RMAF Future; need opinions


New Member
seems that malaysian air force fighter pilots would be getting new helmets.
cant believe that helmets can be as heavy as 5 kgs.

here check out this link:


Malaysian pilots flying SU30 MKM to use IAF model of helmets

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian pilots flying the Sukhoi 30 MKM aircraft will use the Indian Air Force model of flight helmets.

"We understand the weight issue for the Malaysian flyers and the Indian Air Force SU30 MKI helmet suits their requirements," Russian Federal Service Military cooperation director Mikhail Dimitriev was quoted by a daily here.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force also took note of the French MSA Gallet LA100 flight helmet and Ulmer ECT-76VD oxygen mask as standard equipment for the 18 SU-30MKMs to replace the Russian Zsh-7AP/KM34DII sets used by the RMAF's Mig-29N fleet, the New Straits Times said.

In 2004 the RMAF complained that the Russian equipment was too heavy, the daily said.

In a high-G environment, the Zsh-7, which wieghs 2.3 kg, exerted tremendous load on the neck and spine. Added to this a helmet-mounted sight (HMS) and the helmet weighed a neck-snapping 4.8 kg, the paper said.


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  • #22
To everybody, thanks for your opinions...keep em coming...;)

I prefer the two-tier concept forwarded by aussie digger (i think) Since logistics and cost is the main issues, it's wise to keep what RMAF can use, and discard what cannot be used.

My view on the MKMs is that since it evolved from a fighter, i think the tendency of the platform is more towards air superiority with a secondary role of strike. Trade in the MiGs, which although it performed well for RMAF, it takes to much AA tanking assets on deployments due to short legs. So MKMs 2 Squadrons please. 1 squadron based in east malaysia in labuan AB and 1 in west malaysia at gong kedak AB.

On the other hand, the Super Hornets was based on a carrier based strike aircraft which will suit our need for a maritime strike force. furthermore, the SH has a secondary role of A2A. I'll say trade in the Hornets and get 1 Squadron of SH please based in kuantan AB.

In regards to training, keep our existing prop trainers (pilatus pc7s) and hawk 100 LIFT. Also the hawk 100 can be used in CAS missions in support of the Army. Trade in the hawk 200 for more hawk 100. base all this training assets at the usual AB in butterworth.

In other words, we'll be operating only 3 types of frontline combat aircraft. The MKMs, SH and Hawk for CAS.

With the extra moolah, get 1 squadron of AEW&C aircraft and 1 squadron of mpa. Sell the C-130s and get more A400Ms for transport/AAR roles.


New Member
With Malaysia's limited defence budget, I am sceptical that the RMAF can afford such high end AWACS system such as the Erieye, Wedgetail, or the E-2C Hawkeye. Isn't it more feasible for Malaysia to purchase a platform such as the CN-235 and then modify it to carry a system similar to a Thales Searchwater 2000AEW radar? I think this would be a more affordable system for the RMAF.

Awang se

New Member
Verified Defense Pro
I don't really know what the decision factor here. the rumors of SH procurement have been going for years but it's just that. once they say they've cancelled the Gong Kedak Airbase project for cost saving, then they restarted it because they found out that every other airbases in Peninsular Malaysia already reach its expansion limits. I believe malaysia are still experimenting with several different type of aircraft. After a disaster with MIG-29, Malaysian government are giving Russia a second chance with SU-30MKM, warning included. Most Malaysian pilots said they enjoy flying FA-18D, and of all the combat aircrafts in RMAF, the Hornets retain the highest operational readiness. it's true that Malaysia opted for twin engines for redundancy and reliability since the fighters were expected to patrol the offshore EEZ and oil platforms, plus the long stretch of water separating east and west Malaysia. if we don't consider that, we've bought an F-16s already. Actually RMAF have around 2-4 RF-5E, not just one. there's suppose to be a spares problem but i thought they solve that already. The RF-5E was recently being upgraded with new camera and avionics. i don't think RMAF are willing to part with this valueble tac recon assets. but, again, who knows...


New Member
I too prefer to see Malaysia use up to only 3 type of a/c for the air defence purpose, and this must be followed with numbers as well. Although the SH or Hornet family is a good a/c, lessons learned from the embargo and policing attitude of the US govn. towards the so called 3rd world countries is good enough for us to think twice about buying US military products. So SH step aside.
The best choice the Malaysian made so far regarding air power assets is the MKM. With the right size, weapon load, range and multi funtionalities of this a/c that is featured with Western avionics system has made this a/c somethin to be reckoned with. Of course 18 are not enough. Most appropriate nos. for this a/c must be around 48 the least, that can be split into 4 sqdn of 12 each, where one will be a dedicated OCU sqdn.
Another a/c of choice that should be considered is the Mig 29 SMT. With extra range and better avionics suites and weapons, this a/c can provide RMAF with the required multi role second tier sqdns. At least 36 of this MRCA will boost RMAF capabilities into a respected force.
Last one of course will be the LIFT cum light fighter/CAS a/crafts. Since RMAF has been accustomed to the Hawk and MB339A, it will be a matter of time b4 the govn decides which one between this two more recent version to be added to the inventory. With the other 2 types above nos. tally to at least 84, definitely the training requirement needs nos. as well, so 36 of the LIFT is a nice figure. My 2 cents, thank you for supporting the expansion of RMAF.


