Sukhoi Squadron Now 12th, Updated

Flanker
RMAF Flanker armed with four R-77 and two R-73. It is unclear whether the picture, published by RMAF, of a Flanker operating out of Labuan in 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sukhoi squadron now 12th. RMAF chief Gen Ackbal Samad in his speech for the 62nd anniversary today announced that No 11 Squadron, now operating the Sukhoi Su-30MKM will now be nameplated as No. 12 Squadron. NO. 11 Squadron will now reverted to a new UAS squadron which was also stood up today though Ackbal did not mentioned the type or the base for the squadron apart from saying it would be delivered soon.

Gen Ackbal admitted that the move would not be a happy one for the Flanker squadron but it was done for historical reasons. The transfer of the squadron nameplate will also involved in the swapping of ranks and staffing in both squadrons. It is likely that the ranks and staffing in the Flanker squadron will remained as it is, as the CO is currently a Lieutenant Colonel with the XO as Major. The last time 12th Squadron was operational, a few years back, the CO was just a Major, so it is likely the new No. 11 Squadron CO will be a Major only with the XO a Captain and so on.

Flanker

RMAF Flanker armed with four R-77 and two R-73. It is unclear whether the picture, published RMAF, of a Flanker operating out of Labuan for the exercise.

No 12 Squadron was previously the unit that previously operated the 16 F-5E fighters at RMAF Butterworth, was stood up in 1975, it was quietly disbanded when the fighters were progressively retired in mid-2000s. No. 11 Squadron was stood up in 1969 to operate the Avon Sabre fighter jets donated by Australia before it was disbanded when the jets were retired in the 70s.

RMAF RF-5E Tiger II M29-19 at LIMA 2007.

The squadron was re-stood up in late-70s early 80s to operate the reconnaisance version of the F-5s, the RF-5Es until the squadron number and others was taken up by the Flankers. The operational F-5s and RF-5Es then took over the No. 12 Squadron until they were retired a few years ago. The No. 12 Squadron gained notoriety several years back over the action of the then CO, who was later court martialed and after being found guilty, was sacked.

It must be noted that RMAF got 10 respond from its UAV RFI which was issued out late 2018. The UAVs are

1.UAV ANKA keluaran Turkish Aerospace Industries, Turki melalui syarikat Unmanned System Technology Sdn Bhd;
2.UAV ANKA keluaran Turkish Aerospace Industries, Turki melalui syarikat Quantum Virtuality;
3.UAV Predator-B keluaran General Atomics Aeronautical, Amerika Syarikat melalui syarikat Insansiz Aircraft System Sdn Bhd;
4.UAV Wing Loong 2 keluaran China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation (CATIC), China melalui syarikat Paragon Avtech Sdn Bhd;
5.UAV Patroller keluaran Safran Electronic & Defense, Perancis melalui Safran Aerospace Defense Security Malaysia Sdn Bhd;
6.UAV CH-4 keluaran China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC), China melalui syarikat Mount Matrik Sdn Bhd;
7.UAV Watchkeeper keluaran Thales, United Kingdom melalui Thales Malaysia Sdn Bhd;
8.UAV Orion-E keluaran Kronstadt Technologies, Rusia melalui syarikat Alaf Research & Technology;
9.UAV Falco Evo keluaran Leonardo, Itali melalui Leonardo (Malaysia Office); dan
10.UAV Aurora keluaran Amerika Syarikat melalui syarikat VisionGen Group

It is likely one of the above UAV/UASs will be the one chosen by RMAF. The million dollar question is which one.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1607 Articles
Shah Alam

74 Comments

  1. Selamat hari TUDM ke 62 to all.

    My opinion on this??

    See marhalim, it can be done! But this is really not fully thought of.

    IMO the most important historically is to renumber the 22 Skn into a more proper 1 Skn or even 8 Skn.

    The MKM should remain the 11 Skn. The 12 Skn number plate should be kept for future 5th Gen MRCA. UAV squadron could carry other former fighter squadron nameplates like ex skyhawk and hawk 9 Skuadron, or even the 17 Skuadron MiG-29. Also why not use the helicopter squadron nameplates like the 3 Skuadron or 7 Skuadron for UAVs?

    Renumbering an operational skuadron flying our most advanced fighters into a UAV squadron will do badly for the morale of TUDM personnel. Seriously what are they thinking???

    Reply
    Of course it could be done but its administrative one,

  2. “did not mentioned the type or the base for the squadron apart from saying it would be delivered soon.”
    Well that went under the radar. IIRC I don’t think Marhalim have reported that we had bought any UAS. There was mention in DWP and before this the CAP55 plans to acquire this capability but there wasn’t any tenders or discussions or whatnot. This isn’t related to the recently received ScanEagles, right?

