Part of that requirement has been fulfilled by the order of the ThalesRaytheon GM 400. Also, our RAT-31DLs are in no urgent need of replacement.

  15. All upgrades and new procurements are good for maf. I want to propose another two items to look into it.

    First is the need to get anti ballistic sam. Secondly is to upgrade scorpene into the latest version of technology.

    I concur with maf for investing into new satellites and net centric warfare. I hope mig29 is installed with net centric warfare as well especially on the new bvr combat.

  16. “The MRCA is main priority of the RMAF in the RMK11 apart from the MPA, AEW and new ground radars”

    Did someone has done his homework to calculate how much money needed for those? Miracle is needed for those items to be bought in just one RMK.

    Reply
    The other requirements have been there for the last 15 years but simply not funded.

  17. Penny pinching but wasting money on papa smurf camo uniforms to hide in the clouds? Priorities?

    We already have a current generation MRCA. It is called the SU-30MKM. Even the russian airforce and navy is using it (they just adopted it like 1-2 years ago) as its current generation of fighter aircraft.

    BTW what technological curve are we lagging behind if we don’t get the Typhoon/Rafale/SuperHornet/Gripen?

    IRST? got those

    HMD? also got those (BTW spain is integrating the thales scorpion color HMD like on the army little birds on their hornet)

    Advanced DFRM jammers, MAWS, LWS? yup got those

    Datalinks? could be retrofitted to existing fighter types.

    AESA? we got PESA, and AESA could be retrofitted to hornets easily.

    Enough fighter to cover malaysian skies? Not enough, even with the super expensive MRCA. Those MRCA are also expensive to fly, would we see them regularly intercepting planes over the spratlys? Or just be a hangar queen? To have enough figters to cover the retiring Mig, F-5E and hawks that has its numbers reduced significantly by crashes, we cant cover it with MRCA, we need a cheaper supersonic capable fighter.

    Early warning and target sharing? Get the AWACS, not new fighter types.

    Stealth? Not yet, as does all the MRCA candidates.

    So what do we miss technologically if we don’t get the MRCA?

    Or to put it another way, what could we miss technologically if we bought the MRCA now and not wait for better 5th Gen fighter types in like 5-10 years time and just add current types (hornet, MKM) or replace the hawks and MB339 first with the FA-50?

  18. Government procurement cycle has a very long gestation period. If they dont start the ball rolling now, not sure whether the actual procurement of the MRCA can happen in the next 5 to 7 years..

    That being said however, personally I am glad that the MIG would not be retired yet due to the current economic turmoil we are facing. As discussed in the previous thread, there is at least another 1000 hrs on the RD33 and the level of duty it is expected to do (QRA and interceptor) it is still far better option (on paper only) compared to the FA50 and comparable to early years F16 A, which some of our neighbours still operate. It may be technologically obsolete (late 70s and early 80s tech) but (again on paper only) having limited BVR capability in the form of AA10 still being useful for interception mission.

    But dont think it cant last longer than 5 years at the rate it is being maintained.

  19. based on the close lookup on the RMAF Mig condition, it seem RMAF/ATSC did a very good job to maintain the aircraft. It still have potential to upgrade and stay on air at less for another 10 years time…

    For long term RMAF do not gain benefit when dealing our close neighbor which now try to get more advance fighter jet like F-35 & SU-35.

  20. Since they’reeplacing 2 types of aircraft, I think RMAF would get at least 24 aircraft so that ir could maintain 2 squadron of 12 aircraft each

    I wish they get 36 aircraft so that they can maintain 2 full strength squadrons or 3 minimum squadron (2 in peninsula, 1 in Sabah/sarawak +some rotation of F/A-18 or hawk)

  21. Fulcrum maintenance costs are high not just because parts are designed with a shorter lifespan, but also because in the Fulcrum’s case, some parts are hand made and unique to the individual aircraft. Not only the engines have to be sent to Russia for maintenance, but in some cases the entire aircraft. This came about because the Fulcrum with not designed with a long lifespan or for a market economy back in the day.

  22. ….. – ”BTW what technological curve are we lagging behind if we don’t get the Typhoon/Rafale/SuperHornet/Gripen?”

    Actually. Quite a bit. All the examples you highlighted were purpose built as MRCAs; intended as front line types. The T-50 – not that I have anything against it – cannot be compared to the likes of the Typhoon, Rafale or Super Hornet simply because the T-50 is a different type of aircraft. Even with all the bits and bobs fitted; you seriously expect an aircraft the price of a T-50 to offer the same capabilities as an aircraft costing much, much, more?

    If that’s the case; why aren’t other countries – with a more holistic view of defence compared to us – seriously considering the T-50 as an alternative to a Super Hornet, Rafale or Typhoon? In fact, not even Korea Aerospace Industries is claiming that the T-50 can perform all the roles of a Typhoon, Rafale or Super Hornet!
    Also, in case you haven’t noticed; some key systems that we would need if we wanted the T-50 to be a front line type has yet to be actually be integrated to it.

    ….. – ”We already have a current generation MRCA. It is called the SU-30MKM.”

    No …… How did you come to such a conclusion? Without various upgrades the MKM comes nowhere close; in terms of the various system onboard; not just the sensors but a whole host of other stuff. The MKM is fitted mostly with stuff designed more than a decade ago so how can you call it a ”current generation MRCA”?

    ….. – ”Even the russian airforce and navy is using it (they just adopted it like 1-2 years ago) as its current generation of fighter aircraft.”

    At present do they have an alternative?? The Su-35 is not fully mature yet and still facing some issues so what current alternative is there for them?

    ….. – ”Enough fighter to cover malaysian skies? Not enough, even with the super expensive MRCA.”

    When one operates only 8 Hornets and 18 MKMS; even 18 additional air frames makes a huge difference when it comes to maintaining operational rates and having enough for training and other purposes.

    …. – ” Those MRCA are also expensive to fly, would we see them regularly intercepting planes over the spratlys? Or just be a hangar queen?”

    The F-5 were more expensive to fly and maintain compared to the Sabres. the Fulcrums more expensive to fly and maintain than the F-5s and the MKMs more expensive to fly and maintain compared to the Fulcrum. As to any future MRCA being ”hangar queens”; this is pure speculation and very early days to come up with such a conclusion; as is the question of whether we’ll ”see them regularly intercepting planes over the Spratlys”. We don’t see the MKMs or Hornets over the Spratlys but this doesn’t mean anything.

    We’ve had this discussion before; more than once. The RMAF has legitimate reasons for wanting a new generation MRCA – whether you agree or not – its not just for prestige, for the sake of it or to waste the taxpayer’s ringgit. Whilst the T-50 is a sound and affordable design able to perform a wide variety of tasks; it cannot replicate all the roles of an MRCA the likes of a Rafale or Typhoon.

    AM – ”Not only the engines have to be sent to Russia for maintenance, but in some cases the entire aircraft.”

    In our case, no. All undergo depot level maintenance and periodic checks [after flying ‘x’ hours] at ATSC. We have never had to send a complete fighter back to Russia and we won’t have to even if we decide to fly them for another few years.

    Michael – ” It still have potential to upgrade and stay on air at less for another 10 years time… ”

    Subject it to a full upgrade including an AESA, glass cockpit, engine with FADEC, fly by wire, full air to ground capability and data links and it’s good for 2 decades [the air frame has the needed hours left] but pointless to dwell into this as it won’t happen.

    Michael – ”For long term RMAF do not gain benefit when dealing our close neighbor which now try to get more advance fighter jet like F-35 & SU-35.”

    On a platform and systems level the Su-35 offers no great advantage over a Western type. The F-35 is a different story but obviously its an aircraft incorporating newer and more cangih technology and systems; hence its more expensive price over the Rafale or Typhoon.

  23. The t-50 is not meant to be on par with those uber expensive mrca’s. It is meant to be a replacement for the f-5 and mig-29 capability for:

    – Adequately covering the peacetime air defence of malaysian airspace. QRA tasks in kuantan and labuan. Intercepting unidentified aircrafts, whether it is civilian or military. This needs a fighter that is supersonic to quickly get to the target, but bvr is not a must as visual identification is the norm. A low cost aircraft would mean that 30-40 aircraft buy is possible.

    – Able to undertake close air support of friendly ground troops. Fly helicopter top cover/escort. Do it cost effectively. Of course you could shoot unguided rockets and drop dumb bombs with rafale/typhoon, but is it an ideal plane to do those kind of tasks?

    What we buy must be tailored to the capability that we need and tasks that we must undertake. Right now malaysia’s defence priority is esscom, South china sea and assets to improve situational awareness. Tudm must plan to get stuff to help achieve those targets. I don’t see the mrca buy (instead of priotizing for male uav, mpa, awac or fighters in meaningful numbers) would greatly help in that regard.

