Malaysia Eyes Buying Excess Aircraft From Saudi Arabia

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:04 PM, March 2, 2017
  • 11340
Malaysia Eyes Buying Excess Aircraft From Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian F-15C fighter

Malaysia is eyeing to purchase Saudi Arabia’s excess aeroplanes and helicopters.

"Malaysia is looking into the possibility buying “excess” Saudi aeroplanes and helicopters. We will need to talk further with his Saudi counterpart for the final details," Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted as saying by Malaysian Defense after sending off King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at the Bunga Raya Complex Wednesday.

He did not identify the actual type or numbers of the aircraft. The Saudi King was in Malaysia for a four-day state visit.

Hishammuddin said the possible deal for excess Saudi aircraft – fighters for RMAF and helicopters for the Army Air Wing – was part of the wide-ranging military collaboration agreed upon during the state visit. The ministry will also look into getting other assets which are suitable for the Malaysian armed forces.

According to him, Malaysia will offer submarine training to Saudi Navy personnel at the RMN’s base at Teluk Sepanggar, Sabah as part of the collaboration. Saudi Navy is expected to induct submarines into its fleet in the future, Hishammuddin said. The collaboration however will not involve Malaysian soldiers in the current Yemeni conflict.

At the moment, I have no idea what aircraft had been offered to Malaysia by the Saudis. As it is RMAF and Royal Saudi Air Force operates a number of similar aircraft, from Hercules to Hawks. We also operate Blackhawks and Cougar helicopters as does the RSAF.

I believed we do not need extra Hercules while the Saudi’s Hawks are older than ours. They are getting new Hawks, of course, but again if they retire the old ones, it not will be very worthwhile to take over them. (The old Hawks).

What they have in excess are F-15s, Cs of course, as they are getting new Strike Eagles as well as upgrading their old ones to the same standard. They also have around 70 Eurofighter Typhoons with the possibility of ordering 24 or 48 brand new ones.

For the record, RMAF does not want any other aircraft – even stop gap measures – for its MRCA requirement. It wants the aircraft it had selected though it did not mention the name, according to written answers to questions sent to the air force ahead of LIMA 17.

For the record, Hishammuddin has said that the MRCA has been down selected to either the Typhoon or Rafale. However, the economic conditions meant that an order will only be made in 2020.

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