KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The purchase of 18 FA-50 light fighter jets from South Korea was made based on an evaluation by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) on the good service record of the aircraft.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the fighter jets are also being used by neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.
“Our consideration to acquire FA-50 assets is based on the service record. We do not to buy something without past record.
“We do not want our armed forces personnel to become laboratory test. We use assets which clearly have the capability and good service record,” he said when replying to a supplementary question by Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) who wanted to know the justification of the government in the purchase of FA-50 light fighter jets from South Korea.
The fighter jet purchase agreement worth RM4.08 billion was signed with South Korea’s sole aircraft manufacturer, Korea Aerospace Industries Co (KAI) in February with the aircraft expected to be delivered starting in 2026.
Earlier, replying to the original question by Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman (PN-Sik) on the operability of RMAF radars along the South China Sea area, Mohamad said the national air defence capability through RMAF base in Labuan will be enhanced with the long-range air defence radar replacement plan.
“We will replace them with a new radar system that can operate 100 per cent by the end of this year,” he said. — Bernama