  24. …… – ”The t-50 is not meant to be on par with those uber expensive mrca’s. It is meant to be a replacement for the f-5 and mig-29 capability for”

    Which goes back to my original statement : the RMAF desires a full fledged MRCA due to various factors. At present it does not need a low cost aircraft marketed as a ”light attack aircraft” because this aircraft simply cannot perform all the roles of a fully fledged MRCA; even though this ”light attack aircraft” has been or will be integrated with various systems to perform both the air to air and air to ground role. You had previously given the impression that if fitted with the needed systems the T-50/F/A-50 can perform as a fully fledged MRCA; that’s clearly not the case; nor has KAI ever made this claim.

    …… – ”What we buy must be tailored to the capability that we need and tasks that we must undertake.”

    This is something I’ve been saying here for years but the reality is that the armed services also have to plan for other contingencies to the best of their means; with whatever resources they have.

    …… – ”Able to undertake close air support of friendly ground troops. Fly helicopter top cover/escort.”

    We have a platform for that; a platform that can still be operated for quite a few years more : the Hawk.

    ….. – ”A low cost aircraft would mean that 30-40 aircraft buy is possible.”

    As stated before; the ability of the RMAF to induct more than 18 new fighters into service is wholly dependent on various factors, not just its procurement budget. Buying 30 -40 new fighters sounds great on paper but at present or in the near future do we have the LIFT assets and do we have the means to induct the needed number for annum and to ensure sufficient numbers of those inducted make it past FTC 3? Making plans on paper is great but there are various realities to address.

  25. ……. – ”– Adequately covering the peacetime air defence of malaysian airspace. QRA tasks in kuantan and labuan. Intercepting unidentified aircrafts, whether it is civilian or military.”

    The numbers we have just barely ensures we can have a pair of fighters on QRA 24/7. Unlike some other countries who constantly have to launch QRAs; we don’t. Sure there are times when we have to do it but it’s not like it happens on a weekly basis.

    The T-50/F-50 looks great as a Hawk replacement but the Hawk isn’t going to be retired soon; especially given that it has lots of hours left. Sure, you can argue that for QRA duties the Hawk isn’t suitable as its not supersonic but one can argue that the Hawk isn’t allocate QRA duties [except those at Sabah and even then I’m not sure if they’re on 24 standby – I doubt it] and that not all QRA launches require the fighters to be supersonic as it depends on factors such as the heading, location and speed of the aircraft that is to be intercepted.

    …… – ”I don’t see the mrca buy (instead of priotizing for male uav, mpa, awac or fighters in meaningful numbers) would greatly help in that regard.”

    Nobody’s under the illusion that the MRCAs are needed or are going to be handy for ESSCOM. The MRCAs are one step in the RMAF’s ongoing modernisation efforts to be able or to have the minimum means of meeting a wide variety of threats; including the slim likelihood of a state on state conflict. Despite our priority being ESSCOM and to a lesser extent the South China Sea [where nobody seriously expects us to get into a conflict with the likes of China]; the RMAF also has to be prepared for other contingencies.

    As for situational awareness in ESSCOM [some of which can and is also being used for the South China Sea]; we have the Spexer 2000s and the UAVS [not to mention other stuff we may or may not have that has not been publicly announced]. What we need now is not so much the hardware [which most people tend to focus on] but greater integration and improvement between all the agencies involved in ESSCOM; notably the MAF, MMEA and police.

  26. How many hours do the hawk have left. Around thirty year lifespan would mean a retirement year of 2025. 7 year replacement process ( 2 years rfp+eveluation and 5 years for purchase, manufacture, training) before in service means the replacement process needs to kick off in 2018

  27. We should let go all of our Russian jets. People should not forget that a Russian system brought down MH17 and they failed to help us find those who fired. We are better off getting US or European systems.

  28. SMK – ”We should let go all of our Russian jets. ”

    And what do we replace the MKMs with?

    I get what you’re saying but if we follow your line of reasoning the East Timorese would have no dealings with us because the HK-33 that wounded their President came from Malaysia, the Bosnian Serbs would have no dealings with us because weapons and ammo supplied to the Bosnian Muslims by Malaysia led to the deaths of Bosnian Serbs and Cambodia [despite being part of ASEAN] would have no dealings with us because training provided to the Khmer resistance by Malaysia lead to the deaths of Cambodian government troops..

    Gonggok – ”How many hours do the hawk have left. Around thirty year lifespan would mean a retirement year of 2025. ”

    Depends entirely of how often we fly them over the years. At our usage rates; at least 10-15 years minimum. A more pertinent question is how long more will BAE Systems continue to support the 100 and 200 series. The same goes with the various OEMs of the various systems mounted the 100 and 200s.

  29. SMK – ‘We should let go all of our Russian jets. People should not forget that a Russian system brought down MH17 and they failed to help us find those who fired. We are better off getting US or European systems.’

    And what do you expect we should do with our MKM? Sold it? Scrap it? Dude, whether we like it or not, we will still dealing with the Russians. For a very long time. Who knows what we’ll buy in the future (aside of aircraft) from them? Heck, even the Rosboronexport offers some toys for our boys to play with.

    Yeah, I like US toys, even the European but some weren’t really the taste of MAF themselves. Just to be sure, remember, the one who finalized the deal here is the politicians and the guys at MinDef. So, whatever you get, just deal with it… Whether you like it or not.

  30. Neither do good also if we using the US built Aircraft compared to Russian. The US was strictly want the buyer to be obedient when try to pull the trigger on their aircraft. So that it wont hurt them back. This has been shown in numerous occasion since the perang teluk. So it’s better for RMAF to go for EU based or russian based. we had the freedom to operate and maintain the aircraft.

    For our neighbor that wish to get the F-35 lightning. They may hope so for the momen as the Aircraft was not fully mature. It was so pricey yet unreliable in combat. It got more problem then the already problematic F-22. The Software also not yet ready and combat tested. So RMAF still got time to think before the imbalance of power tip.

  31. “So it’s better for RMAF to go for EU based or russian based. we had the freedom to operate and maintain the aircraft. ”

    Whatever equipment you have, wage a war that the US does not want and your economy is gone. Do you really believe that choosing equipment from Russia or US allies will give you that freedom? I give up, won’t be teaching basic common sense from now on.

    “n our case, no. All undergo depot level maintenance and periodic checks [after flying ‘x’ hours] at ATSC. We have never had to send a complete fighter back to Russia and we won’t have to even if we decide to fly them for another few years.”

    I am referring to the replacement of certain parts which require the aircraft to be present in Russia. We don’t have the capability to fabricate these parts in Malaysia when their intended lifespan has been reached.

    Not all parts have to be fabricated in this way, but it could be the reason for retirement of some of our Fulcrums.

    Reply
    The only reason we may send our Flankers to Russia is to prepare them to be be armed with the Brahmos missile. Since there is little interest in the Brahmos in TUDM – AFAIK- there is little chance of us doing that.

  32. 30-40 FA/TA-50 is not a lot considering it is replacing not supplementing current fighter capabilities

    What current capabilities that needs replacing

    1 sqn worth of f-5e
    1 sqn worth of mig-29
    1 sqn worth of mb339 for LIFT (now left with only 7 airframes)
    1 sqn worth of hawk (the current remaining hawks are only enough for 1 sqn)

    If 12 aircraft for each sqn, that is already 48 aircraft needed.

    Lets say only 40 FA/TA-50 bought (for around usd1.2-1.4bil, around rm5-6bil)

    That is probably enough for 2 fighter and 1 LIFT sqn

    That would give tudm at around 2020 a fleet of

    – 1 sqn of su-30mkm (18 aircraft)
    – 1 sqn of f/a-18 (8 aircraft)
    – 1 sqn of hawk (18 aircraft, to be replaced by mrca later 2020-25. This could be surplus hornets when available)
    – 2 sqn of FA-50 (14 each sqn, replacing the mig29 + f-5e)
    – 1 sqn of TA-50 LIFT (12 aircraft, replacing the mb339)

    Total of 4 types, 84 aircraft. Could reduce to 3 types by phasing out the hawk. Hornet replacement by 2030-35.

    ———————-

    If mrca bought now (budget? Rm 12-20billion, double the fa-50 buy) in 2020 tudm will have a fleet of

    – 1 sqn of su-30mkm (18 aircraft)
    – 1 sqn of f/a-18d hornet (8 aircraft)
    – 1 sqn of typhoon/rafale/gripen (18 aircraft)
    – 2 sqn of hawk (9 aircraft each, to be replaced by 2020-25)
    – 1 sqn of mb339 (7 aircraft, need to be replaced)

    Total of 5 types, 69 aircraft. Too many types, too few airframes. Obsolete and small number of LIFT trainer still to be replaced.