    Reply
    No, the ScanEagles are to be operated by the RMN

  3. “The transfer of the squadron nameplate will involved in the swapping ranks and staffing in both squadrons. It is likely that the ranks and staffingin the Flanker squadron will remained as it is, as the CO is currently a Lieutenant Colonel with the XO as Major. The last time 12th Squadron was operational, a few years back, the CO was just a Major, so it is likely the new No. 11 Squadron CO will be a Major only with the XO a Captain and so on

    What is this business about? Why must TOE change just because a unit is renumbered or rotated in place? Are the ranks and posts in a unit written in stone?

    “Gen Ackbal admitted that the move would not be a happy one for the Flanker squadron but it was done for historical reasons. ”

    Both 11 and 12 have long histories. I see very little difference in their lineage and thus very little point in moving the Flankers from one to another.

  4. “did not mentioned the type or the base for the squadron apart from saying it would be delivered soon.”

    Soon? No tenders and award given out and suddenly it the UAV is “soon”?

    It would be a nightmare if the senior 11 Skn is suddenly operating a lowly UAVs like the Scaneagles from a Su-30MKM.

    I would really prefer TUDM to operate at least a MALE UAV in the shape of something like the Bayraktar TB2. But as it is right now, there is no RFQ, tenders or even awards given out for such a thing. This makes the skuadron renumbering announcement even more demoralizing for all those involved, and to those who are looking on the side like me.

  5. On the MALE UAVs, I think both of the 2 Chinese tenders for surely will not be chosen due to current south china sea development.

    Aurora Orion from US definitely have long endurance of 5 days but none is in operational use.

    Falco is currently being operated by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The falco evo is a larger version having 22 hours endurance. Price unknown

    Orion E from Russia have endurance of 24 hours. Though buying anything from Russia may lead to CAATSA from US. Price unknown

    Watchkeeper is developed from Israeli UAV and its development involves Elbit systems of Israel. We will unlikely be buying this.

    Patroller has endurance of up to 30 hours and will enter service with France in the near future. France bought 14 units at $24million each

    Predator B (or officially MQ9A Reaper) is used by US, UK and Italy. Endurance up to 30 hours. Can carry Hellfires, JDAM, Paveway II and Brimstone. Estimated cost is $30million each

    Anka from Turkey have endurance of 24 hours currently operated by Turkey. Tunisia bought 6 units for $40million each.

  6. UAV ?, tell me if The Predator, Wing Loong, Reaper or Anka to be delivered by RMAF. This would be good boosting our Air forces.

  7. @ marhalim

    ” Of course it could be done but its administrative one ”

    Why i have always said that you need to think carefully about the history of skuadrons before assigning them for new aircrafts.

    Ironically they are mentioning about “history” when changing the UAV squadron to 11 Skn, but conveniently forgetting about “history” when they created the 22 Skn for the A400M!

    Seriously I cannot see a good reason on why they are doing this now for the UAV skn, and why didnt they do the same for the A400M skn.

  8. @ luqman

    Why list all the expensive one while leaving out the one that is affordable for our small budget?

    http://www.insider.com/turkey-drones-syria-russia-wont-confront-directly-2020-3

    While Turkey guards the exact cost of producing the Bayraktar TB2 as a state secret, it sold 12 drones and three ground command centers to Ukraine last year for $69 million. At less than $6 million per drone, the TB2 is about a third of the cost of the similarly capable US produced Reaper MQ-9, which retails for US allies at about $16 million a piece.

    http://english.iswnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/%D9%BE%D9%87%D9%BE%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A8%DB%8C%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B1-Bayraktar-TB2-en.jpg

    http://idsb.tmgrup.com.tr/ly/uploads/images/2020/03/05/23825.jpg

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/DY-vZouW0AAY1pU.jpg

    @ haffizz

    If what you say is true, it is truly a disservice to the 11 Skn history by removing the high end Su-30MKM and replacing it with a lowly UAV.

  9. Politics will play a part but apart from that, technical performance and unit costs; we also have to take into account operating costs – this will vary from system to system; as will the costs of spares. Ideally what we get will also come along with a spares package.

    Each system will have its own merits but ultimately it’s how we operate what we get alongside whatever else we have and the needed C3 set up.

    The Turks are a good example of a operator which has progressed from one with basic to tertiary UAS capabilities. At one point, when they first started using UASs against the Kurds; they lacked the proper command set up to deal with time sensitive occasions; things have changed – targets detected by Ankas have been relayed and engaged by F-16s within minutes.

    Hafizz,

    No it’s not a upgraded Aludra because the requirement is for a MALE with superior range and operating altitude to anything a local company is able to offer.

  10. If cost is a concern, what about 2nd hand Predators. Many would have been retired to the Boneyard so likely there are ample units for reuse.

  11. As for uav/uas i’ll say we should either go for the premium sky/sea guardian or like … said the tb2..bayraktar also got hale uav in akinci..can consider that in the future..

  12. A very interesting book on the subject of UASs is “Kill Chain: Drones and the Rise of High-Tech Assassins” (Andrew Cockburn).

