With all these grim outlook from MMP and myself, what does it mean for Malaysia?
I say we cut the chase and stop our search for MRCA. Stop all the pretentious process of finding the best planes available to us via open tendering. If we proceed with this, we would only see a replacement in 4 to 6 years from the day the agreement is signed.
The solution for our predicament is actually in front of our eyes and it is cheaper.
Instead of cracking our heads over what jets to buy, pilot conversion training, and what not, just get the SU30MKM.
Why the MKM? Or Che Su as some affectionately call her.
1. We have been operating 18 units of SU30MKM for about half a decade. We have the necessary know-how to operate the aircraft.
Ordering an additional 18 (or 36 if possible), will see RMAF saving minimum of 2 years to get the planes operational. All the training-related lead time no longer applies.
2. The existing unit can be split up into 2 squadrons.
The existing command can be trained immediately to prepare acceptance for the new jets. These would be the nucleus for the new SU30MKM when they are operationalised.
3. Russian manufacturer of the Flanker, Rosobonorexport during the recent Defence Services Asia 2016 had announced their readiness to build a joint production line in Malaysia. Read here.
This will resolve our logistics issue. Instead of waiting for spare parts from Russia (or China and India), we have the stocks ready-made here.
3 (a). It is operationally viable for Rosobonorexport to open an assembly line here which will also double up as maintenance and overhaul centre. With 36 (or 54 if we opt to obtain 36 units), the centre will have ready business.
3 (b). Regionally, we have Indonesia operating around 6 to 12 Flankers and Vietnam in upward of 30 units, this can be a money-generating business.
3 (c). This in turn will kickstart our national aerospace industry and fits right into the National Aerospace Defence Framework.
I believe with the assembly line made available in Malaysia, we would soon see other products belonging to Rosobonorexport be introduced here too. And we will be able to reap the economic benefit from this assembly line.
4. Increasing the number of SU30MKM will also means more commonality of assets and ammunition. This means ammunition and missile storage facilities can be standardised.
More missiles can be bought as it can be used from 1 unit to another. This in turn means improved logistics line. And if you are in business, you know bulk purchases always get better price.
5. SU30MKM is highly manoeuvrable aircraft and is very well respected in the region. It is also one of the few aircrafts in the world that has full 3-D thrust vector control which will give them supreme advantage during air combat operations. In fact, our pilots have already mastered this bird of prey and managed to wow the audience in Singapore with their extreme aerial acrobatics.
Our variant, the MKM is the second most advanced variant after India's MKI II. In Southeast Asia, it is only slightly behind Singapore's F15SG. The thrust vector controls that our MKM has also give them advantage over China's J-11.
6. This will prevent block obsolescence. Which we failed miserably with MiG29N.
7. But most important of all, the SU30MKM is an all-round platform that will give our pilots, men and women who choose to serve in uniform, the best platform for them to defend our nation.
|SU30 MKM in a low level fly past.|
So, what are we waiting for? Just say good bye to all the pretenders.