    I know many people still wants a typhoon/rafale/gripen buy. Like azlan. I respect that. But for long term planning of the fighter fleet, it is not the best solution. By 2030 when stealth fighters profilerate, the newly bought typhoon/rafale/gripen will be out of place. If we buy a low end fighters now, we could be getting 5th gen stealthy fighters at around 2030-35.

  33. well the only things I am interested to buy from russia is its RPG 30/33 (due to its claim that it can pierced through early generationj Abrams armour plus its simplistic nature and second reload of RV 77 missiles as we only have around 35 to be shared among 18 compared to 28 Amraam C5/C7 to be shared among 8 F18

  34. ……. – ”I know many people still wants a typhoon/rafale/gripen buy. Like azlan.”

    It has nothing to do with what I want but what the RMAF needs to meet its operational requirements. I have given various reasons why the RMAF needs a full fledged MRCA [even a mere 18] and why a low cost light attack aircraft like the T-50/F-50 simply won’t do. It has nothing to do with the T-50/F-50 [we know its affordable and it has numerous merits] but with the RMAF’s requirements.

    Also [as I have made clear many times in the past] I’m not bothered with what MRCA we buy as long as we acquire the systems capabilities to go along with whatever MRCA we buy because in this day and age its not the platform that counts : the Gripen, Rafale, Typhoon and Super Hornet can all do the job; all have their respective merits.

    …. – ”30-40 FA/TA-50 is not a lot considering it is replacing not supplementing current fighter capabilities ”

    On the contrary it is a lot when you take into account the numbers of pilots we have, the number of pilots streamed to fighters and the training assets we have. It’s easy to say we can buy ‘x’ amount of this or that but one has to take into account the resources and infrastructure we have in place or the resources and infrastructure we’re likely to have in the coming years. We are not in the business of prematurely retiring anything as we don’t have the luxury of doing so.

    …… – ”By 2030 when stealth fighters profilerate, the newly bought typhoon/rafale/gripen will be out of place.’

    The problem is that we’re not in 2030 yet. If we’re going to base procurement on the fact that whatever we buy today will be obsolete in a decade and a half; we must as well not buy anything. Also, I won’t be so quick to conclude that future ”stealth” fighters will make everything else obsolete. In the 1980’s and 1990’s I remember reading a lot about certain stuff that supposedly was going to be a ”game changer” and were going to make other stuff obsolete; this was not the case.

    ……. – ”1 sqn worth of mb339 for LIFT (now left with only 7 airframes), 1 sqn worth of hawk (the current remaining hawks are only enough for 1 sqn)”

    Both types still have many years left; like everything else they will need to be replaced in the future but both don’t need immediate replacing.

    AM – ”I am referring to the replacement of certain parts which require the aircraft to be present in Russia”.

    With regards to us, this is not the case.

    SmellyBoy – ”Yeah, I like US toys, even the European but some weren’t really the taste of MAF themselves.”

    The RMAF and RMN were happy with the Hornets and Newport. If it was up to the RMAF we wouldn’t have ordered the MKMs and if it was up to the RMN we wouldn’t have ordered the Laksamanas.

    Yus – ”The Software also not yet ready and combat tested. ”

    Over time it will mature. A lot of effort is being put into ensuring the F-35 is able to give the desired capability. Bear in mind the key to the F-35’s performance is not the aircraft itself but its ability to worked alongside other assets as part of an integrated network. Same with the F-22.

  35. “With regards to us, this is not the case.

    I understand that we have not sent the Fulcrum back to Russia as an entire aircraft. Are you saying that we can manufacture the parts needed in Malaysia?

  36. ….. – ”But for long term planning of the fighter fleet, it is not the best solution”

    Maybe not but for our requirements; going for a full fledged MRCA is a better solution than going for a light attack aircraft; one that hasn’t been fully integrated – yet – with all the stuff that we’ll need in order for it to perform as a front line type. Why a ”front line” type you may ask? Because the 18 MKMs and 8 Hornets are insufficient to even meet our peacetime operational requirements; never mind actual contingencies.

    – There is a clear need for us to have a minimal deterrent capability; which can’t be met by a light attack aircraft” [this is the designation used by KAI to describe the T-50/F-50]. At a time when others have bought current generation fighters and have acquired network centric capabilities; we’ll be sending the wrong message by not buying a current generation MRCA as part of the RMAF’s ongoing modernisation efforts. Granted, we are not gong to war but in bilateral dealings with other countries; the state of the MAF will play a part in how serious they take us and how they conduct their dealings with us.

    – As we still have the Hawks we don’t need another ”light attack aircraft” to complement our high end/low end mix.

    – Even if we buy a mere 18 air frames; it will ensure we still have an – albeit limited – capability offered by current generation MRCAs : better than not having the capability at all or allowing for the capability gap with others to widen.

    – Another factor to take into account is that a T-50/F-50 buy will lead to further delays with the MRCA programme; the bureaucrats at the Finance Ministry and Economic Planning Unit will have more excuses to delay funding.

  37. Capability gap right now with whom can I ask? Thailand? Indonesia? Vietnam?

    We have the MKM, and as you said a 10-15 year old tech is not a big capability gap with anything current, and bar the f-15sg, its the most advanced fighter to be deployed in south east Asia.

    But buying those mega expensive mrca now would actually cause a serious capability gap with future 5gen fighters that would come in just post 2020, which is not a long time to go. We would be stuck with brand new typhoon/rafale/gripen while neighbouring countries like Indonesia will have 5th gen KFX/IFX. Making the mrca decision in 2020-2025 would give us a better capability than anything that is available now.

  38. AM – ”Are you saying that we can manufacture the parts needed in Malaysia?”

    I’m not sure about the manufacturing part; doubt it – the only local component I’m aware off is the drag chute and possibly the batteries. What I am sure is that we have never had to send any Fulcrum back to Russia – for any reason. Given that we have operated the fleet since 1997 and that we’ve never send any back; it would be safe to say that parts bought from Russia have been fitted to aircraft locally; doing away with the need for aircraft to be sent back in order for certain parts to be fitted.

    kamal areif mohamed saleh,

    I highly doubt if an RPG-30 can frontally defeat an M-1; either frontally or on the glacis. No doubt, if fired at specific places like the engine compartment or even the sides; it can cause damage but then so can many types of shoulder launched weapons; not just the RPG-30.

    The M-1 remains a very well protected MBT. A good example is the M1 that was abandoned by its crew in 2003 after losing mobility. The crew first used termite grenades, followed by 120mm shots from another M-1, followed by a Maverick fired from the air and the abandoned M-1 still wasn’t totally destroyed! We heard about how supposedly vulnerable they were to Iraqi Kornets but the fact remains that few were actually knocked out and very few crew members of damaged or knocked out M-1s were killed. This would not have been the case if one were using Soviet/Russian designed MBTs, which are lighter and thus have a much lower baseline protection.

  39. ‘ And what do you expect we should do with our MKM? Sold it? Scrap it? Dude, whether we like it or not, we will still dealing with the Russians.’

    And when was the last time the Russians send us a fighter wing to train with us when we have problems in SCS!

    If we are so interested in Russian jets, we wouldnt be modifying them so much, making them twice expensive.

  40. SMK – ‘And when was the last time the Russians send us a fighter wing to train with us when we have problems in SCS!’

    Say what? Why the hell is that even in case? SCS? Really?

    First of all, its business between local defense industries and Russian defense industries. Put it right. But SCS? Really?

    We did trained with the Russians, although its Navy. Small scale but everyone knows that. And I don’t see why they need to help us on this SCS matter…

    ‘If we are so interested in Russian jets, we wouldnt be modifying them so much, making them twice expensive.’

    Simple, the ones who make the decision here is KEMENTAH. MiG-29N was made by Dr.M himself and the MKM was made in decision Najib when he was the minister of defense. The reason we mod both of these aircraft it is because TUDM is familiar with western equipment and they weren’t that familiar with Russian instruments on board.

    So, if you wanna blame someone, don’t blame the TUDM, blame the politicians who makes defence treats like its useless at all. After all, we’re not at war… (sarcasm intended)

  41. Maybe this time we want to pretend there is no Israeli content in the Super Hornet (unlike what we did with the Hornet).

    Lets not deceive ourselves, the middle eastern customers of the Typhoon and Rafale are just looking the other way.

  42. ….. – ”Capability gap right now with whom can I ask? Thailand? Indonesia? Vietnam? ”

    You may ask but you answered your own question. You left out Thailand which has become the 2nd air arm in the region to have a network centric capability; whilst we still remain a platform centric aircraft.

    …… – ”Making the mrca decision in 2020-2025 would give us a better capability than anything that is available now.”