    Lots of interesting stuff here and good analysis. He also talks about issues with U.S. systems and how expensive they are to maintain as well as inherent problems – despite all the high tech technology – encountered with UASs.

  13. I recommend multirole UCAV, the Boeing Loyal Wingman, others than that I suggest Turkish Anka.

  14. MQ-8 is the likely suitable candidate due to current situation in SCS as well as it’s combat proven

  15. Marhalim,
    The UAV, could this be from the sidelines MoU at last year KL Summit? Remember, there were this MoU between a local company and Baykar but we’re puzzled then on the MC statement of cooperation in building human capital, knowledge sharing and technology transfer of UAV and services.

  16. @…

    “… the TB2 is about a third of the cost of the similarly capable US produced Reaper MQ-9, which retails for US allies at about $16 million a piece.”

    Comparing the TB2 and the Reaper is like comparing F16 with an F15. The price difference is huge, but so does the payload and the speed. No doubt the TB2 could loiter for longer, but the ability to bring more ordnance and have it standby in the air is a big advantage. It also affect the mission planning, just like the very much talked about “2 x LIFT/LCA can never do the job of 1 MRCA”.

    Since we’re on the UAV, I’d suggest we get the Reaper, at the same time also get the maritime version for maritime surveillance. But of course I know all these are again just dream, much like I dream about us getting the F-15SA spec.

  17. On the 62 anniversary of the founding of TUDM, plenty of questions remain to be answered such as

    – Is the nuri retirement is without replacement? what is going to happen to 3 Skn and 7 Skn?

    – How is the CN235 MPA conversions going forward? Will the B200T mpa retired, sold off or passed to MMEA?

    – Updates of the new ground air defence radars.

    – LCA/LIFT updates and timelines.

    – With the retirement of MiG-29, do we still have our standing QRA mission?

    – MALE UAV program updates

    But unfortunately what we got is an answer to a question that nobody asks. A controversial renumbering of the existing operational MKM skuadron.

    @ hornet lover

    Dont bring your dreams to the discussions. Bring something that has a chance of possibly getting into our air force fleet.

  18. btw i am not the one who compared the TB2 and the reaper. it was the turkish writer of the article that i quoted.

  19. UAV is the future.
    There is no need to look far far away. Our neighbour, indonesia, already built a prototype of MALE UAV and it is designed to be UCAV. It is a promising one. Lets talk to them, join them, and build it locally.

  20. I reckon it’s going to be ANKA S. There is the possibility of upgrading to the Aksungur later. Otherwise get a swarm of DJI Mavic 2!

  21. @ romeo

    Indonesia had just build a mockup of a MALE UAV, not even a prototype yet.

    For MALE UAV, IMO what we should do is to buy one, and familiarize ourselves in operating one, and knowing the limitations of operating a MALE UAV. If we in the future sees a need of say 2-3 squadrons worth of MALE UAV, then we can look into building one locally. Not having operational experience of MALE UAV will cause a lot of impossible requirements and mistakes when trying to design and build your own MALE UAV.

  22. Hornet Lover – “Since we’re on the UAV, I’d suggest we get the Reaper”

    Doesn’t matter what we get. What matters is that we put to good use whatever we get by having the right C3 set up and integrating the use of our UASs with other assets.

    Reaper will be great to get as its has a NATO compatible data link (like Link 16 we’re placing on our figures and other stuff we operate); assuming we can afford to buy and maintain it. Ultimately it’s unlikely … Also, for our specific needs do we need the likes of Reaper?

    We’re only going to start off with 2-3 so it’s more reason why we need to ensure we get the right fundamentals in place. Furthermore it will be a RMAF asset and we need to ensure info/intel obtained can also shared or made available with others; with minimal delay caused by service or bureaucratic issues.

    Like the Sings who started off having their UASs RSAF operated but who later transitioned to a UAV command as they got better performing systems and acquired tertiary capabilities; we should do the same in the coming years.

  23. BTW

    the secret sauce for a successful uav is not building them. that is the easy part. it is designing or integrating a good and robust control system. system with redundancy, system that can still fly on its own when datalink is lost intermittently. can autonomously takeoff and land. not affected by gps jamming. have alternative datalinks if one fails.

  24. Luqman- “ Can carry Hellfires, JDAM, Paveway II and Brimstone. Estimated cost is $30million each“

    Never mind the procurement costs. It’s operating cost is a put off for us; almost comparable to a single engine jet. Nice to focus on procurement cost but we also have to factor in how much something will cost to operate for the duration of its service life.

    As it stands we have no requirement for an armed platform. Neither do we have the needed ROE set up in place.

  25. The Americans are able to do what they do is not only because of their UASs per see but also because they have a comprehensive high tech, manpower intensive C3 set up in place to enable UAS operations can be conducted globally and on a high tempo.

    For us; my main concern is not what we buy but how we utilise what we buy and the C3 set up – without that in place it matters not what we buy.

    A concern for me is also the possibility of in service rivalry and parochialism (still prevalent – especially when each service is fighting for funding) being an obstacle or a hindrance.

