27 Maret 2013

Malaysia Not Getting Gripen Jets on Lease

27 Maret 2013

JAS-39 Gripen fighter ground attack aircraft (photo : Saabgroup)

LANGKAWI: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has rubbished a report that Malaysia plans to boost air power by getting Gripen fighter jets on lease.

"I want to emphasise that the report is not true as Malaysia is only interested in buying defence assets," he told a press conference at Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition here today.

An international defence magazine published in March reported that Malaysia will get 24 to 32 Swedish-made Gripen aircraft on lease.

Gripen multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) is currently used by the air force of Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Czech Republic and Thailand.

Ahmad Zahid said as the buyer, Malaysia has the right to decide the best aircraft for the country and not decided by the defence industry company.

On the upgrading of Nuri helicopter, he said several of the American made Sirkosky would be used by the army.

Asked by reporters whether Nuri would be sold to third countries, Ahmad Zahid did not dismiss the possibility once upgrading was completed.

"Several Nuri may be sold to third countries and the proceeds used to buy more sophisticated assets," he added.

(NewStraitsTimes)

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