    As stated before; we have a pressing need for additional MRCAs now because there are only 18 MKMS and 8 Hornets. With such small numbers; maintaining sufficient operational air frames to ensure we can meet peace time and training commitments and to ALSO cater for unexpected contingencies will – to use an understatement – be a challenge. That is why we can’t wait …. and why even a mere new MRCAs will make a difference towards maintaining the minimal numbers.

    Your pushing of the T-50/F-50 is based on logic [cheap to buy and can replace several current types] but it fails to take into account that logic doesn’t always enter the picture [even if the politicians don’t interfere] and that there are a host of legitimate reasons why the RMAF needs a full fledged MRCA.

    I have given the various reasons [to keep with with the times, to have a minimal deterrent capability, fear that buying something else will give the pen pushers further excuse to delay an MRCA buy, that the RMAF not only has to worry about ESSCOM, etc, etc], based on numerous conversations with RMAF and industry people, to explain why the RMAF needs an MRCA as opposed to a ”light attack aircraft” [never mind that it hasn’t been integrated with some stuff that we’ll need]. Again, I have nothing against the T-50/F-50; at present it just doesn’t meet our requirements.

    ….. – ”We have the MKM, and as you said a 10-15 year old tech is not a big capability gap with anything current, ”

    I don’t remember saying ”10-15 year old tech is not a big capability gap with anything current” – maybe you misinterpreted something I said or I should do a better job explaining myself. At a time when technology is constantly evolving; things get eclipsed in performance very fast – 10/15 years is eternity.

    The MKM is great but it’s not the top dog; a late as a few years ago the RMAF already did a feasibility study on future upgrades on the MKM. I cringe when people or the media says stuff like ”it’s the most sophisticated in the region” [as if sophisticated automatically equates with ”capable” or that it’s the ”best”]; this despite the MKM having no data link, no AESA and a pod that doesn’t come close in performance with the likes of Litening, ATFLIR or Sniper]. The MKM offers a great capability but it’s not a ”game changer” [a term many are fond of using] or [at platforms level] the best equipped in the region.

  43. SmellyBoy – ”We did trained with the Russians, although its Navy. Small scale but everyone knows that.”

    This has been limited to the rare PASSEX; whenever Russian ships are in the area or dock at Port Klang or Penang. Same goes with various other navies that don’t maintain a permanent presence in the region. In the 1990’s we conducted a PASSEX with the Bundesmarine.

  44. @ azlan

    – Network centric capability is not dependant on a new MRCA. it could be done now, on current platforms without even buying a new MRCA. Buying say a typhoon will not automatically mean we would get NCA capability with the platform. If we don’t have link 16 clearance, we won’t get any NCA capability with the typhoon or rafale.

    – What we need NOW is more fighters. Not necessarily a super expensive MRCA. You have said in preference to the MRCA that 10-15 years gap to any 5th gen fighters is nothing, it can also be used as an argument for MKM and the MRCA. The main issue for those MRCA is it is super expensive (if it cost the same as MKM, I don’t mind at all), and in about 5 years time we could get 5th gen fighters at prices cheaper than those MRCA. So lets wait for a few years, buy a cheaper fighter first (as a replacement of the hawk capability later) and wait out for 5th gen fighters. Those will have stealth, better sensor fusion, better weapons capability than any of the MRCA candidates.

  45. “buy a cheaper fighter first ”

    Both arguments have merits. However, any fighter we buy will not be operated for a short time. If we don’t make a careful choice, the logistical burden of supporting many types will continue.

    What we should do is make the most of our assets. If the Hawks are cheaper to operate than our other types, we should be giving it a precision bombing capability. PGMs are getting cheaper and more capable, there isn’t an excuse. While some say we shouldn’t make the Hawks too capable or the MRCA may be delayed, this is an air to ground capability we are talking about, and ultimately this is a cost saving strategy.

    “What I am sure is that we have never had to send any Fulcrum back to Russia – for any reason. Given that we have operated the fleet since 1997 and that we’ve never send any back”

    While we have not sent any Fulcrums back, it is possible that not wanting to send the aircraft back is the reason for retiring some of our airframes.

  46. …. – ”– Network centric capability is not dependant on a new MRCA. it could be done now, on current platforms without even buying a new MRCA.”

    Have I ever said otherwise? I’ve been pressing the need for a network centric capability here for years and now you’re telling me it’s not platform dependent [which I’ve never said]? As for Link 16, can’t confirm this but I heard from a good source that there was provision for it to be fitted to the MKMs in the contract. Also, you seriously think we would contemplate buying Rafale or Typhoon without knowing that we’ll be cleared for Link 16? Given that Thailand and Indonesia have been cleared for Link 16 [never mind Singapore]; you seriously expect us not to get approval for it?

    Did you read the report Marhalim did on the network centric stuff? It clearly and unequivocally states that the intention is to get funding to fit the MKMs and Hornets with a data link. Given that how well any MRCA will perform is dependent on it being part of an integrated network; you seriously think that Dassault, Saab, BAE Systems and Boeing would waste immense time and cash marketing their stuff to us despite the uncertainty of whether we’ll be cleared for Link 16? Even in the unlikely chance that we’re not cleared for Link 16, did you know that Thales came up with a data link [NATO compatible] offering the same performance as Link 16 and targeted at those not cleared for Link 16?

    ….. – ”and in about 5 years time we could get 5th gen fighters at prices cheaper than those MRCA.”

    You’re actually certain that in 5 years time we can buy more capable fighters [with newer technologies] that are cheaper?

    ….. – ”You have said in preference to the MRCA that 10-15 years gap to any 5th gen fighters is nothing,”

    Let me repeat this : with technology constantly changing; even 5 years is eternity. By right, ESM and ECM should be replaced or upgraded every few years.

    …… – ”– What we need NOW is more fighters. Not necessarily a super expensive MRCA.”

    You keep coming up with reasons to buy the T-50/F-50 and in response I give various legitimate reasons to explain why the T-50/F-50 doesn’t meet our requirements. You keep dismissing these points because they don’t fit in your line of thinking. If you sit back, think objectively and not let your affinity for the T-50/F-50 cloud your judgement; you’ll understand why it doesn’t suit our requirements – this has nothing to do with the merits of the T-50/F-50 [yes we know it’s affordable and can replace several types] but with our specific requirements. requirements that call for a full fledged MRCA.

    Not long ago you were giving the impression that the T-50/F-50 if fitted with the various bits and bobs can do the role of an MRCA. When I pointed out that this was untrue you backtracked and said that it doesn’t have to do the roles of an MRCA because it’s replacing the F-5s and Fulcrums. Even KAI is not claiming that the F-50 is a low cost MRCA. Why isn’t Indonesia [which doesn’t have unlimited cash] buying F-50s instead of Su-35s and why is Croatia [which has very limited cash] looking at pre-owned F-16s instead of the F-50?

    If I take a page out of your book I can also go on about buying stuff I like; never mind actual requirements. I’d like to copy the Israelis and convert T-54/55 hulls into a super protected IFV/APC, which is better protected than anything we have : the problem is that it’ll be super expensive and heavier than a PT-91. Before one talks about affordability and practicality; FIRST ask about actual requirements and how a particular aircraft/vehicle/ship suits ones specific requirements. Again, I think the F-50’s a great aircraft BUT it doesn’t suit our requirements.

    ….. – ”So lets wait for a few years, buy a cheaper fighter first (as a replacement of the hawk capability later) and wait out for 5th gen fighters.”

    I have given various reasons why we won’t and can’t go down this route. Also, you keep go on about the Hawks retiring : again, their air frames have plenty of hours left; equivalent to at least a decade based on our usage rates. When a decision is made to retire the Hawks then we can look at what can best replace it.

    AM – While some say we shouldn’t make the Hawks too capable or the MRCA may be delayed,”

    I agree that the Hawk should be upgraded. The problem is the pen pushers have been known to use every excuse provided to delay or deny funding for stuff requested. What will really lead to delays in the MRCA programme is if we buy a ”light attack aircraft” with air to air capabilities – the pen pushers will say why do you [the RMAF] need an MRCA when you already have F-50 that has an air and air to ground capability? We are not going to war, who do you want to fight”?

    The Hawk 100s have Paveway but the missile has to be lased by someone on the ground or an MKM or Hornet. Ideally, all the Hawks would be cleared for Paveway and have their own targeting pods. The problem is the cash involved. I suspect that the RMAF doesn’t want to spend more than is absolutely needed on the Hawks as it prefers the cash to be used elsewhere. The same reason that the RMN doesn’t want to spend more than is absolutely needed on the Laksamanas; especially given that the cash can be better used than on 30 year old hulls with various issues.

    AM – ”it is possible that not wanting to send the aircraft back is the reason for retiring some of our airframes.”

