RMAF Future; need opinions

Ananda

The Bunker Group

TAI increase the Malaysian LCA game with an
offer to help Malaysia building what seems assembly facilities for Hurjet. So far this time around many suppliers/vendors provide some kind of co-op with local industry to improve the chances.

Especially the kind of Vendors like Turkish TAI or India HAL that need to prove their ability to secure initial export order.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Ananda,

There is zero interest in ordering new Hawks. It haa served the RMAF well and was the first aircraft [along with Hornets] in decades to drop live ordnance in anger but its it will be replaced.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
So from the beginning of operations until now, from the in total 28 BAe Hawks (10 Mk.108 and 18 Mk.208), 9 have crashed, spread over more than 25 years.
In the early years servicibility rates were low due to a higher than expected utilisation rate, spares issues and high humidity. Eventually a working group was forned with British Aerospace and the problems were rectified. Yes there has been a high attrition rate over the years, due to human error and technical issues. Quite a few accidents happened whilst aircraft were on routine traning sorties.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Not only 25+ years old aircrafts can crash, but it is ofcourse a good moment to search for a replacement after almost 3 decades.

The programme intends to acquire 36 LCA/FLIT airframes for the RMAF in two phases, first eighteen airframes, with the remaining aircraft to be acquired later from 2025 onwards.


 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Yes that is indeed the plan.

To help fill in the gap following the retirement of the Nuri, the RMAF is leasing 4 AW139s. The same type was ordered by the RMN. As of now there is zero news on the requirement for 18 LCAs/FLITs, 2 MPAs and 3 UAS MALEs. Tenders closed a few months ago.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
An update of TUDM's CN235 transport aircrafts being upgraded to MPAs. From which i understand, three CN235 will be converted to MPA/MSA, while the other 4 keep their normal transport configuration.

It seems that the Telephonics AN/APS-143(V)3 has Long-range maritime search and air-surveillance modes with fully integrated IFF interrogator which can provide target detections out to 200 nm.


With here some background information.

 
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Ananda

The Bunker Group


Two Malaysian defense blogs claim negotiations with Kuwait for 33 Hornet still not ongoing. Based on Malaysian Deputy Defense Minister talk with Media.

The second one I believe is Marhalim Blog, so seems it's legit. Hope Malaysian admin don't forgot to do serious lobby with Washington.
 
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Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member

This blog claim negotiations with Kuwait for 33 Hornet still not ongoing. Based on Malaysian Deputy Defense Minister talk with Media.
|"Beliau menambah, jet pejuang yang dioperasikan oleh angkatan udara negara teluk itu masih dalam keadaan baik dan mempunyai waktu jam operasi yang rendah berbanding F/A-18D yang dioperasikan oleh Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia."|
If this is true than those 33 second hand F-18E/F are a very usefull addition for the TUDM.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Still early days. Talks between both governments haven't even commenced, nor have the Americans been informed. Mention of the possibility of acquiring the Kuwaiti Hornets first surfaced in 2019. A few weeks ago the head of the RMAF said that he would discuss the issue with his counterpart at the Dubai air show. There was no follow on news.

For the RMAF its priority remains the LCAs/LIFTs. If however the Kuwaiti Hornets can be acquired at the right price and if the government can provide adequate operational funds, the RMAF won't object. The tight fisted Malaysian government would also have to allocate funds for ground equipment and ordnance. Certain modifications would also have to be performed on the Kuwaiti Hornets in the event they acrually end up in South East Asia. Akthough a possible deal would involve all 33 airframes probably only 18 would end up in RMAF colours, the rest being used for spares.

As is widely known American approval - involving the Defence Department, State Department and other entities - woukd have to be sought. I don't see any issues but the approval process is a long bureacratic tedious affair.

The Malaysian Deputy Minister of Defence said that Kuwait's 33 Cs and Ds have accumalated less flying hours than Malaysia's 8 Ds. I have no idea how accurate this claim is but from an interview done with a RMAF pilot at Pitch Black we know that RMAF Hornet pilots do about 120-150 hours annually on average [the Flankers do about the same and the Hawks slightly more]. Kuwait's Hornets have reportedly seen action in Yemen but news is scarce.
 
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koxinga

Active Member
The chances seems low. That option has been there since 2019 and the Malaysians have not made any effort on either US approval or talking to Kuwait. In the meantime, Kuwait are looking for buyers for the fleet and unless it is a political gesture, they don't intend to give it up for free.

