KUALA LUMPUR: If you ask questions like this, you will get answer like this! BTW, the first two Sukhois did arrive at Gong Kedak airbase on June 18. Only two days later the arrival made the local press. Didnt I tell you that RMAF is publicity shy?
Aquisition Of Sukhoi Fighter Jets Part Of RMAF Modernisation Program, Najib Says
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 (Bernama) — The purchase of 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets does not mean that the nation’s security is under threat, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Najib, who is also Defence Minister, said although the nation was not under any major threat, due to prevailing uncertainties the Malaysian armed forces had to take the necessary precautions against subversive elements that could disrupt peace in the country.
“The purchase of the Su-30MKM jet fighters is part of modernisation of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in safeguarding the nation’s air space.
“This has to do with the Air Power Doctrine that outlines strategies in protecting the nation’s interest,” he added in his reply to Bernard S. Maraat (BN-Pensiangan) in the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Najib said the aim of making the Malaysian armed forces a conventional unit that was balanced, versatile and credible was the basis for a balanced force development in enhancing the nation’s defence capability.
He said this included manpower, equipment and weaponry based on the nation’s defence policy and security strategy.
He added that the defence development strategy was towards enhancing current combat and military operation capabilities as well as planning for future modernisation and security operational needs including those on a joint and interoperable basis.
To a supplementary question from Maraat on the operation manual and training in handling the Sukhoi jet fighters, Najib said the RMAF had no problems with these as the pilots were being given training.
“At the moment, four fighter jet pilots are being trained in Russia, while 117 technicians and other officers are undergoing training in India,” he said.
The agreement for the purchase of the Su-30MKM jet fighters costing US$900 million (RM3.42 billion) was officially signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Malaysia in May 2003.
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