    I can’t say for sure but doubt it. The main stumbling block as far as I know is the need to overhaul the RD-33s and the fact that they don’t last as long as Western equivalents.

  47. AM – ”However, any fighter we buy will not be operated for a short time. If we don’t make a careful choice, the logistical burden of supporting many types will continue.”

    You raise a good point. If we didn’t have Hawks or we had Hawks that were going to be retired in the near future; then yes, a T-50/F-50 buy would make sense. I’m a strong believer in a high end/low end mix as we don’t need a Hornet or a MKM for certain roles. The Hawk may not be perfect, it has its limitations but we have it, it’s going nowhere soon and it still has a useful role to play.

    It will be interesting to see what the RAF replaces 100 Squadron’s Hawks with in the future. These Hawks are old and the only digital thing in the cockpit is the GPS yet they perform various roles such as training JTACs, dissimilar training against Typhoons, etc. Whether the order for 18 Hawk 200s and 10 100s was a sound move is open to debate but what’s for certain is that we did the right thing by scrapping the 8 Tornado buy. The Tornados would have cost a bomb to operate and maintain. It’s also a blessing in disguise we scrapped plans to get F-20s [these were to have been based at gong Kedak] as we would probably have been the only operator of the type.

    AM – ”Lets not deceive ourselves, the middle eastern customers of the Typhoon and Rafale are just looking the other way.”

    Eurocopter took a beating when the Algerians discovered Israeli sourced components on its helicopters. I’m not aware of Typhoon and Rafale having Israeli components. Nor the Super Hornet. I’ll be very surprised if the Israelis can make components/avionics for Typhoon, Rafale and Super Hornet that their OEMS can’t. If indeed any export variants of these fighters have Israeli components; it’s a the request of the customer. BTW, has Typhoon been integrated with any pod apart from Litening for customers like Saudi and Oman?

    SmellyBoy – ” and the MKM was made in decision Najib when he was the minister of defense.”

    Najib may have been the Defence Minister but it wasn’t him that made the final decision. Interestingly, when Mahathir visited the Ulan Ude and Irkutsk plant during a 1999/99 visit; Najib wasn’t there.

    …… – ”while neighbouring countries like Indonesia will have 5th gen KFX/IFX”

    It has even entered production yet; forming any conclusions at this juncture as to how capable or ”stealthy” is pure conjecture. I’m not saying that Typhoon, Rafale or Gripen are the ”best” or the most ”stealthy” [people are so enamored with this] but there are various upgrades planned to ensure that these aircraft are able to deal with the kind of threats they are likely to face during their period in service.

    With regards to the RAF; it has already started work ensuring [despite the F-35 not entering service yet] that the F-35 and Typhoon can work together. The idea being that even though both have different capabilities, that this be offset by them working together. Also, as you’re keenly aware, in this day and age; the chances of a fighter operating autonomously against another fighter also operating autonomously will be slim. No doubt, China and Russia in the near future will have their ”stealthy” 5th generation MRCAs but one area where the West still has a big edge is that their assets are much more networked.

  48. – Hawks and mb339cm. It could always be sold off while it still have reasonable airframe times left. Tudm has sold alot of aircrafts before, from the twin pioneer, chipmunks, to the 737bbj.

    – Buying hawks and skipping the tornado, which was the priority beforehand (yes I was around at that time). This scenario could also be the same for the MRCA.

    – Integrating link 16 with MKM. technically it could be done as the su-30mki/mkm/sm is the first Russian fighter to fully use nato spec mil-std1553 data bus for communication between avionics systems.

    – Targeting pods for typhoon. Do realise that saudi typhoon and tornado is using damocles targeting pods.

    – Network centric warfare does not need a new MRCA. It needs AWACS, MPA’s, long endurance UAV’s to give a clearer battlespace picture to the fighters, even to the MKM and hornets. Im all in for this, but spending a fortune on new 4.5gen fighters and skipping AWACS and MPA buy is not the way.

  49. Hi. Just a newcomer opinion.

    The new mrca is needed to replace the f-5 and mig-29. Thats why only 18 is enough for now. Also considering the numbers of our pilot training production of fighter pilots.

    Then in 5-10 years, the hawk will need to be replaced. So another batch of 18 same mrca.

    Thats why we need an established platform that will be relevant n capable until 2035. From what I can see, we won’t buy American and Russian platform.

    If can I want a Russian platform upgraded with European avionics. For example our mkm. Just add a phazotron fga-35 aesa, new talios targeting pod from Thales, new ols system like ols-35 and knirti sap-14. It should be use as a strike and electronic warfare aircraft. As I know only ea-18g growler have the same capabilities. It has high combat load and long range traits. But the integration cost and adaptability is unknown to me.

    Or buy the mig-35 with upgraded avionics same as our mkm. But mig-35 is still in development. But it will be introduced to Egyptian air force end of this year. So just hoping.

    For the mrca, it will be between Rafael n typhoon. They have better defense traits. Like Rafael which have an onboard passive radar jammer and typhoon also with a radar jammer in the form of britecloud decoy which is dispense from a chaff dispenser. Both have very good avionics. Albeit typhoon with better radar.

    Both have maritime strike capability though less than mkm in my eyes. Typhoon marte is not long range enough (might be wrong) and rafale can only carry one Exocet.

    And both cost at least 200 million usd based on contract cost for Indian af and Kuwait af.

  50. Btw about t-55 apc.

    The best design IMO is the ukranian BMP-55. The rear is now the front, unlike azcharit. So its more like a namer, the engine up front, and the troops at the rear. The tank turret itself is 7-8tonnes, removing that, plus adding additional armour on the flanks and roof, probably won’t exceed 40tonnes all up weight.

    This is also something that I like, but as you said not applicable to the malaysian defence.

  51. @Azlan
    “Najib may have been the Defence Minister but it wasn’t him that made the final decision. Interestingly, when Mahathir visited the Ulan Ude and Irkutsk plant during a 1999/99 visit; Najib wasn’t there.”

    Yes, decision to buy mkm was Mahathir’s. It was proposed to him by a relative, his son-in-law if I’m not mistaken. He saw the Su-35 at Dubai Airshow in 2003 and told Mahathir to buy Su-35 instead of super hornets. Mahathir did ask Putin if they were available for sale but as the type was still in prototype phase Putin declined to offer Su-35 and offered the Su-30 instead. The astronout program and Russia’s willingness to export palm oil from Malaysia (some say to the detriment of Indonesia’s palm oil) further sweeten the pot and Mahathir was sold. The irony is, if we have bought the Super Hornets instead of the Super Flankers, we would not be talking about an MRCA program right now.

    Reply
    The agent for the Sukhoi deal was DS Adib Adam

  52. ” if we have bought the Super Hornets instead of the Super Flankers, we would not be talking about an MRCA program right now”

    Absolutely true,

    Mahathir a little much is damaging armed force procurement curves with political bias. The PT-91M saga is also problematic as a result from Mahathir regime. We should have a regiment of K-1A1 by now and the talks of new MBT powerpack is not exist. What a joke the Polish also abandoned its PT-91 program

  53. This is just my opinion as a civilian with no Military training/experience..

    I doubt that if we chosen the SH in 2003 instead of MKM, we would not need to worry about the MRCA issue now. Even if we manage to get 18 SH by then (which I doubt due to the rumoured price of around 30%-40% higher than MKM at that time), we would still require a replacement for the F5 and MIG29 now…so we still need at least 18 frame, and the question of what platform still remains (albeit favour would be in SH way due to commonality).

    As a non-military educated CV, off course I would like to have the confidence (more of pride) that my country is at least on paper have the necessary means to uphold its sovereignty without going to war, against any perceived external agression. So in my simpleton way, having big scary jets/frigates/submarines with adequate number would create that impression. But as a semi trained bean counter, I dont want to pay more taxes to pay for something that is so freaking expensive for so little quantity, when there are alternatives outside there that can provide more bang for buck.

  54. The point is under FMS the US armed forces (USN in the SH case) handle the procurement process, it leaves no room for national interests to profit.

    The fact that Russia offered a joyride into space is a secondary point.

    In 2003 the Su-30 was a new and little exported aircraft, even the Russian air force itself had few and the manufacturer was in much worse shape than today. Russia was ready to sweeten the deal. Today more than 500 have been built for eleven air forces. If we were to buy it today, the terms would be much less attractive.

  55. For commonality sake, we could add more MKM as a replacement for the Migs. Additional 6-10 MKM would enable tudm to create a 2nd MKM squadron.

    Right now there is the sensitivity of getting anything Russian due to the MH17 issue. That could easily be sidestepped by buying the sukhoi through india. We could ask india to transfer some of IAF’s MKI (preferably the latest builds) to tudm, and we could convert them to MKM standards in country by ASTC. We would then pay india for those transferred to tudm so that HAL could build replacements of those airframes.

