Malaysian Defense ministry's top official is promoting France's Dassault Rafale fighter jet as the SouthEast Asian country considers to replace its aging fleet of combat aircraft.
French President Francois Hollande is likely to make a pitch for the Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation SA, when he and his team visit Malaysia next week, an official in Malaysia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday.
Malaysia is eyeing to buy up to 18 jets in a deal potentially worth more than US$2 billion, despite narrowing its defence spending this year, Channel News Asia reported today.
"The ministry's top leadership has been promoting the Rafale," said an unnamed official to Channel News Asia. "It's been done in promotional material for LIMA, and even at top government meetings," the source said, referring to this week's biennial Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that the race for new fighter jets has narrowed down to the Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon, built by BAE Systems.
The plan is to replace the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) squadron of Russian MiG-29 combat planes, nearly half of which are grounded.
Dassault, which refused comment when approached, has kept a low profile in the race, whereas BAE has been on a consistent and public campaign over the past six years to bag the Malaysian contract.
Steve Osborne, BAE's sales director for military air and information for the Asia Pacific region, said the Typhoon had a good chance of landing the deal as the company already supplied defence equipment to Malaysia.
Any decision would take at least two more years, as Prime Minister Najib Razak is focused on more domestic concerns in the run up to national polls that must be held by 2018, a government official said.
Malaysia cut its total defence budget by 12.7 percent to 15.1 billion ringgit (US$3.41 billion) this year, as Najib grapples with growing public discontent over rising living costs.
Besides Dassault and BAE, other suitors courting Malaysia are Russia's Sukhoi and Sweden's SAAB, which is selling its single engine Gripen.
China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) has revealed details of the Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) configuration it is proposing for Malaysian Navy (RMN). The company, which will be working with Malaysian shipbuilder Boustead Naval Shipyard (BNS) on the project, is also displaying a model of the LMS for the first time at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition in Malaysia that runs from 21 to 25 March 2017
Malaysia's Boustead Holdings Bhds (BHB) has received a letter of acceptance (LoA) from Malaysian defense ministry for a contract to supply four units of littoral mission ships for RM1.17 billion (US$264
Malaysian Minister of Defence took the official delivery of Royal Malaysian Air Forces fourth Airbus A400M on the second day of Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2017. Hishammuddin Onn, Minister of Defence of Malaysia, took delivery of the fourth Airbus A400M military transport aircraft today on behalf of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), Airbus said in a statement Wednesday
Russias United Aircraft Corporation has offered to modernize Malaysias MiG-29N fighter jets to MiG-29SM. Russia also intends to deliver repair services,
Malaysia has received the fourth and final Airbus A400M aircraft at the Airbus final assembly plant in Seville, Spain. Malaysian deputy Defense Minister DS Johari Baharom signed an acceptance document marking the clearance to embark the ferry flight to Subang on March 12, Malaysian Defence reported Wednesday
Malaysia has dropped plans to buy new multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) to replace its aging MiG-29 fighters and will look at upgrading its aerial surveillance capabilities to counter militancy threats. Malaysia has shelved those plans for now as it looks to boost aerial surveillance that will be critical in its fight against militancy; Reuters reported quoting defense ministry sources as saying Friday
Dassault will be the biggest investor in Indias defense sector under the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) following the Rafale fighter jet deal. The first tranche of FDI, about INR 200 crore ($31 million) is likely to come by July,
French aircraft maker, Dassault Aviation has confirmed that it is in talks with Malaysia for the sale of 18 Rafale fighter jets. "Dassault is in talks with Malaysia for their 18 aircraft requirement
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 Rafales success in other nations,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday
Malaysia is looking at launching its own aerobatics team for the Langkawi International Maritime Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition in 2019 and may seek help from ‘Russian Knights team for the purpose. Indications to this effect were available during the last day of LIMA 17 where the defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at the closing ceremony turning to the South Korean and Indonesian aerobatics teams, ?What you have done is a challenge to all of us “now the Russian Knights want to work with the Malaysian aerobatics team
Malaysias defence minister Hishamuddin Hussain has squashed reports that the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon had been shortlisted for the Malaysian air forces 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”
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