- The Royal Malaysian Air Force has shortlisted four aircraft types for its maritime patrol requirements
- Service has been allocated funds for up to four airframes to meet its maritime surveillance, and search-and-rescue requirements
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has disclosed a line of aircraft types that the country is currently considering for its maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) requirements.
During his presentation at a maritime security conference in Singapore, the RMAF’s Head of Staff for Air Region 1 Headquarters, Brigadier General Yazid Bin Arshad, showed a title slide with images of four aircraft types.
Although he stopped short of naming them, Jane’s has identified the four aircraft types to be the Airbus CN295, the ATR 72MP from Leonardo, the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, and the CN-235, the last of which could possibly be supplied by Bandung-based PT Dirgantara Indonesia.
“Those are the four shortlisted, however the door is not closed yet,” said General Yazid, adding that the service is still open to proposals from other aircraft manufacturers that can fulfil its operational and budgetary requirements. However, for now the RMAF has formed a special team to further evaluate these four options, he added.
Funds for the acquisition of four MPAs were made available in Malaysia’s 2018 national budget allocation. “Our MPA, the Beechcraft 200 is already 23 years old and its capabilities are limited. So this is the right time for the RMAF to consider a few options that could enhance our maritime patrol capabilities,” he added, in reference to the service’s fleet of three remaining B200Ts.
“The RMAF wants a dedicated maritime patrol aircraft capable of intelligence gathering surveillance and reconnaissance with synthetic aperture radar capabilities,” said General Yazid in a brief outline of the programme’s requirements. “These MPAs need to perform anti-submarine warfare, search-and-rescue, and also electronic intelligence,” he added.
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