If only airplanes could sing, then the Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M Atlas fleet could now make a nice duet. The second of four ordered Airbus tactical airlifters was officially inaugurated into service at RMAF Base Subang on 13 January 2015 (check images of the ceremony here).
The aircraft departed the A400M production plant in Seville (Sevilla), Spain, on 27 December 2015 at 10:00 local time. It landed at Suban on 29 December 2015. The aircraft was transferred home by a Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia (or Royal Malaysian Air Force) crew of four pilots and four loadmasters.
RMAF 2 Squadron and 20 Squadron
The airlifters join the RMAF’s centrally located air force unit 2 Squadron focusing on VIP flights only with the Fokker F28-1000, the Dassault Falcon 900, the Bombardier Global Express 700, the Boeing 737-700 BBJ and the Airbus A319CJ; and 20 Squadron flying the C-130 Hercules at Subang (aka Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah) where also some smaller transport aircraft are located.
Airbus delivered a significant number of A400M military transport aircraft to costumers in December, bringing to an end a year marked by the fatal crash of an A400M in Seville on 9 May. The program seems to have overcome the tragedy however.
In December, Germany received both its second and third A400M, while France took delivery of its eight aircraft. Also, Turkey and Malaysia got their hands on their third and second aircraft respectively. The latter was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Seville on Wednesday 23 December and will head East soon.
The year 2015 saw four deliveries to the Royal Air Force (RAF), who declared the A400M Atlas C1 ‘ready for worldwide tasks’ last September. Meanwhile, Airbus reports it is making progress in assembling the first aircraft for Spain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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