    That is a realistic option, although I understand tudm top brass wants something western at almost any cost (continuing the rojak fleet and adding a more costlier aircraft to the mix)

  56. For commonality sake, we could add more MKM as a replacement for the Migs. Additional 6-10 MKM would enable tudm to create a 2nd MKM squadron.

    Right now there is the sensitivity of getting anything Russian due to the MH17 issue. That could easily be sidestepped by buying the sukhoi through india. We could ask india to transfer some of IAF’s MKI (preferably the latest builds) to tudm, and we could convert them to MKM standards in country by ASTC. We would then pay india for those transferred to tudm so that HAL could build replacements of those airframes.

    That is a realistic option, although I understand tudm top brass wants something western at almost any cost (continuing the rojak fleet and adding a more costlier aircraft to the mix)

  57. kamal arief,

    You’re right. Irrespective of what we bought back then; we would still be in the market for a new MRCA now. Even if we had bought say 36 MKMs in 2002 or even 36 Super Hornets we would still be in the market now for additional MRCAs as part of the RMAF’s ongoing modernisation efforts.

    Let there be no doubt – the decision to buy the MKM was a flawed one. To meet our requirements we had to custom fit a mere 18 air frames and pay the needed integration costs. The alternative was a design that needed no integration work as all the needed integration had already been paid for by Uncle Sam. For the MKMs the Russians couldn’t even help us with a combat or maintenance syllabus as they didn’t operate the type! Help for a maintenance syllabus came from the IAF but we had to write our own combat syllabus. On another topic; those who prefer the Rafale forget that practically none of the ordnance offered with Rafale is compatible with any aircraft we currently operate.

    AM – ”The fact that Russia offered a joyride into space is a secondary point.”

    For you and me yes but not for the person making the decisions. For him; the main consideration in deciding what to order was based on how it would benefit the country with industrial offsets and
    transfers of technology.

    …… – ”Do realise that saudi typhoon and tornado is using damocles targeting pods.”

    Thank you for informing me; I was unaware. You do realise that Damocles come nowhere close to the likes of Litening, Sniper or ATFLIR and in French service is seen as an interim solution until Thales delivers a better pod. As such; we’ll be silly to buy Typhoon and decide to fit Damocles to it.

    ….. – ”Integrating link 16 with MKM. technically it could be done”

    Off course it can; not ”technically” but in reality. As mentioned before; there are already plans to fit it on the MKMs and Hornets.

    – ”Network centric warfare does not need a new MRCA.”

    Nobody here has said otherwise.

    ….. – ”but spending a fortune on new 4.5gen fighters and skipping AWACS and MPA buy is not the way.”

    Well, that’s your opinion. The fact remains that the RMAF has legitimate reasons for wanting what it wants. It’s easy to 2nd guess and say the RMAF should do this or do that but there are various factors to consider and a lot of stuff happening that outsiders like us aren’t aware off.

    ….. – ” It could always be sold off while it still have reasonable airframe times left.”

    On paper anything is possible but in reality there is a very slim chance of the RMAF prematurely retiring anything. Especially when those aircraft you’re referring to still have lots of hours left and when the government is unable to provide a firm commitment as to when replacements can be ordered.

    ….. – ”The best design IMO is the ukranian BMP-55”

    The most practical thing the Ukrainians had that they could have offered us but didn’t was the bustle mounted auto loader which had already been developed during the period the T-84 was being offered to us.

  58. Atflir is also not the most state of the art targeting pod out there. We bought it because the litening pod used by other hornet users are obviously israeli in origin, but strangely we still bought the JHMCS helmet mounted display even though it is based on elbit dash III hmd. Spain is intergating the thales scorpion colour hmd on its hornet, similar hmd to PUTD’s upcoming little bird helicopters.

    So lots of people like to play what ifs…
    Well lets play along. Let say tudm did buy super hornets instead of MKM’s. That means those 8 D models are long gone. When its time to retire the migs, I would still say no to the typhoon and Rafales. I would prefer additional super hornets, or still the golden eagles. To consolidate hi low mix of super hornets and golden eagles. But, we cannot change the past, only the future. So my opinion still stands.

  59. …… – ”For commonality sake, we could add more MKM as a replacement for the Migs.”

    Even if we didn’t have the MH17 issue to deal with the RMAF does not want anymore MKMs; unless it’s forced to by the government; unlikely given that under Najib we haven’t shown any serious interest in buying Russia. About 7-8 years ago there was a report – never confirmed by the RMAF – that the RMAF had proposed selling the Fulcrums to fund an additional 6 MKMs. Irrespective of whether this report was accurate, the circumstances have changed and focus now is on getting a Western type.

    …… – ” We could ask india to transfer some of IAF’s MKI (preferably the latest builds) to tudm, and we could convert them to MKM standards in country by ASTC.”

    I doubt if India is in a position – at least in the near future – to export any licensed made MKIs as priority is the IAF. Also, I’m not sure if the licensing agreement reached with the Russians has provision for HAL to export MKIs. Another factor that comes into question is whether we still need Russian help; in the event we source Indian made MKIs and have to convert them to MKM standards locally. If indeed we acquired more MKMs [as likely as us acquiring pre-owned Mirage 2000s]; the avionics fit would be different [compared to the MKM] as there is newer stuff in the market and it would be silly not to go for an AESA; as well as the other improvements offered for the Su-30. The future plan off course would be eventually to have the whole fleet converted to the same standard.

    Again, I’m not sure if HAL is allowed to export MKIs but in the past the Russians have been very sticky when it comes to what they perceive as export violations. Peru previously had issues getting Russian help for Fulcrums sourced by Belarus. The Russians in the past also made it clear that they would not supply any components for MBTs sourced from non Russian sources. According to the Russians, countries like Ukraine and Poland are violating an export agreement by exporting MBTs as the agreement signed during the Cold War to enable the license manufacture of MBTs stipulated that these MBTs only be used locally and not exported. A far more realistic option is us buying parts from HAL, parts which HAL is apparently allowed to export. There were plans by HAL to stockpile critical parts in a warehouse for immediate delivery upon payment.

    Reply
    The proposal to buy back the Fulcrums was from the Russians not RMAF. Last year the Russian proposed the Fulcrums be replaced by the Mig-35. It didn’t go anywhere.

  60. Difference is when we bought ATFLIR (to replace the outdated LANTIRN that we have) we paid zero integration costs. We paid to integrate the Damocles, and if we hang a newpod on the MKM we must pay to integrate that too.

    Anyway I’ve said it a lot, the F-15 has higher performance and lower cost than the F-18E because it is not strengthened for carrier take off and landing. Wish it could be considered.

    This refusal to acknowledge Israel obviously doesn’t hurt Israel. Only hurts us.

  61. ‘Anyway I’ve said it a lot, the F-15 has higher performance and lower cost than the F-18E because it is not strengthened for carrier take off and landing. Wish it could be considered’

    And I wish it would not. We need a hi-lo mix partner for the MKM

    F-15E is in the same par with MKM, a heavyweight fighter. We should getting something more cheap to be operate. Getting a Gripen C/D would be sufficient if buy in numbers along with the Erieye.

  62. AM by what way refusal to acknowledged the savage Israeli Regime hurts us ? Just because we wont buy military stuff from Israel ? We have not recognised Israel since their illegal existence and I don’t see any hurting on our part..

  63. johnrambo” And I wish it would not. We need a hi-lo mix partner for the MKM. F-15E is in the same par with MKM, a heavyweight fighter.”

    One should not equate “”high” and “low” capability with “heavyweight” and “lightweight.” For example, most people would place the Hornet, Typhoon, Rafale, Viper and MiG-35 in the lightweight category. These are all high performance aircraft, but they are intended for those with lower range or payload requirements than customers of the F-15 or Su-30.

    I personally believe the RMAF need “high” capability fighter aircraft to keep abreast of our neighbours and “low” capability aircraft for missions with lower requirements. But I am not convinced that we need a “heavy” aircraft such as the MKM.

    The F-15E is surely a much more current and advanced aircraft than the MKM, more cost effective to maintain and has higher availability. Fair bet that a hypothetical air force operating both the F-15 and Su-30 would keep the F-15s for longer than the Su-30. Refer to our experience with the F-18 and MiG-29.

    If you (unlike me) believe the RMAF needs a “heavyweight” aircraft then you should be open to the F-15. One can also argue that we need more than 18 aircraft in the “heavy” category. The F-15 can supplement and eventually outlive the Su-30.

  64. mofaz “AM by what way refusal to acknowledged the savage Israeli Regime hurts us ? Just because we wont buy military stuff from Israel ? We have not recognised Israel since their illegal existence and I don’t see any hurting on our part..”

