Train to Sacheon

A model of the RMAF FA-50M Block 20 at LIMA 2023. Note the Cobham refueling probe, Sniper targeting pod and precision guided weapons. Malaysian Defence picture

SHAH ALAM: Back in July, Malaysian Defence reported that a quotation notice (QN) was published in Eperolehan to send items of the RMAF MPA project team to Italy.

On November 6, another QN was published this time to find the MTO to send the personal items of the RMAF FLIT-LCA project team to Sacheon, South Korea.

The service is for six RMAF personnel headed by a Lt Colonel and five officers – all rank Major. The project team leader was a former CO of No. 15 Skuadron which flies the BAE Systems Hawk Mk 108 and Mk 208 out of the Butterworth air base.

A graphic of the KAI FA-50PL. Internet.

Sacheon is the location of the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) plant, the manufacturer of the FA-50M of which we are getting 18. Another batch of 18 FA-50s is also under RMAF plans though it is unclear when the funding will be made available.

KAI plant at Sacheon is located adjacent the international airport and it shared the same runways. It is located some 338km south of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. It is about 90km from Busan. Based on a search on Google Maps, the KAI plant also has an outdoor museum displaying the aircraft it had manufactured in the past.

For the record, the QN for the MPA team was awarded to FGV Resources Sdn Bhd with the cost of RM293,428.
— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. Well lets see if any member of this Project Team is a future RMAF Chief; the case with the Fulcrums.

    In 2013/14 a RMN friend of mine who was attached to the Defence College went on a trip to South Korea; participating in the trip were foreign officers who were students of the college. They visited the KAI plant and the museum. Yes KAI even back then was marketing things to us.

  2. I dont think so as the current trajectory is for former Flanker pilots to become chief. Even Hornet pilots are excluded let alone a Hawk pilot.

  3. Since single seat F-50 is coming out should we go with 18 FA-50MY and 18 F-50MY?

    Single seat F-50 has increased range and payload due to WSO delete

  4. It will depend on whether RMAF wants a single seater or not. I am guessing here that their experience with the 108s will determine the outcome. Fixed the typo earlier

  5. The Hawk 200s are used a lead in trainers before pilots progress to the 100 and also for weapons training for Hornet and Flanker pilots; based on that the RMAF should have a requirement for a 2 seater F/A-50. During their last years in service the F-5Es and Bs were also used by pilots to maintain currency.

  6. To my understanding the LCA will be an all twin seater since it has dual function as FLIT & LCA.

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