The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will set up a technical team to evaluate several types of maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) following government approval of the purchase of the surveillance aircraft as announced in the 2018 Budget recently.
The technical team will analyse several aspects of the contender's aircraft and choose the best option which fits the RMAF requirements, RMAF Chief, Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang was quoted as saying by Bernama Tuesday.
"Besides the aircraft's capabilities, the team will evaluate other functions of the aircraft, including its supportive aspect and whether it (the aircraft) could collaborate with our local industry. We need to look holistically on its long-term benefits," he told the media while attending the Defence and Security 2017 exhibition here recently.
He said the government, as announced in the budget, had approved the procurement of four MPAs in line with RMAF's minimum requirement, but the number of the aircraft could be added in the future, depending on the government's financial ability.
Airbus Defence & Space C295, Leonardo ATR-72MP, Boeing P-8 Poseidon, Indonesian CN235 are likely contenders for the Malaysian MPA program.
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