The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Sukhoi to provide technical maintenance for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) Su-30MKM multirole fighter aircraft fleet, a LIMA-2013 aerospace exhibition organising committee spokesman has revealed.
Under the $100m contract, Sukhoi will provide technical maintenance as well as spare parts for a total of 18 Su-30MKM fighter aircraft for the RMAF.
Meanwhile, RMAF chief general Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said that the country is planning to upgrade its weaponry system including laser-guided weapons and global positioning systems of its aircraft.
The RMAF may seek to modernise the Sukhoi SU-30MKM aircraft and training programmes for its pilots with the Russian Air Force.
Speaking at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA-2013) exhibition in Malaysia, Daud said: "Due to the Lahad Datu incident, there is the urgency to upgrade our weaponry to carry out precision attacks and bombings."
Based on Sukhoi Su-30MKI, the Su-30MKM fighter is equipped with missile approach warning system, Saab-built laser warner and Thales Damocles laser designator pod.
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Currently, the RMAF operates 18 Su-30MKM Flanker fighters, which were delivered as part of a $900m agreement signed in 2003 to replace its Northrop Grumman-built F-5E Tiger II light supersonic fighter aircraft.
Malaysia also operates the Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum as well as McDonnell Douglas-developed F/A-18D Hornet and 16 MiG-29N Fulcrum fighters.
The air force is also expected to receive four Airbus A400M aircraft by January 2015, as part of a contract signed with Airbus Military in 2005.
The A400M airlifter aircraft will be used by the RMAF to conduct tactical airlifts, long-range strategic logistic airlifts and air-to-air refuelling missions.
Image: Malaysian Air Force’s Su-30MK aircraft.