Malaysia is still not ready to decide on the purchase of fighter jets from French Dassault.
“We still are not ready for a decision, but we take note of Rafale’s success in other nations,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday.
The French President is on a three nation tour of Southeast Asia. Malaysia is eyeing to buy 18 fighter jets to replace Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) Russian MiG-29 planes.
Hollande said that he knows that Malaysia will be making a decision and they (Dassault) would wish to provide support. He pressed on the superiority of the aircraft (Rafale) and said, “we propose to discuss the prices, and the specifications. I trust you will make the decision when the time comes."
Malaysia’s defence minister Hishamuddin Hussain had squashed reports that the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon had been shortlisted for the Malaysian air force’s multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) requirement.
Asked if the ministry would settle for Eurofighter Typhoon by BAE Systems or the Rafale by Dassault Aviation, he said the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Saab Gripen “are still in the running”.
The defence minister was quoted by a Malaysian publication, Star as having made the comments during the concluding press conference of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) show.