PASIR PUTEH: The Sukhoi technical center at the Gong Kedak air base here was officially inaugurated by
RMAF Chief Jen. Roslan Saad today.
The ceremony was held barely three weeks after an audit report on the project stated that it was delayed as an inexperienced and financially unsound contractor was awarded the contract to build the facility. Read it Here
Work on the RM72 million facility started on March 24, 2014 and was certified completed yesterday (Dec 6, 2016) by the Public Works Department. According to the audit report, the original contractor, Syarikat Pembinaan Setia Jaya was replaced 10 months into the project and the work was taken over by a subcontractor, Solar Alert Sdn Bhd.
According to Roslan, the new facility – located very close to the aircraft shelters – would provide second line servicing for the Sukhoi fleet of the 11 Skuadron. The work was previously conducted at a hangar next to the flight line which were shared by the squadron and ATSC Sdn Bhd.
ATSC is a joint venture among National Aerospace & Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (the holding company for Airod Sdn Bhd), Russian Aircraft Corporation, Rosboronexport (Russia state owned arms export company) and the Malaysian Finance Ministry.
Asked to describe the size of the hangar, Roslan said it was much bigger than the old facility, “we can place up to 10 Sukhois at one time though in practice the number of aircraft requiring maintenance will be much lower than that”.
During the ceremony two Flankers were parked inside the carvernous hangar, easily the size of a regular football pitch.
Roslan also said the facility would be used to upgrade the Flankers with new capabilities though he did not mentioned any of it. This was probably the reason the facility is called the Sukhoi technical center. It is not only an MRO shop but also the hub for upgrading the Flankers.
Roslan also announced the upgrading of the Butterworth airbase air traffic control (ATC) radar to overcome obsolescence issues. The one year project will start next month. The project was conducted following the successful upgrade of the Gong Kedak ATC radar by Zetro Aerospace Corporation Sdn Bhd.
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