The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is set to receive its first locally overhauled Su-30MKI fighter jet- bearing registration number M52-11 belonging to the 11 squadron at a ceremony on the opening day of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2019 event.
The overhaul marks a major milestone for Aerospace Technology Systems Corp (ATSC) a Malaysian-Russian company formed especially for spares and servicing of Russian aircraft such as MiG-29 and Su-30MKI.
An announcement from ATSC said that the event is being held upon successful completion of the program of ‘Preventive and Restoration Works’, for 10 year calendar inspection on aircraft Sukhoi M52-11.
There have also been reports that the RMAF was thinking of replacing its MiG-29 and Su-30MKM with multi-role fighter jets such as the Eurofighter and Dassault Rafale. Both these companies are present at the 2019 LIMA event. Dassault in fact was expecting a contract two years ago.
The first local overhaul should open the door for possible upgrades of the RMAF’s Russian aircraft such as what India has done with its MiG-29’s. The Indian MiG-29UPG has been added with air-to-ground capability. The potential upgrades to the Su-30 include the Brahmos missile, precision attack weapons and an improved engine.
ATSC is a subsidiary of National Aerospace and Defence Industries Sdn Bhd (NADI), which hold 70% of the shares whilst its two Russian partners, RAC MIG and ROSOBORONEXPORT hold 25% and 5% of shares, respectively. Ministry of Finance of Malaysia holds one golden share.