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The equipment of the Royal Malaysian Air Force can be subdivided into: aircraft, ammunition, weapons, satellites, and ground vehicles.

Current aircraft[]

Su30mkm flying at lima two (cropped)

A Sukhoi Su-30MKM

BAE Hawk 208 edited 2

A BAE Hawk 208

Royal Malaysian Air Force Airbus A400M (cropped)

An Airbus A400M on takeoff

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30 Russia multirole Su-30MKM 18[1]
Boeing F/A-18 Hornet United States multirole F/A-18D 8[1]
BAE Hawk United Kingdom light attack Hawk 208 13[1]
Maritime Patrol
Super King Air United States maritime patrol 200 3[1]
Tanker
KC-130 Hercules United States aerial refuelling KC-130H 4[1]
Transport
Boeing 737 United States VIP 1[2][3]
Airbus A319 Germany VIP 1[2][4]
Dassault Falcon 900 France VIP 1[2][5]
Bombardier Global Express Canada VIP 1[2][6]
Airbus A400M Atlas Spain transport A400M 4[1]
C-130 Hercules United States transport C-130H 10[1][7]
CASA CN-235 Spain / Indonesia utility transport 7[1][8]
Helicopters
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk United States VIP / utility S-70A 4[1]
Eurocopter EC 725 France SAR / utility 12[1]
Trainer Aircraft
BAE Hawk United Kingdom jet trainer Hawk 108 5[1]
Aermacchi MB-339 Italy jet trainer 7[1]
Super King Air United States multi engine trainer 350 2[1]
Pilatus PC-7 Switzerland trainer PC-7 MkII 21[1] 7 on order
Eurocopter EC120 Colibri France rotorcraft trainer 120 5[1]
UAV
CTRM Aludra Malaysia surveillance 3[9][10]
Eagle ARV System Australia/Malaysia surveillance 3[11] Developed from the Eagle 150 aircraft

Retired aircraft[]

Malaysia - Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29N (9-12SD) edited

A MiG-29N in flight

Malaysia Northrop F5 Tiger II 2322530

A F-5E of the Royal Malaysian Air Force

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Combat Aircraft
Mikoyan MiG-29 Russia multirole 16[12] retired from service
A-4 Skyhawk United States attack A-4 PTM 37[13] retired from service
Northrop F-5 United States fighter F-5E 14[13] retired from service
CAC Sabre United States / Australia fighter 18[14] retired from service.one is preserved in Perak Museum.
Transport
Cessna 310 United States light utility 3[13] retired from service
Grumman HU-16 Albatross United States SAR / utility 2[13] amphibious aircraft - retired from service
de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Canada utility / transport 11[13] retired from service
Helicopters
Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King United States SAR / utility 24[15] retired from service
Bell 47 United States utility / training 47G 5[13] retired from service
Alouette III France liaison SA 319 24[13] retired from service
Westland Wasp United Kingdom ASW / SAR HAS. 1 6[13] flew with the Royal Malaysian Navy - retired from service
Eurocopter AS332 France transport / VIP AS332L 1[13] retired from service
Trainer Aircraft
Bulldog T1 United Kingdom basic trainer 102 11[13] retired from service
Aermacchi MB-339 Italy jet trainer 11[13] retired from service

Armament[]

Munitions[]

GBU-24 xxl

Paveway II laser guided bomb

AIM 9L Sidewinder (modified) copy

AIM 9L Sidewinder

FileAGM-65 Maverick vector Illustration

Illustration of an AGM -65 Maverick

Name Origin Type Notes
Air-to-air missile
R-27 Russia beyond-visual-range missile 280[16]
R-73 Russia IR guided missile 500[16]
R-77 Russia active radar homing 35[16]
AIM-7 Sparrow United States IR guided missile 51+
AIM-9 Sidewinder United States IR guided missile 210 units of which 20 are the AIM-9X[16]
AIM-120 AMRAAM United States beyond-visual-range missile 30[16][17]
Air-to-surface missile
Kh-29 Russia [18]
Kh-31P Russia anti-radiation missile [16]
Kh-59 Russia [18]
AGM-65 Maverick United States 30[16][16]
General-purpose bomb
JDAM United States precision guided munition 50[16]
Paveway United States laser-guided bomb 60[16]
OFAB 250-270 Russia general-purpose bomb [19]
Anti-ship missile
Kh-31 Russia anti-surface 150[16]
Exocet France anti-surface 150[16]
AGM-84 Harpoon United States anti-surface 29[16]

