Tag Archives: Malaysia

Recap: defense orders at Paris Air Show

UPDATED 19 June | As always its the orders for airliners that fight for attention at the Paris Air Show, but on the military side, things are happening as well. Most interesting little fact was the apparent first export order – announced on Monday – for the Pakistan-made JF-17 Thunder, although no country was mentioned. Let’s not be surprised however when it turns out to be Myanmar.

Pakistan Air Force officials only described the country that soon may add the JF-17 to its military inventory, as ‘Asian’. The same officials reported that current turmoil in the Middle East has slowed down export talks. The JF-17’s development meanwhile continues, with a possible two seat version on the way.

On the slower spectrum, Mali and Ghana agreed to buy six and five A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft respectively, while Saudi Arabia signed for four Airbus C295W medium transport and patrol aircraft. Perhaps the most prominent deal was the purchase of four Boeing C-17s for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

As far as helicopters are concerned, Malaysia placed an order with Airbus Helicopters for two AS365 Dauphins for SAR duties.

Unnoticed by many was the first sale for Aero Vodochody of its new L-39NG aircraft. More on that is here.

Flying
Dassault’s Rafale was the most numerous aircraft. Three Rafales were on the ground, while a fourth gave a flying display. In the trade halls, models of Rafales in the colours of Qatar, India and Egypt were seen. Given the recent orders from those countries, further Rafale sales are unlikely.

Also in the halls, Alenia Aermacchi was pitching its M-345 jet trainer. France is reportedly interested in this trainer aircraft. Elsewhere, Antonov was pitching its new An178 transporter. The Ukrainian company also announced the An188, a military transport aircraft in the A400M and Boeing C-17 category, powered by four turbofan engines.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): Caught by its tail: a Black Panther’s JF-17 from Pakistan. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Malaysian MiG-29s stay active

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will not retire its Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29N/NUB (“Fulcrum”) fighter jet at the end of 2015. In stead, they will keep flying until possibly 2020 or longer and will receive upgrades to keep them up-to-date.

Commanding General Datuk Seri Roslan Saad said during the 57th anniversary ceremony of the RMAF at Kuantan on 1 June 2015 that the MiG-29s have still valid capabilities, but that adaptions might be necessary to keep it that way.

The decision is a bit of a disappointment for aircraft manufacturers like SAAB (Gripen), Lockheed Martin (F-16), Dassault (Rafale), Sukhoi (Su-30/Su-35) and Russian Aircraft Corporation (MiG-35) which were hoping to sell new jets. For now RAC might have the best cards, if the RMAF possibly decides to upgrade its 10 MiG-29N single-seat and two MiG-29NUB two-seat jets to the MiG-29SMT standard.

Malaysia operates the Fulcrums since the 1990s. Based at Sultan Ahmed Shah / Kuantan (Pahang) RMAF Base, the type forms the small 17 & 19 Squadron.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Royal Malaysian Air Force MiG-29N (Image (CC) Peter Gronemann)

C-130 problem highlights militarization Spratly islands

A relatively minor incident with a Taiwanese Lockheed C-130H Hercules on Wednesday 26 May 2015 again puts the focus on the ongoing military and geopolitical play in the South Chinese Sea.

The Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) airlifter landed at Nansha Taiping Island to have officials of the ministries of Defence and Transportation plus the Coast Guard inspect recent upgrades and the modernization of the Zhengjian Taiping Airport runways, navaids and facilities. The airport is small as such, but compared to the size of the island the 4,000 feet long airstrip occupies almost the entire length of the island. A oversized habour is located south of it.

Lift-off back to Taiwan was aborted because of an apparent failure in one of the flaps. But after some mechanical work on the ground, the plane left just before the evening anyway with a five hour delay.

Ongoing tensions
The Herc problem has again put the Spratlys – an archipellago of atolls, islands, islets, cays and reefs in the South Chinese Sea in between the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam – again in the footlight of the ongoing tensions in Asia. Although the Taiping Island in question is officially administered by Taiwan, it is situated 900 miles (1450 km) from the southern tip of the country. Mainland China (630 miles / 1020 km away), the Philippines (290 miles / 480 km), Malaysia (290 miles / 480 km) and Vietnam (380 miles / 610 km) say that the area is theirs as well.

