Upgrades for the Hornets

PETALING JAYA: It appears that the two upgrades for RMAF fleet are being funded despite the reduction in the budget allocation. Hopefully the second upgrade, for arms, will come through soon.

From Boeing:

Upgrades will deliver enhanced capability for Royal Malaysian Air Force fleet to remain effective, interoperable with allies and operationally relevant

15:45 GMT, December 7, 2011 LANGKAWI, Malaysia | The Boeing Company on Nov. 28 received a U.S. Navy contract under the Foreign Military Sales Program to provide the first major upgrades for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) fleet of eight F/A-18D Hornet fighter aircraft.

RMAF F-18D Hornet

The contract covers design, development and installation of retrofit kits that will provide enhanced navigation, targeting and situational awareness. The upgrade program includes:

• GPS improvements
• A color, moving-map cockpit display
• Identification Friend or Foe Interrogation capabilities
• Addition of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System
• Maintenance and air crew training for these systems.

“These upgrades will deliver enhanced capability for the RMAF fleet to remain effective, interoperable with allies and operationally relevant for years to come,” said Julie Praiss, Boeing Global Services & Support director of Tactical Aircraft & Weapons Support. “Boeing looks forward to our continued partnership with the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the U.S. Navy to ensure that these F/A-18Ds continue to serve Malaysia’s strike and interdiction mission needs.”

The upgrades also make the RMAF’s F/A-18Ds more compatible with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which Boeing is offering to meet Malaysia’s Multi-Role Combat Aircraft needs.

The government of Malaysia ordered eight F/A-18D Hornets in 1993. Since delivering all aircraft on schedule in 1997, Boeing has been providing sustainment support for the fleet at the RMAF base in Butterworth, Malaysia. These support programs include engineering and logistics support, pilot training and technical publications.

Boeing provides life-cycle support solutions, services and upgrades for F/A-18 Hornet fleets worldwide, including for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Finnish Air Force, the Kuwait Air Force, the Spanish Air Force, the Swiss Air Force and the RMAF.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2185 Articles
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  1. not going after you, Marhalim. But i cannot resist to mumble: “news” since 2006…

    Yes but its finally here…

  2. This is the correct way to go.Its an effective platform.Lets make it even better should be the way forward.This is money well spent. Should also include night vision compatibility for its avionics and also more modern targetting pods too to make the aircrafts more lethal

    As part of the programme, they are buying six ATFLIR but since this is made by Raytheon I guess we have to wait until then…

  3. Well2, our Hornets are finally will be equipped with the AIM-9X Sidewinders. Could this be a hint that the Super Hornets have been chosen as the new MRCA programme? Let’s hope it is.

    I just can’t see why we will go for the Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen NG, or Rafale. It will only make logistics n training complicated and the SH is just a better option. A purchase of 18-24 brand new SH can giv us two squadron of 13-16 jets that been known to be the most efficient air combat platform we had ever owned.

    PS: Then mayb we can go for another 18 Su-30MKM that the Russian had been buzzing about lately, eh? That will be 4 MRCA squadrons just as targeted…

  4. YM Lee – ”also more modern targeting pods too to make the aircrafts more lethal”.

    And what ”more modern” pods do you have in mind, do they even exist yet?

  5. Still not enough mass. 8 airframes, regardless of how nicely they are equipped, are just not enough to cover even the west coast of the peninsula. Despite my reservations, Marhalim has converted me over to another 18 Su-30MKMs. Those plus enough additional new aircraft to fill out 2 more squadrons would give the TUDM the mass that it needs.

  6. what i can see,the malayland always chooses things that is glittering,but it may not necessary be gold.

  7. agreed with fareedLHS…we need mass, the critical mass of strike fixed wings is not there. 4 sqns of mrca, each to cover sarawak, sabah, east malaya, west malaya, will be just nice….

  8. Yep with should more fighter jet because the ones we have now is not enough to defend our country. We should have at least 9 squadron of fighters. Some AEW or AWACS planes. We should also have sea surveillance planes like the P3C Orion or the likes for our sea terriotary defence.

