03 April 2009

Malaysia Set To Buy MiG-29 and F/A-18s

10 Juli 1993

Malaysia is to acquire 18 Mikoyan MiG-29 counter-air fighter aircraft. Kuala Lumpur also intends to purchase eight Mc Donnell Douglas F/A-18D attack aircraft, according to Defence Minister Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. Accompanied at the announcement by Malaysian Armed Forces Chief Gen Abdul Rahman Hamid and Air Force Chief Lt Gen Abdul Ghani Aziz, Najib said both contracts are likely to be signed "very soon".

MiG-29 RMAF (photo : Xairforces)

The MiG-29should be delivered within 12 months of a formal agreement, and theF/A-18s within 36 months. Although Najib did not specify which variant of the MiG-29 was involved, JDW understands the deal covers 12 MiG-29Ms and six MiG-29UB trainers. It is the first sale of the fly-by-wire version, which is not operated by the Russian Air Force.

The RMAF plans the MiG-29s for air superiority missions. The F/A-18Ds are intended for day/night interdiction and anti-shipping roles. The aircraft will augment 10 BAe Hawk 100 trainers and 19 Hawk 200 light attack aircraft, the first batches of which are due for delivery by late this year. Introduction of the Hawks will see two squadrons of A-4 PTNs phased out by 1995.

BAe Hawk 108 RMAF (photo : Airliners)

BAe Hawk 208 RMAF (photo : Airliners)

The new fighter buys mean that plans to upgrade the RMAF's F-5E/F Tiger IIs have been shelved. Proposed costs were not mentioned, though Najib noted that the Russian aircraft would be partially paid for through commodity barter arrangements. The deal is thought to be worth more than 2 billion ringgit ($770million).

Kuala Lumpur's proposed purchase of the MiG-29 represents a break through for Moscow, both in Malaysia and among Asia's non-communist countries. JDW understands that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will assist the RMAF in training its pilots and maintenance crew.

Sumber : Jane’s

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