TUNISIA : Tunis grounds plan to buy second-hand Kuwaiti F-18s - 06/09/2021 - Africa Intelligence

(Article mentioned that Tunisia dropped their plans due to high operational cost, and Kuwait are already speaking to other potential buyers.)
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
Akthough a possible deal would involve all 33 airframes probably only 18 would end up in RMAF colours, the rest being used for spares.
If Malaysia manage to get hold to all 33, perhaps RMAF they can operate 24 thus make 2 sq with existing Hornet. It's similar with what TNI-AU did with F-16 ex USAF. Actually they got 30 (some say 32) Airframes, but operate 24 plus 10 existing and make 2 sq with 6-8 spares frames and engines

In the meantime, Kuwait are looking for buyers for the fleet and unless it is a political gesture, they don't intend to give it up for free.
With limited AF that want to continue operating classic Hornet, their choice of potential takers are not that high actually. What Malaysia need to lobby also is Washington. US got bit sensitive if they know potential transfer of their aircraft types being discussed, and they haven't been including early in the discussion.

We see what happen when Israel try to sell their F-16 A/B.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
If Malaysia manage to get hold to all 33, perhaps RMAF they can operate 24 thus make 2 sq with existing Hornet.
That is a possibility but I highly doubt it. I would be very surprised if more than 18 enter service.

With limited AF that want to continue operating classic Hornet, their choice of potential takers are not that high actually.
True indeed and U.S. approval could take years. The longer it takes; the less interest potential buyers might have.
 

koxinga

Active Member
If Malaysia manage to get hold to all 33, perhaps RMAF they can operate 24 thus make 2 sq with existing Hornet. It's similar with what TNI-AU did with F-16 ex USAF. Actually they got 30 (some say 32) Airframes, but operate 24 plus 10 existing and make 2 sq with 6-8 spares frames and engines
They have no plans to expand their current fleet. Other than operating cost (and F-18s are known to have a high operating costs, right around USD 12 ~ 13k per flight hour, compared to F-16s), they don't have the pilots or manpower to do so. In all likelihood, the used airframes will reinforce the 18 Squadron and bring it up to full strength (18).
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
Well; if a decision is made to acquire them; the Hornets would only be available in 2-3 years at minimum [U.S. approval is a lengthy and tedious process] and by then the RMAF could have the manpower. The issue however is that the RMAF wants to expand the current Hornet fleet to a full squadron but noting beyond that and that the Hornets will be operated until a time when a new gen MRCA can replace the Hornets and eventually the MKMs.
 

koxinga

Active Member
Well; if a decision is made to acquire them; the Hornets would only be available in 2-3 years at minimum [U.S. approval is a lengthy and tedious process] and by then the RMAF could have the manpower. The issue however is that the RMAF wants to expand the current Hornet fleet to a full squadron but noting beyond that and that the Hornets will be operated until a time when a new gen MRCA can replace the Hornets and eventually the MKMs.
RMAF have been shrinking in the last decade with the retirements of the MiG-29s and losing BAe Hawks, partly caused by the interrupted plans to replace them with the MCRA. I think the LCA/FLIT program is a way to restore some of those numbers as well as necessary replacements for the Hawks and MBs. But it is not the long term solution as a LCA is not MRF. An effective force would require around 30ish MRFs plus a smaller number of LCA.

But as it stands, the likely period of replacements would only be decided circa 13MP period? By then, it would be a bigger number to fill given the age of their platforms...
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
The intention is to get at least 2 squadrons of MRCAs in the coming years. For now the priority is the LCA/LIFT requirement.

The RMAF is also focused on reducing its logistical/support footprint, which it did to an extent with the retirement of theF-5, Fulcrums and S-61s and a reason why the LCA and LIFT will be a common platorm. The intention is to have as few diffrerent types as possible in service.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
RMAF have been shrinking in the last decade with the retirements of the MiG-29s and losing BAe Hawks, partly caused by the interrupted plans to replace them with the MCRA.
The Hawks aren't going away anytime soon and the retirement of the Fulcrums was unrelated to delays in gettting MRCAs.

An effective force would require around 30ish MRFs plus a smaller number of LCA
Long term planning calls for 2 MRCA squadrons of a single type and 2 LCA squadrons, a high/low end mix.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
The six MD530Gs are now in transit to Malaysia for final acceptance by the Malaysian Ministry of Defence and expected to arrive by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

The 6 MD530G helicopters were ordered by Malaysia in 2016.


 
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