  9. Malaysian Defence Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was very clear: the key to the fighter tender is offset and technology transfer. Malaysia wants to invest its money to support the so called Vision 2020 program set to enhance the industrial knowledge, skills and the development of high technology capabilities of the nation.

  10. The important question is what condition is the planes in, what refurbishments or slep to be done, what upgrades to be added.

    Then if we are to have any impact on the enemy, we need to have a class or missiles,rockets and bombs that are manufactured locally under license.

    Otherwise very quickly , we could be firing blanks while waiting for new deliveries.

    If RMAF and the Gomen are succession, the maintenance and other works need to be done cost effectively and locally.

    Then u need to buy more planes or else the fight wud be over very quickly.

    The Typhoon is too expensive, life cycle costs.

    Wonder where and how they are going to manage this.

    We could manufacture dumb bombs and rockets locally but for missiles and guided bombs we do not have the technology to do it nor the funds to go into such capability.
    Even the dumb bombs and rockets are much cheaper to be purchased overseas due to the economic of scale.

    As for the Typhoons being expensive, technically we can’t afford to buy the other jets as well. Just look at our defence budget.

  11. The MRCA programme, could receive a boost next year with a detailed Request for Proposal for a first batch of 18 aircraft plus 18 as option

    btw I just wonder what HMCS they will use. JHMCS developed by VSI, a joint venture company formed by Rockwell Collins and Elbit.

    If its JHMCS it will be the one you mentioned!

  12. oops… anyway, re: the ‘option’. the problem is that we never follow through on the ‘option’. no money!

  13. There is rumors that we might sign for two Korean training vessels, Marhalim did you get the news?

    Unless they are buying two more training ship, that is old news Hui. The yard is the one in Sinjangkang.

  14. It’s beautiful to see how the contenders for the MRCA tried to outdo each other on the finale of the LIMA’11. Except for the Gripen, all contenders are very capable and unique in its own ways. The judgment would probably be on the electronics and the weapons they carry. The Typhoon seemed to have the leading edge but commonality sided with the Sukhoi. Although SH and Hornet looked identical but in reality it’s not. My view is for thw RMAF to acquire more Sukhois and upgrades on the Hornets and the Smokey Bandits. The final flypass at the finale of the LIMA’11 by 3 F5E, 3 Hawks and 3 Hornets had made the moment proud to be called a Malaysian. The RMAF MUST BE SUPPORTED BY ALL and BY ALL MEANS.

  15. Leithen Francis (Aviation Week) has been putting a lot of ink to paper on the RMAF this past week…

    “Malaysia: AEW&C Crucial To Our Interests In South China Sea” Aviation Week & Space Technology Dec 05, 2011, p.40

    Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt once said that when it comes to international relations, it is best to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

    Malaysia, in its relations with China, has to deal with the thorny issue of conflicting claims over the South China Sea. The Southeast Asian nation needs Chinese trade and investment, but cannot afford to be at the losing end of the stick when it comes to its sovereignty.

    …to be taken seriously Malaysia needs to be able to identify incursions in the South China Sea.

    “Malaysian Defense Minister Clarifies Typhoon Remarks” AWIN First Dec 09 , 2011

    Malaysia’s defense minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, says the news media misquoted him with regards to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s prospects in Malaysia.

    “Malaysia Looks To Grow Through Offsets” AWIN First Dec 09 , 2011

    With an eye on becoming a bigger player in the global aerospace and defense industry, Malaysia intends to use its offset requirements.

    “Airbus Military Persists With Israeli Radar Despite Muslim Head Wind” AWIN First Dec 09 , 2011

    Airbus Military’s decision to equip its C295 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft with an Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) radar system is raising questions in some parts of the Muslim world.

    Airbus Military is hoping to sell the C295 AEW aircraft to Malaysia, a Muslim majority secular state. Malaysia supports the Palestinian cause and does not recognize the state of Israel. Malaysians are forbidden from visiting Israel.

    “Malaysia Talks About Offsets” Aviation Week & Space Technology Dec 12, 2011, p.23

    Air forces rarely get what they want. Instead they get what the government determines they should have.