Procurement[]

To boost Malaysia's security in eastern Sabah from the threats of militants from the southern Philippines as well as to dispose of older inventory, the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) transferred four of its S-70A Black Hawk to the RMAF.[20][21] BAE Hawk 208 squadrons have been stationed in various bases across East Malaysia in order to launch air-to-ground operations and attacks against foreign militants attempting intrusion into Sabah.[22] In 2016, BAE Systems entered into a strategic partnership with a Malaysian aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre AIROD to upgrade the avionic systems on the Malaysian BAE Hawk aircraft.[23] As part of the Malaysia's Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) program, Malaysia is looking to replace its ageing MiG-29 and F-5 fighters which have long since passed retirement age.[24][25] Due to financial difficulties, the plan was postponed year after year. Announcement of the winner of the project, as well as purchasing of the new generation fighters will most likely occur between 2016-2020.[26] The major contenders of this project would be the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab JAS 39 Gripen, Sukhoi Su-30 and the Sukhoi Su-35.[26][27][28][29] While Malaysia's Aerospace Technology Systems Corp. (ATSC) has launched a bid to upgrade the ageing MiG-29 fighters,[30] Dassault Rafale has offered a financial package with a ten-year repayment loan from a French commercial bank and guaranteed by the government of France to assist procurement of their fighter.[31] This offer was countered by BAE Systems' Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab JAS 39 Gripen which has offered competitive leasing deals instead.[24][32][33] EADS and BAE Systems has offered to set up joint venture companies for maintenance and repair of the aircraft if it is selected, along with competitive financial support extended by the UK government.[34] Beside promoting their jet fighters, Saab is pitching their airborne early warning and control aircraft, the Global Eye (Bombardier 6000) equipped with Erieye radar system and is looking for local partners in Malaysia for manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul.[35]

Russia is ready to offer their jet fighters to meet Malaysia's requirements.[36] The Russian defence export corporation, Rosoboronexport which supplied the Royal Malaysian Air Force with Sukhoi Su-30MKM expressed its readiness to discuss the prospect of establishing joint and licensed production facilities in Malaysia.[37] The Russians have argued that despite some initial advantages especially in terms of meeting the high cost for maintenance, fuel, parts and insurance in the short term, the lessors the aircraft will require frequent checks to be assured that terms of the lease are upheld, and the aircraft will eventually have to be returned after the leasing period is up. As such, leasing fighter aircraft will have significant drawbacks in the defence of sovereignty of the nation.[29] Instead, the Russian offering their Sukhoi Su-35 at lower prices than their western rivals. However, according to the Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, the race for new fighter jets has narrowed down to the Dassault Rafale and the Typhoon instead, the latter built by BAE Systems.[38]

In the late 2015, it was rumoured that Malaysia might purchase the Sino-Pakistani JF-17 Thunder,[39] but the report was denied by Malaysian Defence Minister and said they were still determining to choose.[40] It was believed that there was an immediate requirement for new fighters due to the increase of China's aggression in the South China Sea dispute.[41] Belarusian company also expressed their interest to help Malaysia to upgrade and repair their Russian-made fighter jets.[42] Following the visit of Saudi King in early 2017, Malaysia are reportedly seek to buy the excessive Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) jet fighters and helicopters.[43]

