Air Force in process of procuring Kuwaiti fighter jets, Dewan Negara told

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz addresses members of the Senate in Dewan Negara, Kuala Lumpur December 22, 2021. — Bernama pic
Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz addresses members of the Senate in Dewan Negara, Kuala Lumpur December 22, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is currently in the process of procuring a number of F/A-18D (Hornet) fighter jets from Kuwait, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz said it would be a “lock, stock and barrel” procurement of 33 Kuwaiti Air Force F/A-18C/D aircraft which were still in good condition and with low operating hours.

 ”However, this initiative is still waiting for discussions between the two countries or at the Government to Government level. If this initiative is successful, it will definitely increase the level of preparedness and capability of the RMAF in safeguarding the country’s space,” he said during a question and answer session at the Dewan Negara here today.

He was responding to an supplementary question from Senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili on the F/A-18D fighter aircraft service life extension programme and whether there were  plans to increase the number of the aircraft.

According to Ikmal Hisham said the plan was included in the RMAF Capacity Development Plan (CAP55) Phase 1.

To an original question from Zaiedi on plans to modernize fighter aircraft and training  assets  in 2022, he said  the RMAF training aircraft,  consisting of PC7 type rigid wing training aircraft and EC120 type helicopter training aircraft, would  continue to be used next year as outlined in CAP55.

Apart from that, he said the RMAF also intended to use F/A-18D fighter aircraft until 2035.

“Further to that, the RMAF has planned a programme to increase the capacity of the F/A-18D fighter aircraft which is expected to begin in 2022 to ensure the preparedness of this aircraft remains relevant.

“The Ministry of Defence has also submitted an application for allocation for this programme to the Ministry of Finance.

He said the Sukhoi Su-30 MKM fighter aircraft was also  undergoing a service life extension programme. — Bernama

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