    Which is why I’ve been pressing the need for a UAV Command (one not staff bloated with the wrong people and riddled with bureaucracy) in the coming years as we mature as a UAS operator. The keyword is “jointness” and note “jointness” to maximise the efficacy of what we have; especially given that what we have is limited: as are other resources.

  26. To get the most out of a UAV is the real time intelligence that it can gather n transmitted almost real time to the control center.
    But gathering info is just the easy part. This info must be passed on in a timely manner to other or concerned services to be useful.

    For this to happen a combined UAV info center must be set up n manned 24× 7. All info gathered to be transmitted to higher command for instant decision

  27. @…
    The thing is marhalim didnt mention the TB2 in the list. Personally i also feel that it is the right MALE UAV for RMAF. Multiple times cheaper than Predator B and Anka while doing the exact same job and combat proven, what else you would need?. Ukraine bought 12 units at $5.75million each. It would be crazy if mindef and RMAF didnt choose it

    Reply
    It is likely Bayraktar did not have a Malaysian agent at that point hence it did not responded to the RFI. Since then it had I believed culminating in the visit to its plant in Istanbul by Tun M last year before or after he visited TAI plant. Even if the visit was not coordinated by a local agent it is likely they will have one or a couple now. I don’t think our tenders will exclude any company which didn’t respond to the RFI

  28. I am eager to find out what LCA will we get. My money is on FA-50 for few reasons.

    – It uses a variant of our Hornet’s GE F404 hence commonality and spare parts benefits to some extent
    – Priced competitively with other offers while having supersonic capability
    – Can be configured with RWR and Link16 that will enable to share data with our Hornets
    – Can use LITENING and Sniper targeting pods as well as ALQ200K jammer pod
    – KAI is still doing integration of AMRAAM
    -ROKAF may integrate KEPD350 ceuise missile (500km range)
    – Can opt for other radar (still dont know which one can we choose hopefully AESA version of Gripen C radar)

    Two squadrons of 12 each should be enough to replace our hawks and F5E. FA-50 should be configured with as amny EW capability as we can afford. Maximum price should be $35million each after configured for RMAF. My other option is Gripen C new/refurbished with all EW capability. This maybe the most expensive option but can be cheaper if combo with Erieye AWACS. Finland was offered 2 Globaleye for almost free included with 64 Gripen E/F deal.

  29. Yes for Malaysia, most of our UAV operations will revolve around ISIR (Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance). There wont be a need of us to do killings and attacks with UAVs for a foreseeable future.

    As for our C3 setup, I believe we have been practicing this with our UAV operations during MCO, which involves both the Police and Military flying UAVs, and passing intelligence to the nearest ground operating units in near real time.

  30. Mr M..

    How about Tijan Galaxy Consortium that already signed some kind of mou with bayraktar late last year..You’ve report it on turkish delight part 2..

  31. Hopefully we don’t have to pay for the development and integration of a different radar for FA50 if we choose that LCA. We still haven’t finished paying for development costs of the Gowind frigate product for DCNS to sell to other countries like Egypt. Also have to think about upgrading SU30MKM non-Israeli components. Let’s allow other countries to pay for the development of new products since out budget for new assets is so ciput.

  32. Luqman – On your FA 50 package pipe dream I think you can forget about getting the LITENING pod as it is developed by Rafael, an Israeli firm.

    AESA radar integration on FA 50 is subjected to prior approval from Lockheed Martin as the US firm vetoes any new integration on the KAI platform.

  33. Enck – “ allow other countries to pay for the development of new products since out budget for new assets is so”

    And as far as possible we have to avoid getting something that necessitates the need for costly integration and certification in order for something to meet our operational requirement.

    The use of “drones” during the MCO was in a benign environment using short range systems with modest capabilities involving the sharing of data/imagery with command centres/posts on the ground. A lot of the stuff was also shared via radio.

    When the MALEs actually enter service they’ll be required to share stuff with assets; whether on the ground or as sea and those assets will be from another service – communications involving assets from different services still remains an issue as are common operating procedures.

    If a RMAF UAS detects something of interest say 25NM off Tiioman; how will it be shared with a RMN or a MMEA ship located nearby? Even if it involves sharing stuff with an MPA (from the same service); can we do it with minimal delay? How many layers will it have to go through before it gets to those who should get it? It’s way early days for a “UAS Command” but ideally the RMAF UAS squadron will also have MMEA, RMN and army liaison people attached.

    Yes Also, granted that those actually operating the UAS will know their trade but this might not apply to the next level up. It’s not uncommon for officers to be placed in HQs for reasons other than merit ….

  34. Luqman – “ My other option is Gripen C new/refurbished with all EW capability””

    It goes without saying that whatever we buy will have some level of EW capability. That is not the concern however. The concern is us progressively upgrading/updating the EW we do have.