    Malaysian PMs have consistently stated that Malaysia will recognise Israel when the Palestinian matter is resolved. None has described Israel as an illegal state or called for its destruction.

    Israel’s existence is not illegal, but some of its actions beyond its legal borders are illegal. If you are waiting for Israel to cease to exist, you will be waiting a long time.

    The fact that Israel makes or is involved in making some of the best military equipment in its class should be obvious to you. When we refuse to buy it, we have no alternative (we cannot buy the F-35) or we pay to develop it from scratch (the MKM was developed from the MKI). At the very least it raises the price that competing suppliers will charge us for the same equipment.

    Exactly what meaningful pressure are we putting on Israel, when we buy in such small numbers anyway (electronics for a mere 18 aircraft)- will Israel quit Palestine for this?

  65. Read the history of how Israel was created, it was created by terrorism, land grab and ethnic cleansing which is still on going today. The legality of Israel was set up by the Zionist, to the Palestinian and majority of Arab its an illegal terrorist state and its actions against the Palestinians reflects this.

  66. AM tell me what do you think the impact of what will happen if every malaysian mostly with majority is Muslim know that our government buying Israel product mostly if it is related to military. You still immature regarding diplomacy, there is more Cons than Pros. And that is in Malaysia not outside.

  67. …… – ”Atflir is also not the most state of the art targeting pod out there. ”

    That’s not the point is it? You mentioned that some Typhoon users use Damocles and I in return said that in the long run; Typhoon users that won’t go for Litening will be silly to stick to Damocles; once a new generation pod has been cleared for Typhoon. I also said that ATFLIR is way superior to Damocles. Who said anything about ATFLIR being the most ”state of the art”? BTW, I’ll be interested in knowing which is the most ”state of the art” targeting/navigation pod and based on what criteria?

    …… – ”So my opinion still stands.”

    Rest assured your opinion [like everyone else’s] ”still stands’; irrespective off the fact that it’s based mostly on personal preference and not the various factors that come into play in determining what the RMAF – based on its specific requirements – call for. Just to add; the various points I have mentioned [to illustrate why the RMAF needs a full fledged MRCA] are not based on personal preference on any particular platform or stuff I get on the net but on stuff I’ve picked up from people in the service and industry.

    Again, before one buys something, one first has to have a requirement for it. One doesn’t simply buy something because that something is available, is affordable or because others have gone for it. No doubt; many users have a clear need for Golden Eagle but at this juncture we don’t.

    ….. – ”Let say tudm did buy super hornets instead of MKM’s. That means those 8 D models are long gone.”

    Not sure how you got to this conclusion but at present [irrespective of what we buy in the future] there are no plans to retire the Ds. In the 2002/2003 period there were plans for Boeing to buy back the Ds as part payment for Super Hornets but its 2016 now and times have changed. Given that the Ds still have lots of hours left on their air frames and that we’ve spent a lot upgrading them; it makes no sense to retire the Ds anytime soon.

    ….. – ”To consolidate hi low mix of super hornets and golden eagles. ”
    Again, we currently have a type that fits the high end/low end mix : the Hawk. Sure in a ideal world we should be minimising the number of different types operated but there are various factors to consider first.

    AM – ”Israel’s existence is not illegal, but some of its actions beyond its legal borders are illegal.”

    True. Apparently many don’t understand this – Israel is recognised as a legitimate state. What is not recognised is Israel’s continued occupation of land seized in 1967; land which should have been handed back in line with UN Resolution 242. Lots of countries don’t recognise Israel because to officially recognise it one first has to decide whether to recognise an Israel with pre-1967 borders or one with post-1967 borders that includes the Golan, East Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank. Even the U.S. still doesn’t recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – the U.S. [like everyone else who has diplomatic ties with Israel] still maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv and declined previous calls to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

    AM – ”One should not equate “”high” and “low” capability with “heavyweight” and “lightweight.”

    Indeed. I mentioned this quite a while back and someone asked if I had got it right by classifying fighters into different categories based on weight – there is a common tendency by some to automatically dismiss things out of hand merely because they’re not aware of certain things.

    Getting back to the subject matter; there was/is a school of though that said; given that the RMAF already had a 2 seater heavyweight and a 2 seater middleweight that it should concentrate on a single seat middleweight or even a lightweight single engine, single seater.

    Mofaz – ”Read the history of how Israel was created, it was created by terrorism, land grab and ethnic cleansing which is still on going today.”

    Lots of countries and empires also were created by means of ”terrorism, land grab and ethnic cleansing”.

  68. AM – ”Exactly what meaningful pressure are we putting on Israel, ”

    Back in the 1990’s – after the signing of Oslo – the PLO publicly said that it was up to Malaysia whether it wanted too recognise Israel or not. Interestingly, Indonesia had no issues acquiring ex Israeli Skyhawks in the past – granted this deal was via a 3rd party – and more recently, is rumoured to have acquired a small batch of Israeli made UAVs [this was mentioned by some Indonesians in a defence forum].

    And off course various Arab states, including Saudi – despite officially having no ties with Israel – maintain unofficial lines of communications to deal with matters of mutual interest. For that matter; even Hamas and Hezbollah maintain unofficial lines of contact with Israel over matters such a ceasefires and exchange of prisoners. In may interest some here to know that it’s not unknown for visitors to Malaysia from countries such as the U.S, France, Canada and others to also have Israeli passports by virtue of having dual citizenship.

  69. @ azlan

    ….. – ”Let say tudm did buy super hornets instead of MKM’s. That means those 8 D models are long gone.”

    Cakap bahasa melayu senang. Kan aku ikut je orang lain asyik nak cerita kalau dulu2… Ni cerita kalau dulu2 lah, bukan sekarang. Kalau dulu2 kita TAK beli MKM, kan kita dapat trade in hornet dengan super hornets, jadi betul lah D model hornets tu dah tak ada kalau kita beli super hornets. Statemen awal saya langsung tak menyalahi statemen awak menegur saya.

    ————————

    Getting back to the subject matter; there was/is a school of though that said; given that the RMAF already had a 2 seater heavyweight and a 2 seater middleweight that it should concentrate on a single seat middleweight or even a lightweight single engine, single seater.

    I am those that see it in similar (although not exacty the same) way. Around 2020 tudm should have only 3 types of fighters, heavy, medium and light

    Heavy – MKM. 1 sqn

    Medium – legacy hornets. Top up with used buys. To replace with 5th gen MRCA circa 2030. 1 sqn + 1 sqn (ex hawk)

    Light – golden eagles. Replacing hawk and mb339 in capability. Replacing mig-29 physically. 1 sqn (ex mig) + 1 sqn (ex hawk) + 1 sqn LIFT (ex mb339). Hawks to be sold 2020-2025.

    Some say golden eagles are just trainers as it is dual seater. I beg to differ. ROKAF is using theirs as f-5e combat replacements, and leaves the rear seat empty. Similar to RAAF super hornet squadron, all of them are F model two seaters, and the rear seat is left empty for combat missions against IS. There is no issue of flying solo in a twin seat fighter. In fact it could also save money during non combat flying by having 2 pilots accumulating flight hours in just 1 aircraft instead of 2.

  70. Coolup87 “AM tell me what do you think the impact of what will happen if every malaysian mostly with majority is Muslim know that our government buying Israel product mostly if it is related to military.”

    Turkey operates tons of Israeli equipment in every branch, despite the fact that its government criticizes Israel from time to time. In fact such criticism is token and symbolic relative to the weight of such cooperation over decades.

    “You still immature regarding diplomacy, there is more Cons than Pros. And that is in Malaysia not outside.”

    Among the “pros” is the Turkish armed forces and defence industry benefit immensely from Israeli technology, to the point they are globally competitive and are exporting to us. Why are we buying?

    Azlan “Lots of countries and empires also were created by means of ”terrorism, land grab and ethnic cleansing”.”

    Indeed, and we have friendly diplomatic relations with most of them. Shall we cut ties with Britain, China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and USA?

  71. …… – ”Some say golden eagles are just trainers as it is dual seater. I beg to differ.”

    I never said anything about any limitations it has just because it’s a 2 seater. What I did say and still say is that the Golden Eagle is not a full fledged MRCA and thus cannot be expected to do all the roles of an MRCA; which is precisely why the OEM designates it as a ”light attack aircraft” and which is precisely why nobody has bought it in expectation that it will be a front line type [yes the Philippines included].

    ….. – ”Cakap bahasa melayu senang.”

    My original post was in English; if it was in BM then I would use BM now but it wasn’t – I don’t believe in mix and matching languages.

    You gave a hypothetical scenario for which I replied. Had we bought Super Hornets in 2002 we may or may not have accepted a trade in offer from Boeing; apparently the Ds would have gone to the USMC. There was also a report that they would have gone to Switzerland to be worked on by Ruag before ending up with the Swiss air force. There were also rumours that unless it was forced to; the RMAF would have kept on to its Ds.

