The paper said, citing military sources, that Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi plans on Tuesday to visit the Irkut aviation plant, producing Su-30MKI fighters for India. According to Izvestia, one such aircraft would cost Malaysia about $50 million, future maintenance included.
During the visit, the minister “may sign a contract to buy 18 Su-30MKM multirole fighters,” the paper said.
The defense minister also plans to discuss installing new missiles, including BrahMos, on the 18 Su-30MKM fighters that Malaysia received in August 2009 under the $900-million contract signed in 2003.
Malaysia’s mixed fighter fleet also includes Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum and the U.S.-made F/A-18D Hornet and F-5 Tiger in service.
The Su-30MKM is a multi-role Flanker version based on the Su-30MKI model and features a customized avionics package built to Malaysian specifications. Su-family fighters constitute the bulk of Russia’s arms exports.