    On the KA-50 the good news is that the OEM is integrating more and more stuff on it. This is in contrast to only a few years ago when the KA-50 could on paper be integrated with various things if a customer desired. Personally, when the times actually comes, I think we’ll select something else.

  35. The RMAF’s anniversary video shows what I believe to be a Harpoon launch. I’ve never seen this before.

    Reply
    Yes, the Hornet is also seen carrying a Maverick. It was fired at low level, as one can see an island in the background

  36. There were paper plans in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s to have Litening produced by Zeiss in Germany to circumvent the Israeli angle. As part of the plan some optics made by Zeiss would have been fitted. Nothing came out of it.

  37. It is increasingly difficult to avoid Israeli origin equipment in defence.

    For example even our F/A-18D has the JHMCS and TALD.

    JHMCS is a collins-elbit joint venture product, while TALD is also build by an israeli company. BTW Litening is now also built by Northrop-Grumman, and all of German and all saab gripen litenings are actually supplied by Zeiss.

    Good news is we are seeing more capable products coming out of Turkey and Korea. So that is also an option, although many korean products also have israeli origins.

  38. @Melayu Ketinggalan
    I never did say we should get LITENING pod as i only stated it as an option offered. We can get Sniper pods instead of LITENING. Any kind of Integration on FA-50 need to go through US first. Apparently APG-79 AESA radar can be intergrated into FA-50, it is the same radar offered to us for our Hornets some time ago albeit a smaller version than on Super Hornet. Each cost $3.3 million.

    @Azlan
    Yes indeed all fighter have EW capability to a different extend. But we do know that Gripen EW is quite powerful so that it even beat F15, F16 and Typhoons in Red Flag exercises. And i dont think American pilots would hold anything back against their opponents even if the opponent is their ally. Even a Typhoon pilot did say Gripen can get dangerously close to Typhoon before being spotted.

    Reply
    Gripen is small that is why they cannot be spotted from a distance, not because they have better EW. In a visual fight size does matter to some extent

  39. Azlan “Personally, when the times actually comes, I think we’ll select something else.”

    What candidates do you think have a better chance with us than the FA-50?

  40. @Marhalim
    Yes gripen are smaller than typhoon not by much. EW does play a role in BVR detection as one can jam enemy radar thus making him undetected for a certain amount of range. Gripen have internal defensive jammers in the tail and in the nose. Of course any aircraft can be fitted with EW jammer pods like The SAP518 on our Flankers

    Reply
    🤣🤣🤣

  41. “ But we do know that Gripen EW is quite powerful so that it even beat F15, F16 and Typhoons in Red Flag exercises””

    If that’s the case; Gripen had an EW pod that managed to disrupt the radars of “ F15, F16 and Typhoons in Red Flag exercises”.

    That’s news to me as although I know very little about EW; I know enough to confidently state that with the exception of pods carried by aircraft specifically
    optimised//configured for SEAD/DEAD or EW; like Growler or ECR; pods carried by fighters are primarily used to disrupt the seekers of radar guided AAMs; not ground based radars or onboard radars of other fighters.

    Marhalim – “. In a visual fight size does matter to some extent””

    Same reason why the F-5 abd A-4. were dangerous opponents in WVR scenarios. Hard to spot visually. In paper however; in a WVR engagement; the advantages of fighters with a small profile can be offset if their opponent has a IRST.

    As it stands since the days of Desert Storm and Kosovo; the bulk of air to air engagements have been BVR: made possible by rapid advancements in technology and wide availability of sensors and missiles. The Ethiopia/Eritrea conflict in the 1990’s may have been the last conflict involving many WVR engagements – unsurprisingly the Su-27 had a major advantage over the MiG-29.

  42. Luqman – “ Of course any aircraft can be fitted with EW jammer pods like The SAP518 on our Flankers””

    The trick is for such pods to be progressively upgraded/updated. Hard to do for airforces with limited resources on a peacetime footing.

    Also bear in mind that in EW that is no “one size fits all” solution : a EW pod may be effective against certain threats but not against others. The RMAF faces the same conundrum as others with limited resources and no local industry to fall back on; total reliance on systems originally designed by foreign OEMs to deal with specific operational requirements of others.

  43. Melayu Ketinggalan “AESA radar integration on FA 50 is subjected to prior approval from Lockheed Martin as the US firm vetoes any new integration on the KAI platform.”

    LOL where did you get that from? Lockheed is in fact a minority owner of the T-50 programme and has a vested interest in selling as many aircraft as possible, in Korea and on the export market. KAI and Lockheed Martin have a joint marketing program.

    What’s with you and your Lockheed mania?

  44. Luqman – Loving reading about your wishlist for TUDM as though we are getting carte blance to buy whatever the hell we want.

    Where did you get the idea regarding Gripen being better than other fighters, especially during Red Flag?

  45. Lets wait and see how much our govt are willing to fork out for overall LCA program or the first batch of LCA procurement and we can speculate from there..I could be wrong here but my bet is also on Kai’s LCA lineup cuz they kinda covered all RMAF’s LCA requirement for light attack and training purpose..We cant really not picking airframe that already in service with our neighbours now right?

