The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will make up the loss of fighter power following the decommissioning of the MiG-29 fighters by improving the serviceability levels of its Su-30MKM fleet.
The MiG-29s are expected to be retired later this year and a competition is on to replace them. Boeing, Saab Gripen, Dassault and Eurofighter have put their hats in the ring to win this major deal. But the Malaysian government is non-committal on selecting a replacement.
The Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said at a press conference yesterday during LIMA 2015 that as for the replacement itself, it would depended on threats faced by the country and the economic situation.
Serviceability in military aviation jargon means the rate of aircraft availability for flight operations. Usually, a certain number of aircraft are on the ground for maintenance and servicing in relation to the total fleet. As the fleet gets older the rate of planes on the ground increases. By better servicing and replacing end-of-life components, an air force can improve the number of aircraft for combat missions.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin said that he hoped the decommissioning of the Mig-29 Fuclrum will help to boost the serviceability of the RMAF Sukhoi Su-30MKM fleet.
“Of course we need to think about the future. But at the same time we must work with the industry to ensure the highest serviceability levels of the Sukhois. We hope that this could be achieved following the decommissioning (of the MiG-29 fleet),” he said.