KUALA LUMPUR: I know I maybe putting the cart before the horse, but I believed that the RMAF new MRCA programme will be tendered soon.
Why I am saying this? Well, for instance the Boeing people visited Putrajaya recently and sounded very confident. And among the insiders, the Super Hornets are the shoe-in to win tender.
Nonetheless, this hasnt stopped the rest of the gang to try their luck. The Dassault people I am told is visiting Malaysia before the New Year although the Rafale is a very long shot for the tender.
As does the Gripen and the Eurofighter.
Yes, the Brits would want us to take 24 planes from them on a lease basis, but it remained a true long shot just like the Rafale , notably for their high prices and support cost. The Typhoon reportedly cost around USD130 million while the Rafale around USD150 to USD170 million, depending on who you asked.
It will be cheaper to lease the Typhoons but support and long term maintenance cost will remain high.
The Gripen, which the Thai has added another six is the cheapest at around USD60 million to USD80 million with the Super Hornets price hovering around USD120 million.
Personally I would prefer the F35s (around USD130 million) but then this is again beyond my pay scale to make such recommendation.
When exactly will the tender be issued? Perhaps after the 13th GE, which is rumoured to be soon and if the present government is returned to power. If there is a change of government all bets are off of course.
How many Super Hornets then? As Kamal had pointed out probably not more than 10.
And why are we talking about buying new planes when we cannot even properly fund the current fleet? My guess is as good as yours….
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