  46. @ AM

    Actually that is true im afraid. KAI is contractually bound not to have the FA-50 equipped with better subsystem than the ROKAF KF-16. Why KAI wants the KF-16 to be retrofitted with AESA, so they can also fit them to the FA-50

    ” Korea Aerospace Industries has a very broad set of cooperation agreements with Lockheed Martin, from licenses to build and maintain the ROKAF’s F-16s, to the T-50 family’s development and international marketing agreements. One of those agreements states that the T-50 family of trainers and lightweight fighters may not be equipped with radars more sophisticated than the ones carried in the ROKAF’s KF-16s.

    That clause is what forced KAI to abandon SELEX’s Vixen 500E AESA radar for the FA-50, and select IAI Elta’s EL/M-2032 mechanically-scanned radar instead. Adding AESA radars to the KF-16s would remove those strictures, opening the door for similar additions. The result would be a $30-35 million AESA-equipped FA-50+ lightweight fighter for the global export market, which could be a strong competitor for existing F-16s at $40-55 million each. It could even affect broader F-35 exports (currently $120 million per), thanks to its combination of advanced capabilities and traditional lightweight fighter price. ”

    @ melayu ketinggalan, Luqman

    The Gripen isnt a better fighter than many out there. The advantage is that the gripen has a better situational awareness and data sharing compared to many fighter fleets outside of USAF. If you can equip any other fighter to have the same situational awareness (which actually depends a lot on the ERIEYE AWACS and the datalinks), the gripen will have its advantage wiped out.

    The problem with Gripen articles and advertisements is that Saab likes to boast advantages of different Gripen configurations and make it look like it is capable to do all that at the same time. The advanced EW capability? It is only planned on the Gripen E. The supercruise? only on lightly loaded Gripen C on the coldest of Swedish winter. Full weapon load? Then it can only go to bomb a location outside of its airbase. Full range? Only with 3 droptanks and a pair of missiles.

  47. Thank you for feedbacks regarding EW.

    @Azlan
    Yes internal jammers are mainly for self defence much like ALQ214 on Super Hornets but somehow do have limited performance in jamming a fighter radar. Jamming pods are more powerful so that it can protect more aircraft other than itself (wider coverage area).

    @Melayu Ketinggalan
    I dont know wether is that a sarcasm or not but still thanks. What i said i think is doable with our current budget as im not asking for typhoons rafales eagles and F35s.
    Whatever LCA we are gonna get, it must have Link 16 data link like on our Hornets.

  48. @ luqman

    SAP518 is also basically a self protection system, aimed mainly at missile radar systems. Escort jamming is only in the realm of Growlers or the SAP14 pod. The MKM can carry the SAP14, but i dont think we have bought them. Something like the HAVASOJ would also be a good fit to enhance our EW/EA capability.

    http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/gurigurimawasu/imgs/8/c/8c1c0045.jpg

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/D1s96PvWkAApv4u.jpg

    Yes your idea for FA-50 is workable. As for Link 16, I dont think any of our platform has it right now, but it should be in our NCO plan to get the link 16. As it is right now, our fighters can exchange data through the software defined radios fitted to them, but it is not as secure as the Link 16.

  49. Gripen is a great aircraft but on a platform level it can’t be claimed to be superior to anything. In fact nothing can in this day and age. One of its selling point’s is that it’s cheaper and less resource intensive to operate compared to larger twin engine platforms. It was originally designed for Swedish requirements; to be operated from makeshift airstrips and maintained by conscripts. As Gripen is upgraded and fitted with more things it naturally becomes more expensive but it’s still an attractive solution for air arms that don’t want to invest in the resources that go into maintaining a larger platform.

    All marketing/promotional literature is intended to extoll the virtues of a particular product whilst minimising or not giving and indication at all to any limitations or deficiencies – to be expected. The trick is to always read between the lines and look for what’s not mentioned as opposed to only what is.

    Evaluating any fighter’s combat effectiveness has to take into account that that fighter will be operating as part of a networked environment; its ability to perform is dependent not only on its onboard sensors but also in input provided by other assets; whether a AEW platform, ground based radars or other fighters.

    Just like how a radar on a ship is a dead giveaway in that it shows everyone where a ship is; same goes for a fighter’s radar : passive launches from fighters with no sensors switched on; with input from other fighters some distance away – via data link – is the way to go and was performed by the Dutch F-16 (radar malfunctioned) which took out a Fulcrum in Kosovo.

  50. Luqman,

    As what I mentioned in an earlier post : “ the exception of pods carried by aircraft specifically
    optimised//configured for SEAD/DEAD or EW; like Growler or ECR; pods carried by fighters are primarily used to disrupt the seekers of radar guided AAMs; not ground based radars or onboard radars of other fighters”

  51. Si-27s/30s can be fitted with a Russian data link that enables the sharing of data but the lack of any antennas (seen in Russian aircraft which have them) indicate the MKMs didn’t have them.