New Member

Supe said:
Indonesians really didn't have much of a choice with the U.S arms embargo - which only recently has been lifted. Much of the F16 fleet was alleged to be inoperable due to lack of spare parts. It made sense for Indonesia to look at Sukhois as alternative for a couple reasons: how long would the embargo last? Indonesians couldn't plan defence policy on the hopes that relations would get better. Even with the embargo lifted, Indonesia is still left with uncertainty as to how reliable the supply train will be from U.S. On the face of it, the Indonesians could be better off selling their F16's and buy Russian.
sure. Right now we lack at fighter units. Since U.S seems un willing to sell us some equipment for our F-16, we have to choose other partner such as russia and china. right now we're trying to replace our F-16 and Hawks with Russian made fighter. And also we planning to build carrier for our striking abillity


Banned Member
marxist_command said:
And also we planning to build carrier for our striking abillity
A carrier? :confused: First I've heard of it. All the reports I've seen indicate that Indonesia intends to keep her maritime operations geared towards combating piracy. She announced her intentions to upgrade her existing fleet of patrol vessles but never mentioned anything about a carrier. Considering security experts say "Indonesia's Navy lacked manpower and equipment and good maritime intelligence to deter maritime crime."... I think a carrier would be a bit of a jump from operating mostly 1,000t corvettes. Considering she would have no surface combatents to protect a carrier the idea is absurd if true.

Please show me anything saying Indonesia wants a carrier.


Grumpy Old Man
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
marxist_command said:
And also we planning to build carrier for our striking abillity
News to me. You do realise that the Indon Navy is currently in planning stages with the RAN and have asked for assistance in rebuilding the navy from the ground up?

There is not one indication that Indonesia is remotely interested in a carrier - in fact the discussions about force creation show a green water focus. one of the members on this board has been part of the planning team.

we know what they want for future combattants as they are asking specific questions about vessel types and have asked to be considered for some ex RAN vessels.

In addition the force structure that is being scoped is incapable of supporting a carrier.

If someone is saying that indonesia is looking at a Carrier then they obviously have nothing to do with the Govt, and they certainly have nothing to do with the Indon Navy.


New Member
Cant blame him for wanting to see his country's navy growing into a modern blue water one. Let's get back to the topic shall we.....
There's a newspaper report last week in Malaysia saying it's gonna purchase 30 PC 7 MK II. If this buy is to top up the current 7 left after 2 crashes involving this type, and also on top of the 10 signed during DSA06 recently, there would be so much for us RMAF enthusiasts to cheer with. That will bring the no. to 47 MK II. Good no. to train lots of pilots. Hopefully this will corespond with future buy of lots of fighters for RMAF. Cant wait for the announcement of the second MRCA sqdn. When will it happen?:confused:


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  • #30
soon i hope. i'm just hoping it wont be a half-hearted purchase say about 4 aircraft maybe?? according to rumour the next MRCA would be the SH. Highly probable, keep your fingers crossed or something


New Member
It appears that there will be some delay in the delivery of the Su-30MKM. The report is dated 2 May 2006.

Air force prepares for arrival of Su-30MKM

Sukhoi is preparing to deliver the first batch of Su-30MKM ground support equipment and spare parts to the Malaysian air force, ahead of delivering the service’s first six of 18 multi-role fighters early next year.

“We start to deliver ground support equipment, technical papers and training equipment by the end of this year,” deputy general director Alexander Klementiev said during the DSA 2006 exhibition last week in Kuala Lumpur. Sukhoi plans to hand over Malaysia’s first batch of six Su-30MKMs next March and Klementiev says all 18 aircraft will be delivered “within one year”.

Sukhoi and Russia’s Rosoboronexport sales agency are now also working with the air force to establish a service centre in Malaysia, which is required to open before delivery of the last fighter. Several Malaysian companies including RSK MiG-29 maintenance provider Aerospace Technology System have expressed interest in operating the new facility, but Klementiev says it will be air force-operated during a one-year warranty period, which could also be extended. “For the foreseeable future it will be operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.”

Klementiev says Sukhoi is now discussing with the air force a training schedule for its initial batch of Su-30MKM pilots and is also developing a simulator with assistance from Malaysian firm HeiTech Padu. Malaysia also last week signed a letter of intent with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics covering training of Su-30 mechanics.

