SLEP For Flankers?

RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM M54-16 returning to its parking spot after the display at LIMA 2015.

SHAH ALAM: It appears that RMAF is working on a service life extension program (SLEP) for its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker fighters. The development of the SLEP is being done as part of the 10-year servicing program (10YSP) for Flankers.

The development of the SLEP was made public by the service during the hand-over ceremony for Flanker tail number M52-11 for 10YSP at Gong Kedak airbase on July 14. Both programs are being conducted by ATSC Sdn Bhd.

The ceremony for the Flanker servicing and upgrades at Gong Kedak on July 14. TUDM

The release did not state the outline of the SLEP or when it will start but it is likely that it will address obsolescence issues faced by the Flanker fleet. Whether or not RMAF will make public these issues and their remedies remained to be seen. Based on what had happened in recently, it is unlikely it will do so.
The KH-31A missile shown during RMAF Open Day back in 2008. The other missile in the back is the KH-29

Anyhow, we know that the some of the Russian ordnance which arrived with the Flankers are in need of their own SLEP or outright replacement. Even the Thales Damocles targetting pod which is peculiar to our Flankers, may need a replacement soon.
Thales Damocles pod. Thales

Thales which manufactures the Damocles already has a new targetting pod available, Talios and as well as a new recce pod, the Areos. The Areos recce pod is already used operationally by the French Navy Rafales in Syria though it appears the Talios remained under testing. Perhaps these pods will be considered for the Flanker SLEP program once it is funded.
RMAF M30-14 C-130H Hercules landing at Subang after conducting the 2016 Merdeka Flypast.

Hopefully the Flanker SLEP will start soon once the Nuri, Hawk and Hercules long delayed programs are conducted.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Why are they using the term SLEP which is usually used for the extension of the designed airframe life. I don’t think the air force will hit the maximum allowable flight hours of the MKM ever to study the need to extend the MKM flight hours limit. Usually the air force term for updates is MLU (Mid Life Upgrade)

    Btw damocles pod is also used by rafale users, and saudi for its typhoons. The latest upgade for the pod is called the damocles XF. A new HMD such as the Thales Scorpion is also a good thing to be added. Other upgrades could be piggybacked with the IAF super sukhoi upgrade, and hardwares developed for the Su-35.

    French Rafales will likely used the Talios pod soon, they are testing them already. yes MLU is probably the right term but since they used SLEP I had to use it.

  2. Mr marhalim, how long does it takes for each SLEP and did our flanker will get the new engine just like the Indian mki.

    Well they are studying the SLEP, what will be done remained to be seen.

  3. I wonder if the Flanker SLEP would also include purchasing AESA radars from India, like what they’re doing with their Su-30MKI? :V

  4. Well,if they have the funds why not!As we can’t afford to buy new warplanes at the moment upgranding the Flankers is a good news!

  5. Xan,

    Any order for the AESA will be from its OEM in Russia. Why would we buy it from India when the AESA is made in Russia?

    Improvements made to the Su35 are interesting. In addition to all the new stuff it will not have canards and dorsal brakes. For me, all the new add ons and improvements are great but what will really make the difference will be a data link; which the RMAF is fitting to its Hornets and MKMs.

  6. Rozaimi – ”Well,if they have the funds why not!”

    Indeed but the fact remains that a significant part of our already small fighter fleet will be non operational undergoing the upgrade.

  7. off topic

    France has sold to Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) in USA 63 Dassault Mirage F1 fighters for 21 million Euros.

    ATAC will use the fighters for contracted adversary training for US air force and US navy. From the 63 aircraft, 32 is in flyable condition while the rest needs to be refurbished to continue flying.

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