    As part of the NCO programme it has been a longstanding priority to fit the MKMs and Hornets with Link 16 and also hopefully the MPAs in the future. The MPAs should also be able to “talk” with RMN ships which currently have Link Y and 11.

  52. @ azlan

    MKM does not come with the russian data link. But we can transfer data through the SDR radio. While it is not officially mentioned (because of opsec or whatnot), the capability is actually there.

    http://scdn.rohde-schwarz.com/ur/pws/dl_downloads/dl_common_library/dl_brochures_and_datasheets/pdf_1/M3AR_bro_en_0758-1970-12_v0501.pdf

    AFAIK all of our current MPA and TLDM helicopters has link Y and link 11 capability, which is used for amongst other things for OTH targetting.

  53. @…
    Marhalim reported that our Hornets are going to get datalinks “the aircraft are also expected to be fitted with new cockpit displays, a tactical datalink and associated hardware.” https://www.malaysiandefence.com/oz-maintenance-work-for-hornets/
    Could that be a different datalink other than Link 16?

    @Azlan
    Thanks for clarifying that up. So we better buy at least self protection jammer for our LCA. Some examples are Aslesan MEHPOD Korean ALQ200k though the korean one is very old tech. $2-3 million pod that increase chances of survival for our jets is a must IMO. SAAB does offer a Growler style pod called EAJP but we still dont know how expensive it is.

    @Melayu Ketinggalan
    Apprently marhalim wont let me share my sources with you. I apologize for that.

  54. @ Luqman

    The keyword is going to get datalinks. So not yet gotten them. Most probably it would be Link 16. Link 16 actually needs a separate hardware for it to function.

  55. Link Y was included in the Lynx contract to enable OTHT for the Laksamanas. Certification tests were only completed after all 6 were delivered and there were some delays caused by technical issues. Link Y also enables imagery to be steamed live to the CICs of the Lekius.

    Link 11 is used more for the exchange of data from ship to ship and ship to shore. The Beechcrafts are not fitted with any data links.

  56. Luqman – “Could that be a different datalink other than Link 16”

    No.

    Luqman – “So we better buy at least self protection jammer for our LCA””

    Ideally it would be something that has already been certified for use with whatever LCA is selected.

  57. – AMARCOS is offered with various things (since which can be but subject to an order has not been integrated and certified) but what it actually comes with when delivered to a customer, varies. The Beechcrafts do not have a data link.

    – The FACs have no data links. They don’t even have fully functioning search radars (replaced with basic commercial off the shelf ones) ; a lot of the stuff that originally came with them are no longer functional. The Spicas were delivered with a Swedish data link but those are long gone.

    – Not all “large” RMN ships have Link Y and 11. There are some with only Link Y but not 11. Data links are also used sparingly due to costs.

  58. Sorry. But why is Malaysia so fixated that we should not buy Israel?. The middle East Countries now have no qualms of dealing with them. Indonesia bought their skyhawks with extended tailpipes from Israel. Many items are from Israel. By refusing to deal with them , our choices are so much less n they do produce some superb electronics.
    Its time for malaysia to change and to be friends or at least not the enemies enemies wih anyone.
    Sorry if I offend anyone

    Reply
    It’s the Palestinian issue, Lee. Some people even think that the state should not exist at all. I am of the opinion that the choice is unfeasible now, Israel should co-exist with an independent Palestinian state. But even that option is not entertained by Israel. So we are left with the status quo

  59. All of our frigates, corvettes and FAC has Link 11, as link 11 is a basic datalink protocol to share only radar data coordinates with a maximum of 61 participant over normal analog radio tranceivers. This radar data coordinate sharing is what enables OTHT missile firings.

    The more advanced Thales Link-Y is installed on the Lekiu, Kasturi, laksamana and Kedah classes.

    Link 11 is a really basic data protocol system that can run on 1960s hardware (even things like whatsapp is a multitude more advanced data protocol system), it is inconceivable that they cannot have this function included with AMASCOS when it was retrofitted to TUDM B200T.

    http://www.anmb.ro/buletinstiintific/buletine/2016_Issue2/MES/317-322.pdf

  60. “it is inconceivable that they cannot have this function included with AMASCOS when it was retrofitted to TUDM B200T.””

    I never said they “cannot”. What I did say is that what eventually goes into AMARCOS is dependent on the customer and that our MPAs do not have data links that would enable them to be networked to other assets. The sharing of stuff is done via voice transmission.

    The FACs don’t have have Link 11 or any other data link that would have enabled the sharing of stuff or OTHT.

  61. P.S.

    Even if the Beechcrafts have data links; who would they be sharing or communicating with via data link? Not with RMN ships because we haven’t reached that level of “jointness” and not with any costal radars we have.

    The AMASCOS mission suite certainly does have provision for data links to be included; if the said customer/user specified it.

