The Super Flankers Are Coming!

If you read this news on May Day by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), you might have missed the biggest Malaysian Defence news in 2007, the arrival of the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Super Flanker

KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 (NNN-BERNAMA) — A total of 581 companies have so far confirmed their participation in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2007 (LIMA ’07) in December, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak says.

najib, who is also the defence minister, said about 830 firms were expected to take part in the biennial event, of which 600 were involved in aerospace and the rest in maritime activities.

He told reporters after chairing the inaugural meeting of the Cabinet Committee on LIMA ’07 here Monday that the last LIMA exhibition, in 2005, attracted the participation of 390 aerospace and 164 maritime firms.

Najib said that LIMA ’07 would run from Dec 4 to 8 with the aerospace section to be held at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre in the northern Malaysian resort island of Langkawi while Awana Porto Malai, also in Langkawi, would be the venue for the maritime component.

He said 120 aircraft and 65 ships would feature in LIMA ’07 which would have the theme “Defence Industry: Meeting Future Needs”.

He added that 488 guests from 63 countries would be invited and, for the first time, invitations would also be extended to army chiefs of several fellow Association of South East Asian Nation (Asean) members.
Some 50,000 trade and 80,000 ordinary visitors are expected at the exhibition.

Among local defence companies taking part in Lima ’07 are Airod, Satang Jaya, Zetro Aerospace, System Consultancy Services, Composite Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM), Boustead Naval Shipyard, MTU Services and Realmild.

International firms heading for Langkawi include Finmeccannica of Italy, Rosoboronexport (Russia), SAAB (Sweden), Thales (France), EADS (France), IRKUT (Russia), BAE Systems (Britain), Agusta Westland (Italy), Thyssen Krupp Marine System (Germany), Navantia (France), Armaris (France), Brahmos (India), MBDA (France) and Kongsberg (Norway). (Malaysian Defence note: Navantia is a Spanish company)

Najib said besides the exhibition, four conferences would be held on topics related to maritime issues, unmanned vehicles, aerospace and aviation, and defence procurement.

Other highlights of LIMA ’07 include a simulation on the seizure of an airfield and an aerobatics display by Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team.

Najib also said that two Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Sukhoi SU-30MKM, to be delivered in May, would demonstrate their prowess at LIMA ’07. The Russian-made fighter jets would also be involved in the airfield seizure simulation.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) ordered 18 of the war planes in a 900 million USD deal signed in 2003 in a move to modernize the Malaysian armed forces.

The Sukhoi jets will gradually replace the 14 United States-made F-5Es which have been in service for two decades, and complement the 18 MiG-29N Fucrums jets bought from Russia earlier. — NNN-BERNAMA

The picture shows an Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI. Malaysian Super Flankers will look similar apart from the roundels of course.

By placing the most important part of the story in the last three paragraph meant if it was pick-up by newspapers most probably it would be deleted. I know if I was an editor I would have done the same.

Even worse the last paragraph which stated that the Super Flanker would replace the F-5Es is also wrong. The Tiger IIs have retired a long time ago and even a tender for the remaining airframes have also been made.

The Super Flankers are basically an upgrade of the Royal Malaysian Air Force fighter fleet, which currently the MIG-29 Fulcrum and the F/A-18D Hornets. Since the Hornets are multi-role aircraft, the Fulcrum are the true fighters in the RMAF fleet.

RMAF Fulcrum have done well in service but everyone knows its biggest drawback is its short-range. Basically it is a point defence fighter.

The Super Flanker, equipped with Russian, French and South African/Swedish avionics, are also multi-role fighters like the Hornet albeit with more range, I believe that with drop-tanks and full-load of missiles, the Super Flankers have an endurance of more than three hours, much more than the Fulcrum and the Hornets.

Although it was mentioned that two Super Flankers would arrive this month, no exact date was mentioned nor how they are going to be flown here.

Based on the Fulcrum delivery, the Super Flankers would arrive in a semi-disassembled state. Do not worry Malaysian Defence will be updating the story.

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