    …. – ”Around 2020 tudm should have only 3 types of fighters, heavy, medium and light”

    By right there should only be 2 front line combat types but since the MKMs by 2020 will still be around; unfortunately, yes, we will have 3 types – as you indicated a lightweight, a heavyweight and a middleweight. The RMAF – better than anyone – fully realises that it has to reduce its logstical footprint by minimising the number of different types it operates – this will take time to achieve.

  72. What I always has said is

    – Right now we have a MRCA and we don’t need another type of MRCA. We have the MKM as our MRCA it could be updated at a cost that is less than the super expensive typhoon/rafales.

    – I have never said that golden eagles are on par with MRCA’s (that is your imagination). What I avocated is a golden eagle buy instead of another type of MRCA (as we have the MKM) because:
    a) we really need to replenish our fighter numbers as f-5e and mig-29 are retired, and hawks are reduced by crashes.
    b) just having 7 mb339 as LIFT is not practical and replacing these with golden eagles we could reduce aircraft variants further.
    c) replacing f-5e, mig-29, hawk and mb339 with a single type of fighter extremely simpifys maintenance.
    d) fa-50 could undertake all the tasks mig-29 and hawk are doing right now with similar performance.
    e) it uses the same engine as the hornet, further simplifying maintenance.

    – Tudm needs a new type of MRCA. The timing is just not now. It probably needs more MRCA, but not a new type. Now, it is better to just add more MKM and hornets, rather than bringing in another new type.

    – If you say the hawks still have life in them, so does the mig-29. The mig-29 still has plenty of flight hours left (not wanting to overhaul it by choice doesn’t mean it has exhausted its flight hours), and could be upgraded (see indian upg specs). If the mig-29 could be retired by choice, so does the hawk, which is flown harder and more frequently than the mig-29. The hawks would reach 30years old by 2021 anyway, and a buy of golden eagles now would only be completed probably after that date.

  73. If you are keen on the T-50 as a LIFT it would be ideal to wait for it to to be developed into the USAF T-X after it wins the competition. It is intended as a very high tech LIFT to train pilots for 4+ and 5th generation fighters. You can read about the weapons system and simulation capabilities elsewhere.

    This will take a very long time though for all sorts of reasons. Currently it is intended to reach IOC 2024 and FOC in 2034, and this boldly assumes it will win the F-X competition and the competition closes on time.

    By 2024 the hawks will be close to 30 years old, so it may or may not work for us.

    Reply
    No lah, A USAF version of the T-50 – if it comes to that – will cost double or even triple from the normal T-50. The only good thing is that USAF will ensure its stays relevant until 2060.

  74. “No lah, A USAF version of the T-50 – if it comes to that – will cost double or even triple from the normal T-50. The only good thing is that USAF will ensure its stays relevant until 2060.”

    True. But any training that we don’t do on the LIFT must be done on a fighter. That costs even more in direct operating costs and airframe flight hours.

    Not every US program is over budget. With the T-X, both the original T-50 and M346 are already flying.

    Reply
    I am not saying we shouldn’t buy the T-50, just dont buy the USAF-bling T-50 .

  75. “I am not saying we shouldn’t buy the T-50, just dont buy the USAF-bling T-50 .”

    What I mean is the USAF T-X is expensive because it is intended to train pilots in “air-air, night flying, operating complex avionics and aerial refueling”. It will “replicate the cockpit environment found in fifth-generation fighters… include not only a large area display similar to the one found on the F-35, but simulate a multitude of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons and sensors onboard the aircraft. Onboard, there will be a simulated radar and potentially a targeting pod… students will be able to fuse data from multiple sources — with a real and simulated datalink .”

    The idea is to move these training tasks from fighters to LIFTs because the fighter airtime is more costly. Of course, the T-X will cost more than the T-50 but not as much as a fighter we would otherwise use.

  76. …… – ” The mig-29 still has plenty of flight hours left (not wanting to overhaul it by choice doesn’t mean it has exhausted its flight hours), and could be upgraded (see indian upg specs)”

    There are major difference between the Hawks and the Fulcrums; which you would realise if look at things objectively ….

    – Unlike the Fulcrums; the Hawks don’t have engines that are in immediate need of overhauling. Also, unlike the RD-33s we don’t have to send a whole Adour back to blightly for overhauls.
    – The Hawks require less upgrades than the Fulcrums in order to carry on serving the RMAF. The IAF upgrades includes a EASA, glass cockpit, fly by wire, engines with FADEC, full air to ground capability and many more! The Hawk does NOT require this level of upgrade.
    – Over the long term; operating costs, including per hour of flight costs, is cheaper where the Hawks are concerned and the support network we currently have in place with BAE Systems is better than the one we have with the Russians.
    – Even after a full upgrade; will a Fulcrum and it various systems/avionics/components last as long as a Hawk? What are you on about?

    …. – ”– Tudm needs a new type of MRCA. The timing is just not now. ”

    For you the timing is ”just not now”. For the RMAF; it has legitimate reasons [reasons that you ignore or overlook] as to why the timing is not only ”now” but should have been ”yesterday”.

    ….. – ”I have never said that golden eagles are on par with MRCA’s (that is your imagination). ”

    On the contrary you have given the impression – repeatedly – that the Golden Eagle can perform the roles of a full fledged MRCA. It is only now you are backtracking after I have repeatedly pointed out that although the Golden Eagle is a sound design it cannot realistically [irrespective of how enamoured you are of it] fully do the roles of a full fledged MRCA. After I pointed this out you backtracked by saying it doesn’t have to be a fully fledged MRCA since its replacing the F-5s and Fulcrums – contradicting what you’ve been saying previously.

    Also, no need in mentioning my ”imagination” as I don’t need ”imagination” to understand what you’re getting at. One would think that the Golden Eagle is the best invention since the advent of breech loaders.

    ….. – ”replacing f-5e, mig-29, hawk and mb339 with a single type of fighter extremely simpifys maintenance.”

    As mentioned before – maybe you didn’t get it – what appears to be logical on paper doesn’t automatically mean that it’s ideal in reality. Again, the RMAF has many reasons to do what its doing; some of these reasons may not be apparent to us who are not fully aware off all that goes on behind the scenes.

    ….. – ”just having 7 mb339 as LIFT is not practical and replacing these with golden eagles we could reduce aircraft variants further.”

    On paper yes but let me ask you this? As a dedicated LIFT; how does the Golden Eagle compare with the Hawk AJT or M-346? I don’t know the answer and I’m not making any assumptions. Or maybe you’re just assuming that because you like the Golden Eagle and that because others have ordered it that it’ll automatically suits our requirements as a dedicated LIFT?

    ….. – ”Now, it is better to just add more MKM ”

    You must as well talk about us buying pre-used Albanian MiG-15s and 17s because there are various compelling reasons why we won’t go for additional MKMs and we we don’t need additional MKMs.

    ….. – ” fa-50 could undertake all the tasks mig-29 and hawk are doing right now with similar performance.”

    The Golden Eagle – an aircraft designed from Day One as a trainer and a light attack aircraft – has ”similar performance” to the Fulcrum; an aircraft designed from Day One for the air to air role? Really? Alright, I learn something new everyday.

    Also, at the moment – not in the future – has Golden Eagle actually been integrated with all the bits and bobs to enable it to replace the Fulcrums? Based on your line of logic why did Indonesia declare it’s intention to order Su-35s instead of more Golden Eagles? Why has Croatia – a very cash strapped country – declared its intention to go for former U.S. F-16s when the Golden Eagle can do the roles the Mig-21 are now doing?

  77. AM – ”But any training that we don’t do on the LIFT must be done on a fighter.”

    I believe the intention now is first to get the MRCA programme going and then push for a small batch of dedicated LIFTs. Not the ideal way of doing thins off course but there appears to be no alternative. Whether the F-50, AJT or M-346 best suits our requirements is something only the RMAF can answer. All the best to the RMAF when it comes to justifying to the pen pushers why the MBB-339CMs are not dedicated LIFTs and why a dedicated LIFT is needed.

  78. Marhalim,
    Something new (to me), KD SAT CD-10 light jet trainer could breed a new range of light fighters, even smaller than the Hawk.

    Reply
    What’s that? Is it the Scorpion light jet?

  79. Marhalim,
    No its not the Scorpion. Its a new Russian light jet trainer with forward swept wing. The English name is KB SAT SR-10. Looks kind of interesting.
    Your spam bot is giving me a hard time to comment.

    Reply
    Russian?🏃🏃🏃 Sorry about the spam bot. I need to have it otherwise I will need to clear spam comments all the time instead of writing stories

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