BAE Systems has entered into a strategic partnership with Malaysia’s aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre AIROD to upgrade avionic systems on the Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) Hawk aircraft.

AIROD is a subsidiary of National Aerospace and Defence Industries.

Under the terms of the agreement, BAE will design, manufacture and certify the aircraft systems, and AIROD will be responsible for the integration of the systems onto the RMAF Hawk MK108 and MK208 aircraft, reported Bernama.

"The upgrade programme seeks to ensure the operational availability of the aircraft, as well as its long-term maintenance."

BAE System South-East Asia and India managing director John Brosnan was quoted by the news agency as saying: "We provide options for both one and two-seater aircraft.

"It gives additional capabilities and extra life as the product can last longer."

The upgrade programme seeks to ensure the operational availability of the aircraft, as well as its long-term maintenance.

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Work under the contract is expected to be completed in three years, reported the publication.

AlROD CEO major general (R) Datuk Ir Ibrahim Bahari was quoted as saying: "We have the capabilities and we are bringing the overall capabilities from one level to another level.

"Last time we undertake the maintenance only.

"Now we do the upgrade with MRO."

AlROD has been providing maintenance on the RMAF Hawk aircraft since its induction into service in 1995.