1 September 2009
F-16 with Royal Brunei Air Force insignia. (photo : KLSReview)
F16 and Gripen For Brunei?
KLS BRIDEX 2009: At its stand here at BRIDEX 2009, Lockheed Martin and SAAB took initiative to display their fighter aircrafts.
Lockheed Martin has three eye-catching aircraft models on display, depicting the F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole fighter, the T-50 Golden Eagle trainer and the C-130J Super Hrcules transport. All are resplendent in Royal Brunei Air Force insignia. Apart from that SAAB is displaying the Gripen aircraft.
Wishful thinking on Lockheed Martin and SAAB? Perhaps no. Brunei is not buying combat aircraft at any foreseeable time, but Brunei is being mentioned as a potential customer for the future.
When KLS’s journalist discussing with the representatives of Lockheed Martin and Gripen, KLS told them that Brunei Air Force needs at least 6 to 8 fighter aircrafts in the future.
“This is because South China Sea is part of the Interest Frontier of Brunei, Brunei needs fighter aircrafts to protect their interest and remain at South China Sea.”
Lockheed Martin and SAAB agreed with KLS’s journalist personal view point.
“We are ready to supply our F-16 to Brunei or perhaps the T-50 as a light combat aircraft to meet the Brunei Air Force’s need,” KLS told by Lockheed Martin.
SAAB is also ready to seek their opportunities in the region after having sold the Gripen to Thailand. Malaysia and Brunei right now are becoming the SAAB marketing targets.
See Also :
Brunei Revisits Light Combat Capability
21 Februari 2006
T-50 with Royal Brunei Air Force insignia. (photo : KLSReview)
Brunei is again looking at introducing a light combat capability, with several aircraft, including the new BAE Systems Hawk 128, under consideration.
Industry sources say Brunei, which came close to acquiring the Hawk 100/200 in the mid 1990s, plans to test fly the Hawk 128 this week during Asian Aerospace. Sources say the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) has also begun discussions with Saab about the Gripen and with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) over the T-50.
The RBAF first unveiled plans over a decade ago to build up an attack aircraft capability. Four Pilatus PC-7 trainers were acquired as a first step and in 1996 Brunei indicated it would acquire six Hawk 100 advanced trainers and four Hawk 200 light attack aircraft. The deal was never completed, but BAE, which has a strong presence in Brunei through its sale of frigates, has remained engaged and now believes the Hawk 128 could meet its requirement for an air wing if funding is secured.
Saab has brought a mock-up of the Gripen to Asian Aerospace.