24 Februari 2010
RMAF's MiG-29N, goverment to continue using jets after repairs (photo : Airliners)
KUANTAN, (Bernama) -- The Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) MiG-29N aircraft will fly for at least another five years, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
He said the government had decided to continue operating the Russian-made aircraft although there was a proposal to retire and sell them to third world countries.
"The decision was based on the capability of the aircraft (MIG-29N) in executing the tasks given," he told reporters after visiting the RMAF base here on Tuesday.
Zahid said factors considered include the country's economy which had yet to fully recover from the economic slowdown.
"We plan to buy more multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) but the economic situation is preventing it," he said.The government also considered a suggestion by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who in his blog said the MIG-29N aircraft should be in service.
Zahid said Aerospace Technique System Corporation Sdn Bhd (ATSC) would be asked to refurbish the aircraft by upgrading the equipments at lower costs.
The government had expected to save RM260 million annually with the retirement of the MIGs on Dec 31.
Meanwhile, RMAF chief Gen Datuk Seri Rodzali Daud said only ten MIG aircraft would be taking to the skies as six others had been decommissioned.