  62. Lee “Its time for malaysia to change and to be friends or at least not the enemies enemies wih anyone.”

    Everyone knows our policy on Israel hurts us more than it hurts them. But government and society are indifferent to the armed forces as a whole, how can we expect them not to be indifferent to the effects of their chosen policy? Even if we became friends with Israel tomorrow, things wouldn’t improve as long as that attitude doesn’t change.

  63. Lee – “ or at least not the enemies enemies wih anyone.”””

    We are not ‘enemies” with Israel. Our position is that Israel must abide by UN Resolution 242 which calls for the immediate withdrawal of land taken in 1967.

    Also, if we officially recognise Israel; which Israel do we recognise : the one with pre 1967 borders or the one with its present borders which includes land illegally occupied in total violation of international law?

  64. My comment on a former DM saying we are ready to send the armed forces to Israel has been censored.

  65. “Also, if we officially recognise Israel; which Israel do we recognise : the one with pre 1967 borders or the one with its present borders which includes land illegally occupied in total violation of international law?”

    The idea is a non starter in today’s Malaysia. That said, there is nothing to stops us or any country from specifying that they recognise the Israel within pre-1967 borders, or not saying they we recognise at all.

    I see no harm in whether we recognise Israel or not. But there is great harm in being so concerned with the issue. I hope to see the day when this sideshow loses its outsized importance.

    Even the Palestinians said they don’t mind if we recognise Israel or not. Our PMs have repeatedly said we will only recognise after the Palestinians have their state. That should be all there is to it.

  66. AM,

    When you officially recognise a country you are recognising it’s de facto borders.

    As I said: if we officially recognise Israel; which Israel are we recognising : pre or post 67 borders? It’s for the sane reason although many countries have unofficial contacts and dealings with Israel; there are no unofficial ties or recognition.

    AM – “That should be all there is to it”

    That, no offence is being simplistic. Land originally intended for a future Palestine is shrinking. Illegal settlements – for
    Jews and Jews only – ate rapidly expanding on land Israel doesn’t own. For me this is has got nothing to do with religion (my best friends in university were Israeli) but about what’s right and wrong.

  67. AM – “Everyone knows our policy on Israel hurts us more than it hurts them””

    Fine. I’m not disputing what you’re saying but I’d appreciate it if you could explain further.

    How exactly does it “hurt” us more? Will the MAF be able to get hardware or technology from Israel which it can’t from elsewhere? Will Israeli companies invest in Malaysia or will Israel become a new market for Malaysian products?

    Thailand and Singapore have official relations with Israel. In what way would their relations with Israel (either in the military field or other areas) similarly benefit us?

  68. AM – “Even the Palestinians said they don’t mind if we recognise Israel or not”

    No. Not exactly. Years ago the PLO stated that it was up to us whether or not establish relations with Israel.

    The Israeli/Palestine problem is an issue close to the hearts of many here (of course religion plays a part and many can’t differentiate a Zionist between a Jew and an Israeli) – one could also point out (rightly so) that we should adopt a similar position on Tibet, Xinjiang and the Rohingyas but it is what it is…..,

  69. “I’m not disputing what you’re saying but I’d appreciate it if you could explain further. How exactly does it “hurt” us more? Will the MAF be able to get hardware or technology from Israel which it can’t from elsewhere?”

    Well, there will be situations when there is either no alternative to Israeli systems and components (which we quietly accept) or when alternatives have to be developed at cost to ourselves (not saying that we ought to have pursued the MKM, but we had to reinvent the wheel in removing the Israeli content already integrated in the MKI.) I imagine that when stuff breaks or we otherwise need support, it is easier to get it from a country that we are at least willing to talk to, whose people can visit us without first obtaining some exceptional level of permission.

    “That, no offence is being simplistic. Land originally intended for a future Palestine is shrinking.”

    Yes, I should have elaborated. By “that should be all there is to it,” I meant that the issue does not deserve such centrality in our local politics. I was not referring to our accepting a Palestinian state regardless of what the Palestinians are left with. We can register our opposition to Israel’s actions, but not let them get in the way of our own interests. In any case, to go further and damage our interests does nothing for the Palestinian cause. But I was referring to our politics. I hope that more of us can evolve the maturity to recognise and talk about this -as we do here- rather than have the current unconditional attitude to anything remotely associated with Israel. Even if there is nothing wrong with the current level of engagement, the current attitude does not reflect well on us.

    “When you officially recognise a country you are recognising it’s de facto borders.”

    I’m imagining a situation similar to what we have with China. We -and many others- have official relations with China but don’t recognise its claims in the SCS. There’s also Taiwan- we are a step short of full diplomatic relations but have no objection to doing business with them. Granted that Israel has nowhere near the economic importance to us as do these countries.

    “Will Israeli companies invest in Malaysia or will Israel become a new market for Malaysian products? ”

    Even a company from a third country, with some Israeli ownership or employees has to think about how it can go about operating here and the question of how certain people can set foot here.

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