Oil
During the last decades the countries have many times faced each other, but so far not with any serious military escalation yet. But as the search for oil and power intensifies with an ever strong mainland China, many wonder for how long the status quo can be maintained.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A RoCAF (Taiwanese) C-130H Hercules landing at Chih Hang AFB in 2013 (Image (CC) Xuán Shǐshēng)

New Malaysian Pilatus PC-7 in December 2016

Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus will deliver the five PC-7 Mark II aircraft ordered by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF/TUDM) at the end of 2016, sources in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur confirmed on 18 May 2015.

The prop trainers will be added to the 16 PC-7 Mark IIs already operated by the Air Force’s 1 Flight Training Centre and Flight Instructor School based at Alor Setar / Sultan Abdul Halim RMAF Base. The other aircraft were purchased between 1999 and 2006, but the RMAF has a wish to replace all 32 older Mark I versions of the Swiss trainer that have served the Asian country since the 1980s.

According to Malaysian media the Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia will outsource the basic training of helicopter pilots to a private company that flies six Eurocopter EC120s. Much more on the Royal Malaysian Air Force you can read
in our extensive ↑ Overview: Air Forces of Malaysia.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Royal Malaysian Air Force PC-7 on the flight line (Image (CC) Ridzuan Aziz)

Malaysian Air Force Falcon 900 major upgrade

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF or Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia (TUDM)) sole Falcon 900B VIP jet is a cool lady again. RUAG Aviation in Geneva, Switzerland, finished an an extensive upgrade, done under contract with Malaysia’s Airod Sdn Bhd.

First the RUAG experts put the Falcon 900B through a very thorough inspection of the aircraft and systems (C-check). But the Swiss company was also contracted to update and overhaul the aircraft’s avionics as well as fully renovate the cabin. And all in a relatively short time frame of a few months to rotate the jet back into service with the RMAF.

Check out our complete ↑ Overview: Air Forces of Malaysia

RUAG Aviation installed a new Honeywell Ovation cabin management system, their first undertaking of Ovation Select on a Falcon 900. In addition the upgrade also included fitment of innovative electronic dimming window shades from Vision Systems. This was the first such installation on any aircraft worldwide. Further the aircraft upgrade included installation of Airshow 4000 and Satcom 7000 systems as well as a fully renovated cabin interior including new seating and LED lighting.

Although the project was completed in November 2014, RUAG apparently kept things quiet a bit until this week – probably to give the RMAF first a change to put the upgraded Falcon 900B through a proper test phase of its own.

The Falcon 900 is one of the few business jets with three engines in production. It is known for its strong wings. The B-version is a revision of the original jet introduced in 1991. It has better engines and an improved range, compared to its older sister.

Support partner
RUAG Aviation is mostly known as the principal life cycle support partner for the aircraft of the Swiss Air Force. The facility in Geneva is an authorized Service Center for Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault Falcon, Embraer, Piaggio and Pilatus as well as Major Service Center for Dornier, Hawker Beechcraft and the DHC-6 Twinotter. RUAG Aviation is also the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the legendary Dornier 228 aircraft.

RMAF VIP fleet
Apart from the Falcon 900B the Royal Malaysian Air Force VIP fleet consists of a Boeing Business Jet 737-700 (prime minister’s flight), an Airbus A319CJ, a Bombardier Global Express 700, a Fokker F.28-1000 Fellowship, two Agusta (Sikorsky) AS-61N VIP helicopters and a pair of Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk choppers. The VIP fleet is primarily located at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah / Subang Air Base in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by RUAG
Featured image: The Royal Malaysian Air Force Falcon 900B undergoing a major upgrade and overhaul in Geneva (Image © RUAG)

The RMAF Falcon 900B cockpit before the modification (Image © RUAG)
The RMAF Falcon 900B cockpit before the modification (Image © RUAG)

The RMAF Falcon 900B with the upgraded cockpit (Image © RUAG)
The RMAF Falcon 900B with the upgraded cockpit (Image © RUAG)
That's is some fancy interior, we at Airheadsfly.com wish we were Malaysian hotshots (Image © RUAG)
That’s is some fancy interior, we at Airheadsfly.com wish we were Malaysian hotshots (Image © RUAG)