Malaysia is launch customer for Sukhoi’s new Su-30MKM configuration, which features head-up and multifunction displays from Thales. Sukhoi blames Malaysia’s late selection of Thales for earlier forcing first deliveries to slip from 2006 until next year, but does not anticipate any problems with integrating the French avionics. The design bureau says it has already received parts from Thales for configuration development and tests are to take place later this year. Thales is now training Malaysian company Zetro to handle maintenance of Su-30MKM avionics, the company says. Klementiev says Sukhoi is in discussion with several customers potentially interested in acquiring a similar configuration to the Su-30MKM, including Indonesia, which is negotiating the purchase of up to 14 aircraft.

■ Rosoboronexport declines to confirm that Malaysia is discussing an attrition purchase of two MiG-29s.

There are also some other interesting news items linked to this article. The other site is not a forum so I hope it is alright to mention this. Here is the link for this article:

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New Member
if i was malaysia i would go with the Su-30MKM for its longer range that would be helpful in a possible spratly islands conflict. also pick up some mig-29s.some may say that american aircraft are better. that may be true maybe not but 1 thing for sure is that russia will not stop selling spare parts and weapons to malaysia when they need them most (a war) especially if that buyer might soon have a lot of oil. but i wouldn't just get rid of the hornets. buy lots of spare parts for them now and get some reccon equipment for them, base them near the straits of mallaca and you'll have better intel on pirates, better intel on pirates equals better preemption of pirates, better preemption of pirates equals no more pirates also if malaysia gets a airfield in the spratlys they should get some jumpjets


New Member
Yes, a potential confllict in the Spratlys was certainly on the RMAF's mind when it chose the F/A-18D and the MiG-29N. They looked at the Falklands and noted the similarities they had with the Argentinian air force (i.e. flying from mainland bases against a naval force hundreds of kilometres offshore). From that the RMAF came away with requirements emphasizing longer range, engine redundancy and increased loiter time over the mission area. I do not recall anything mentioned about weapon load.

It's been reported that the RMAF's first choice to fulfil this requirement was for 20+ F/A-18Ds. However, the US imposed too many conditions on the purchase and the RMAF ended up splitting the choice of aircraft. The MiG-29N is not an optimal strike platform so they retained the F/A-18D as part of the force to fulfill the requirements. Had the Su-30MKM been available at that time I think we would have gone for an all-Sukhoi fleet from Day 1.

I do not think the RMAF should replace the F/A-18Ds and MiG-29Ns until 2011-2015. During that period these aircrafts would be approaching their 20th year of service, there would be further improvements to the Su-30 lineage and funding would become available. I understand that during 2006-2010 there is only sufficient funding for roughly 4 attrition aircraft to the MRCA fleet.

IMHV the RMAF should not bother at this time with replacing the lost MRCAs. Rather it should utilize the funds available to replace the remaining 9 (?) Aermacchi MB-339AM with the Hawk Mk. 128. This should set them on course to a 2-tier fighter force of 4 squadrons of MRCAs built around the Su-30 lineage and 4 squadrons of LIF built around the Hawk lineage. (This is an evolving view in case you have read any of my previous posts). Hopefully, around the time the Su-30 and Hawk lineages reach the end of their development potential UCAV technology would become available to Malaysia and we should probably be moving in that direction.

There is already a Malaysian airfield in the Spratlys. It is on Layang-Layang Atoll and is officially a civilian facility. The RMAF regularly fly C-130 flights out there so I am not sure if it is necessary to go down the route of purchasing any AV-8Bs. Also, the current fleet of MRCAs is quite capable of providing air coverage over the Spratlys flying from mainland bases.
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New Member
Hi all,

to me the urgent thing that RMAF need is advanced jet trainer aircrafts. Right now RMAF is totally depending on just 6 hawk 208 for all the jet training needs. Maybe an additional newbuild hawks? Or maybe buy some secondhand ones from switzerland, or maybe the 16 hawk mk67 of the ROKAF would be available for sale once their golden eagle reaches full production?

as for the various types of fighters RMAF has, surely it would be easier if the fighter types be rationalized to just 2 or 3? to me the f/a-18, although loved by the pilots, has to go, the 8 examples are just too few, maybe replaced by additional Su-30Mkm's? the sale of the advanced hornets to allied or current users of the type could surely fee up some funds for 2nd hand trainers, and aditional Su-30's/Mig-29's.


New Member
Perhaps the training could be liaised with a program that NATO has here in Canada called the NFTC - Nato Forces Training Centre - http://www.nftc.net/nftc/en/flash/nftc.jsp. It seems to be the direction that most countries are going since actual ownership of trainers is something that countries aren't ready to spend the money on - hence why even Canada is leasing its Hawks from BAE.