    Malaysia’s air force has a requirement for 18 fighters and at least two airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. The navy, meanwhile, is in need of six anti-submarine warfare helicopters. The armed services have been evaluating the technical specifications of the platforms on offer and calculating life-cycle costs. But the government looks at the bigger picture.

    Malaysia did well in the latest Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Survey, by global management consultancy A.T. Kearney, ranking 10th. But Indonesia over took Malaysia, clinching ninth place. Singapore, meanwhile, secured the seventh spot. Malaysia is aware it needs to do more to attract foreign investment. And the fact that it is preparing to spend billions on big-ticket defense items, creates an opportunity for it to do just that, by insisting on offsets that will contribute significantly to its economy.

    These are just excerpts from the articles. I hope that everyone has access and the time to read them. Before we all start pontificating on matters of which we know little, it would serve us well to read up.

    Mr Francis is trying to catch up with regional peers and pretenders since he only came into the scene earlier this year. It is a pity the air show was not as good as it was hyped to be.

  16. I don’t think any air shows are going to be as good as they are hyped to be for quite some time. $$$

  17. Ridzuan – ”Malaysian Defence Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was very clear: the key to the fighter tender is offset and technology transfer.”

    That has been the case since the early 1990’s and is nothing new. Offsets and transfers [which Dr. M loved so much] have been the main consideration when buying big ticket gear, not commonality or other important issues like readiness levels, that’s why we operate the Fulcrums, Flankers and PT-91Ms.

    Dave Malaysia – ”Then if we are to have any impact on the enemy, we need to have a class or missiles,rockets and bombs that are manufactured locally under license.”

    The problem here is economics of scale…… We bought training bombs from a company in Java for the MKMS as they we cheaper than the ‘live’ ones from Russia..

    Ashraf – ”Except for the Gripen, all contenders are very capable and unique in its own ways. ”

    Not quite true. The Gripen in it’s own way, offers a very cost effective solution, with the same results, and has to date been cleared with a larger variety of air to ground ordnance than the Typhoon and the Rafale.

  18. Like yr opinions on this.

    Just watched a Channel CI documentary on Canny Ong’s murder.
    Heard the cops,journos,police,prosecution,defence explain their side.
    This are few things that doesnt it right.

    The 2 undercover cops spotted the car with the suspect/victim in PJ. Stopped ,checked ,got thier IC’s . Saw the woman pleading for help when the suspects head was turned. The cop asks her to step out,suspect gets enraged and scolds her and speeds off.

    This is the problem ,if I am not mistaken, he shot the front tyre. Whatever he did, the cops chased and lost them. Ok now , u have the IC’s , u communicate with station, the so called C4I comm system. They shud have put the info together that this was the reported kidnapping of Canny,the blue proton tiara , women asking for help,the speeding of…..

    I mean for Gods sake, closing all routes out of pj ,nearby areas and manhunt shud have happen. He stopped along the highway to dispose of a live victim.

    I know about overworked cops but this is bread n butter of a police work,saving someone in danger.

    Thats why everytime I see the announcements and reports saying and using bombastic words like the most sophisticated and all that , reminded that its still the human factor thats using the system.

    So called C4I or whatever they call it now , this wasnt in the 90s, this happened in 2000 plus.

    The security guards apathy , cos no pride in their jobs. Lowly paid and not enough respect probably. The suspect speeds thru the car park and smashes thru the barricade, for some reason did not give then any concern,like checking the cctv ,calling the cops.

    And when the family had to beg, actually beg them to see the cctv footage after telling them of the missing person and car, is absolutely disgusting.

    What should have been guys doing their jobs right , a life cud have been saved. Then think of how many cases that do not receive the same publicity, have similar troubles.

    Apathy.No respect for self or responsibility or reaction to someones plight.


    I covered the case back then. The cops that stopped the car the first time, did not report the matter to their balai, thats why no one else knew about the stop. It was only later when the body was found, that the two cops confessed to stop the Tiara.

  19. FareedLHS,
    Indeed, not many of the local journalist dare to speak out loud or just bias towards the authorities.

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