Typhoons in Butterworth, 2019

A Royal Air Force of Oman Typhoon refuels from an RAF Voyager whilst two other RAFO Typhoons fly in the distance. RAF

SHAH ALAM: Typhoons in Butterworth, 2019. Four Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighters are set to arrive at the Butterworth airbase later this week to take part in the FPDA exercise Bersama Lima 2019.

The Typhoons will be accompanied by a RAF Voyager multi role transport tanker. The RAF contingent are coming to Malaysia after taking part in an exercise in Oman.

Royal Air Force and Royal Air Force of Oman Typhoons fly alongside each other over Oman. RAF

From RAF official release.

RAF Typhoon combat jets are being prepared to leave the arid desert of Oman for the tropical, humidity of Malaysia as Exercise Magic Carpet concludes this week. The two-week joint exercise has seen the jets from 3(Fighter) Squadron, RAF Coningsby operate alongside Typhoons, F-16s and other Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) aircraft following an invitation to participate by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the RAFO. Omani Typhoon pilots have also been able to sharpen their air-to-air refuelling skills with a Voyager from RAF Brize Norton.

A Royal Air Force of Oman Typhoon refuels from an RAF Voyager whilst two other RAFO Typhoons fly in the distance. RAF

Three years ago, six Typhoons were also based at Butterworth for the exercise. It is likely that this year’s exercise will be organised by the RSAF like the 2016 edition.

Bersama LIMA
The exercise area for Bersama LIMA 2019 as published on CAAS website NOTAM. Supbrow via Twitter.

I have no idea what is the plan for the Typhoons in Malaysia though more of it will be shared once the RAF contingent arrived here later this week.
Typhoon FGR4s from 3(F) Sqn depart RAF Coningsby for ExMAGIC CARPET in Oman

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam


  1. besides the FPDA exercise,it is most likely a marketing missions for typhoons?

    It depends on how you look at it, really. The Typhoons are the mainstay of the RAF nowdays. Even if they were not trying to sell the Typhoons, realistically they don’t have any other fighters to send down for the FPDA exercise

  2. Maybe they should be based in Butterworth permanently as part of the FPDA. Or an AEW, just like the Australian P8.

    They dont have the budget for this, furthermore there is no more current threat to Malaysia and Singapore to justify putting a permenant presence here. The RAAF P-8 is here as part of the Operation Gateway an Australian initiative to provide surveillance in the North Indian Ocean and SCS. It is not under FPDA, the current FPDA initiative is the HQIADS based at RMAF Butterworth.

  3. Tom Tom,

    The Brits are so overstretched as it is – they are short of almost everything and are heavily committed to the Middle East. You really think they are in a position to permanent deploy anything here?

    Also. from a political angle, do you think our government would consent to such a move? Indonesia which in the past has called for doing away with the FPDA (which was also intended to deter it) would make a fuss about it.

  4. Just a reminder that FPDA covers only West Malaysia and Singapore. It does not cover East Malaysia or other Malaysian territory. It also does not bind anyone to action in case of threat or attack.

    Not to say that other FPDA participants won’t find it in their interest to assist us if we are threatened elsewhere, just saying it as it is.

  5. In addition to providing a consultative framework in which members could decide collectively on how to respond in the event of a threat on Malaysia or Singapore; the FPDA was also intended – by our blue eyed partners – as a platform for defence cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.

    Under the FPDA a number of secondary ATC radars are networked in real time to HQIADS and in the past the only assets permanently assigned were Singapore’s HAWKs. Command has always been in the hands of a RAAF officer with a multi national staff.

    At a time when our former colonial overlords were withdrawing from the region (the “East of Suez” withdrawal) and focusing on Europe; they were more than happy for the Australians to take a lead role and to its credit Australia has played a vital role in keeping the FPDA relevant, especially during period when ties when downhill between Malaysia and Singapore.

  6. @am, wow, It also does not bind anyone to action in case of threat or attack? Really? Than what does it do ? Just for a better understanding of SOPs and better rapport? Please enlighten for those more learned. What worst,not east Malaysia included? A guy in a street asking.

  7. AZ,

    One of the very basic tenets of our foreign policy is that we will not be a part of any military pact or alliance …… This has not changed from 1957; thus it’s hardly surprising and to be expected that the FPDA does not bind anyone to assist anyone … It’s for the same reason we declined joining the short lived SEATO.

    One reason the FPDA does not include East Malaysia is because of the Philippines claim on Sabah and because including it in 1971 was too bold an undertaking for all the countries involved. Bear in mind that in 1971 when the FPDA cane into being; the Philippines was much stronger economically (KL. and Singapore were small undeveloped backwaters compared to Manila which even then was a major metropolis) and militarily; Britain. Australia and New Zealand didn’t want to sour ties with the Filipinos.

    Even when the Confrontation was declared; Australia was initially reluctant to deploy troops to Sabah (Sukarno’s pretext for launching the Confrontation is that the formation of Malaysia was a colonial imperialistic scheme) and only did so at a later stage upon strong urging by us and the Brits.

  8. Guess the Typhoon will arrive this couple of days. Arrival of RAF C-17 at Butterworth AFB posted on facebook earlier.

    I deleted your link, the page is not active anymore

  9. Azlan@So like you said, its just a consultative frame work, so it seems that both countries Malaysia and Singapore have outgrown the initiative it seems. With the outstretched british it seems its like an bi annual reunion. Thank you for clearing things up, all this while, i thought the blue eyes will come to aid of Malaysia and Singapore with their forces. If ever needed. It seems its just a talk shop.

  10. AZ – “Malaysia and Singapore have outgrown the initiative it seem”

    The FPDA has evolved over the years in that it has taken into account the changing geo political situation. Both Malaysia and Singapore still see a need for it and both welcome the training and other opportunities it enables.

    AZ -“ thought the blue eyes will come to aid of Malaysia and Singapore with their forces”

    Well you thought wrongly – it’s a core basic tenet of our foreign policy never to be part of any binding military pact/alliance. We previously declined membership in SEATO.

    Also if you think about it why would Britain, Australia and New Zealand want an agreement that compels them to come to our aid? Let’s say there had been border clashes with Thailand in the late 1970’s over the communists seeking refuge across the border or naval clashes with Vietnam when we were conducting reclamation works on Layang Layang : how would it have served the interests of Britain, Australia and New Zealand to get involved? For that matter what would have happened had there been trouble between Malaysia and Singapore ? Think about it …..

    AZ – “It seems its just a talk shop”

    In your mind maybe but in reality no. In reality there are factors why all 5 countries still see the relevance of the FPDA and why the militaries of all 5 countries see the utility in the joint training and exchanges.

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