Following the visit by French President also in early 2017, Malaysia said they remain undecided whether to buy the French fighters although it has become the leader on the list of all jet fighters suggested,[44] with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak assured the French President that they considering to buy.[45] The French government confirmed that negotiation is on the way although no final deal have yet been signed.[46] Malaysia also reportedly considering an offer from Japan for P-3C Orion maritime patrollers if it can persuade the Japanese government to pay for the cost.[47] In July 2017, the plan to acquire new jet fighters were shelved by looking instead to upgrade its aerial surveillance capabilities to confront the growing threat of Islamist militants in the Southeast Asian region.[48]

In December 2017, the Royal Malaysian Air Force's Brigadier General Yazid Bin Arshad announced it had shortlisted four aircraft types to replace the force's ageing fleet of Beechcraft Super King Air maritime patrol aircraft. The selected types are the EADS CASA C-295 from Airbus, the P-8 Poseidon from Boeing, ATR 72 MP from ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Leonardo, and the CASA/IPTN CN-235, which could be provided by either Airbus or Indonesian Aerospace, which acquired a licence to produce it. Brigadier General Yazid Bin Arshad added, however, that while "these four types are shortlisted, the door is not closed yet", indicating other options may still be possible.[49] On 7 January 2020, it is confirmed that the RMAF retired its Nuri or Sea King helicopters and remarked that there was an evaluation of a new utlity helicopter to replace the Nuris.

Incidents and accidents[]

  • Since 1989, around 95 armed forces personnel (most of those are the RMAF) have been killed in 18 crashes involving the ageing type American-made Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King (Nuri) helicopter.[50] This led the RMAF to purchase the French-made EC725 helicopter to replace it. But with the nation having ordered only 12 of a planned 28 EC725 helicopters as replacements, the RMAF was forced to prolong the life of its Sikorskys.[51] On 21 October 2016, it was reported that a Canadian helicopter company Heli-One will upgrade all Malaysia's Nuri helicopter.[52]
  • In May 2008, two J85-GE-21 engines that power the Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter jets belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force were reported missing, as of sometime in 2007, from an RMAF warehouse in Kuala Lumpur during Najib's tenure as Defence Minister in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's cabinet. The jet engines belonged to the 12th Squadron (Scorpion) based in Butterworth. The issue became a matter of political dispute,[53] and it was reported a brigadier-general together with 40 other armed forces personnel had been sacked over the incident.[54] Further investigation led to the arrest of two RMAF personnel and a civilian contractor were charged in connection with the theft and disposal of both engines on 6 January 2010.[55] On 5 February 2010, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail revealed that the two missing engines had been found in Uruguay with the help of the Government of Uruguay and the Malaysian government is proceeding with the necessary measures to secure their return. Investigations showed that the engines were taken out of the RMAF base between 20 December 2007 to 1 January 2008 before being sent to a warehouse in Subang Jaya to be shipped out of Malaysia to South America.[56][57]
  • On 26 February 2016, the RMAF Indonesian made-CN-325-220M version were forced to make an emergency landing into mangrove swamps near Kuala Selangor due to engine failure.[58] The aircraft co-pilot sustained a broken left arm during the incident while the rest of the crew managed to escape without major injuries. A fisherman who trying to help the crews out of the aircraft were reported drowned after his foot got stuck in a mud. The black box from the aircraft was found on the next day and sent to Bandung, Indonesia for analysing by Indonesian manufacturer over the cause of the accident.[59]
  • On 21 December 2016, an American-made Beachcraft King Air 200T crashed into Butterworth airbase during its training mission from Subang airbase, killing one pilot while injuring three others.[60]
  • On 14 June 2017, two pilots were killed after a British-made BAE Hawk (Mk 108) crashed at the Pahang - Terengganu border.[61] Previously, several other Hawks had crashed during training missions.[62]

See also[]

References[]

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All or a portion of this article consists of text from Wikipedia, and is therefore Creative Commons Licensed under GFDL.
The original article can be found at Equipment of the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the edit history here.
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