The Long and Winding Road

SHAH ALAM: The long and winding road. In a post on the LCA, I commented that RMAF is not getting any new fighters at least until 2035. And today Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu told parliament basically the same thing. He also said in the near future, RMK12, the plan is to concentrate on the procurement of the MPA, UAV and the LCA.

He was answering an oral question on the proposal from Russia to buy back the MIG-29s for two squadrons of MIG-35s.The proposal was made only recently. As usual the answer to the question is convoluted but in the end he said the proposal was still being considered. Again as it must be noted that the plan to sustain the Sukhoi Su-30MKM and Boeing F/A-18D Hornets are part of the RMAF Cap 55 plan which has been confirmed in the soon to be published, Defence White Paper. The DWP supports the CAP 55 plan and it is likely that the Russian swap proposal will not be entertained though it must be noted stranger things had happened before.

RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM seemed to hang in the air at the Singapore Airshow 2018

From Air Times. I will post the original transcript from the Hansard once its available usually tomorrow.

Two Hornets flies in formation with a Flanker over South China Sea. Note the ACMI pod on the wingtip rail of the near Hornet. RMAF picture

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 Nov – Menteri Pertahanan, Mohamad Sabu menyatakan perkhidmatan jet pejuang F/A-18D Hornet dan Sukhoi SU-30MKM akan dikekalkan sehingga tempoh Rancangan Malaysia Ke-13

“TUDM akan terus mengekalkan pesawat pejuang F/A-18D Hornet dan Sukhoi Su-30MKM untuk tempoh RMK-12 dan RMK-13,” jelas Mohamad ketika sesi soal jawab di Dewan Rakyat.

RMK merupakan rancangan pembangunan kerajaan Malaysia untuk tempoh 5 tahun. Tempoh RMK-12 adalah pada tahun 2021-2025 manakala RMK-13 adalah pada 2026-2030.

Terdahulu, Mohamad menjelaskan perolehan pesawat rondaan maritim (MPA) dan pesawat tanpa pemandu aras altitud sederhana (MALE UAV) adalah keperluan yang diutamakan pada masa kini.

Beliau menambah, Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia pada ketika ini memberi fokus kepada perolehan aset pertahanan bercirikan kawalan, rondaan sempadan dan rondaan sempadan maritim bagi menghalang pencerobohan asing.

“Keperluan terkini adalah perolehan MPA, Male UAV dan pesawat keupayaan tempur ringan serta latihan juruterbang melalui program Light Combat Aircraft (LCA),

“Walaupun perolehan jet pejuang baharu tiada dalam perancangan Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM), Kementerian Pertahanan masih meneliti tawaran kerajaan Rusia dari pelbagai aspek termasuk aspek ekonomi dan kewangan yang perlu diteliti,” ujarnya

Selain daripada itu, beliau turut menegaskan aspek penyelenggaraan dan baikpulih (MRO) diambil kira dalam sebarang perolehan jet pejuang pada masa hadapan.

Pada masa yang sama, beliau menjelaskan bahawa pihaknya berusaha sebaik mungkin bagi memastikan pesawat sedia ada mempunyai penyelenggaraan yang baik bagi menjamin tahap kesiapsiagaan pesawat.

Beliau menambah, tahap kesiapsiagaan jet pejuang Sukhoi Su-30MKM telah mencapai tahap 75% dan diselenggarakan oleh syarikat tempatan, ATSC dengan perbelanjaan sebanyak RM 200 juta setahun.

Menyentuh tawaran oleh kerajaan Rusia, beliau menyatakan pihak kerajaan masih meneliti tawaran tersebut.

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 for the exercise.

With no money allocated for the Su-30MKM and Hornets replacement in RMK13, it is likely that their replacements would only be commissioned into service, at the earliest, in the 2035 to 2040 period. I was told to ensure that the MKM remained in service until that time, the government planned to double the money for its MRO for the next two RMKs. The Hornets could be supplemented by the ex-Kuwaiti ones if the deal to buy them could be implemented, which at the moment, remained a long shot.

— Malaysian Defence

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