Malaysian Air Force has modified Russian-made Sukhoi-30 fighter jet in order to equip it with US GBU-12 laser-guided bombs.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force put out a video showing their Su-30MKM fighters specifically designed for Malaysia, dropping 500-pound GBU-12s made by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Sputnik reported Friday.
The platform has been tested in November 2016 at the Air Force's weapons testing range, the video's accompanying caption said.
The laser-guided bombs use a passive heat-seeking homing system to detect and strike targets.
The Su-30MKMs used a French-made Thales Damocles targeting pod to detect targets, firing weapons like the Russian-made Kh-29T/L long-range guided missile as well as the KAB-500L and KAB-1500L laser guided bombs.
The GBU-12 is in the same family of weapons as the KABs, but smaller (507 pounds to the KAB-500L's 1102) and equipped with a GPS to give it a more flexible trajectory.
In 2012, Malaysia purchased six Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared pods for bomb and missile targeting. It used them to upgrade their Boeing F/A-18D Hornets, which are primarily used by the US Marines for air support during night attacks.
The Malaysian Air Force has a fleet of 49 combat aircraft: 18 Sukhoi Su-30MKMs, eight Boeing F/A-18Ds, 10 Russian-made MiG-29s and 13 British BAE Hawk 208s. The Sukhois make up the core of the fleet and are equipped with both Russian and Western systems.
Previously, Malaysia's Hornets deployed GBU-12s against several hundred Filipino militants attempting to seize territory in North Borneo.
The Hornets and Hawks bombed with GBU-12s on the militants' headquarters before sending commandos in to sweep them up.
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Malaysias SU-30MKM fighter jets are now almost certain to get a life extension following the launch of a local enterprise to perform deep maintenance on the Russian-made fighter jets. Consequently, a plan to purchase the Dassault Rafale or the Eurofighter, as part of the Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) project may be delayed indefinitely as Kaula Lumpur grapples with budget cuts and a deepening palm oil crisis with the European Union
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The Russian government has denied claims that Malaysian Sukhoi fighter jets are difficult to maintain, stating that Kuala Lumpur should follow proper maintenance schedule so that the planes are kept “in the right condition to serve their goals”. “In India, for example, almost 300 of Su-30 and MiG-29 multipurpose fighter jets constitute the mainstay of the countrys air force capabilities,” the Russian embassy in KL was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today, in response to a report by FMT that Russian-made jets were expensive to maintain due to bureaucracy and lack of transparency on the Russian side...
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Russia is developing a modernized version of its super-manoeuvrable Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jet with upgraded avionics and is capable of using latest high-precision ammunitions. Designated as Su-30SM1, Russian-language newspaper
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