As for going with the Sukhois, is that really an option given that there will always be spare parts for Hornets around the globe and then there is the opportunity to upgrade to the Super Hornet program once the classic Hornet air frames live out their life. The sale of advanced Hornets, as you mentioned, I think would actually make the country take a step back instead of forward, and that never does a country well.

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Awang se

New Member
Verified Defense Pro
AFAIK the malaysian FA-18 came without it's EW packages. somehow the congress refuse to let boeing sell this vital equipments to Malaysia. So what we have here is a highly capable but highly vulnerable airframes. this might be why Malaysia stop the purchase short of 8 aircraft and it might also put SH procurement program in an unfavorable position. to many strings attached.

after the last fiasco with Migs and Hawks, i understand why the RMAF want to put the sukhoi service centre under it's own wing :)


New Member
Malaysia eyes training pact with India

Malaysia eyes training pact with India

NEW DELHI: Malaysia is keen to cooperate with India on joint defence tactical training – in the air with the Russian-made Sukhoi-30MK fighter aircraft, and below the sea with the French Scorpene-class submarines.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Defence Minister, said Malaysia would hold discussions with India on the possibility of training for its Sukhoi pilots and cooperating on maintenance of aircraft as well as spare parts.
ROCKET SCIENCE: Najib (right) listening to Brahmos Aerospace chief executive officer Dr A. Sivathanu Pillai explain about the Indian-Russian venture in missile technology during his visit to the defence technology company Thursday. - BERNAMApic
“The aircraft used by both countries is the same, although the avionics onthe Indian version are slightly different,” he told Malaysian journalists covering his week-long visit to India.
Najib said Malaysia was also looking at working with India on the training of crew and maintenance of its Scorpene submarines scheduled to be delivered in 2009.
Malaysia bought two of the state-of-the-art stealth submarines at a cost of US$580mil (RM2bil) each and they are being built by European naval shipbuilders DCN International in Cherbourg, France, and by Izar at Cartagena, Spain.
“We can look at the possibility of joint training on tactics. India has acquired six such submarines,” he said.


New Member
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Visits Brahmos Complex

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Visits Brahmos

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Malaysia Dato Sri Mohammad Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak -- on a weeklong visit to India -- today visited the BrahMos Weapons Design Complex here.

BrahMos CEO and MD AS Pillai, who received the high-level delegation accompanying the Malaysian Deputy PM, highlighted the technological advancement made by the country with this high-tech project.

The delegation was shown the actual missile hardware and the sub-systems besides a presentation explaining the technical features of the BrahMos system jointly developed by India and Russia.

After seeing the presentation, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Razak said his country looked forward to stronger defence cooperation with India which had made remarkable technical progress in high-technology projects.

Dato Razak -- here along with a high-powered delegation at the invitation of Defence Minister Mukherjee -- will also tour Mumbai, Nasik and Bangalore visiting important defence establishments -- like Bharat Electronics Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Indian Space Research Organisation -- showcasing India's techonological leap in building weapons systems.

Indo-Malaysian cooperation in the field of defence was formalised by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation between the two countries in 1993. The primary areas of cooperation so far have been in the field training exchanges, visits between officers of their respective Armed Forces and visits of naval ships to each other's ports.

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New Member
Hi there.I'm thinking of orbat something like this:

48 Su-30MKM
24 F18F
24 Mig29 SMT/M

36 Hawk LIFT
20 EC725
4 Erieye
8 CN235 MPA

Considering Su-30 is the best in our arsenal,i believe it should bulk in number.escpecially as air superiority aircraft.secondary role on naval and ground attack.and since we already have Mig29,it's a waste if we sold them,upgrade to SMT and buy additional aircraft M version to make the number of 2 squadrons.since it's going to be MRCA after upgrades,we are going to make full use of Russian armament for there will be 72 aircraft capable of firing R-77, KH31 etc.in short this strong 72 aircraft is more than enough for all missions with Su30 as the primary aircraft.

Moving on, F18F for its great reliability, none crash for F18D in service (although in small number).and with AMRAAM is in the package i think if the deals is through,Malaysian planners must have insist that all essential items has been included.AESA for example.

LIFT. Hawk oh Hawk..I have a mixed feeling on this one.though fed-up with it's crash frequency,it stood as a great deal as the main option cos we have local company that manufacture some of the parts.and they exist in big numbers in our service hence the prospect of getting another LIFT is not relevant.I admire Yak-130 though.

Helos.EH-101 probably the best medium helos right now but comes with burdening price tag.so i opt for EC725 for it's long story of reliability on Super Puma that it takes design of.12 for utility and 8 for CSAR.

On AEW&C and MPA i hope for a common platform.though i'm not sure but if feasible, Erieye on top of CN-235 will make a juicy investment for money.several CN235 already in service and the higher number of planes will reduce the logistics cost.


New Member
sounds like a good OrBat but i think it might be a little on the pricey side. is all this with spare parts, weapons, training, etc?