Malaysia issues tender notice for maritime patrol aircraft, UAS

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has issued a tender notice seeking two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

Leonardo’s ATR 72MP, seen here at LIMA 2017 in Langkawi. It is one of several aircraft types studied for Malaysia’s maritime patrol requirements, according to a senior RMAF official.  (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Leonardo’s ATR 72MP, seen here at LIMA 2017 in Langkawi. It is one of several aircraft types studied for Malaysia’s maritime patrol requirements, according to a senior RMAF official. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

The notice was issued via a notice published in the country’s daily newspapers, Berita Harian and the New Straits Times on 25 August. It was also sent to the embassies of selected countries on the day after.

On the same dates, MINDEF also issued a separate tender notice seeking three medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS) units. However, the intended operator for the UAS units was not specified in the notice.

The RMAF currently operates a fleet of three ageing Beechcraft King Air B200T surveillance aircraft to monitor the country’s maritime territories. The fleet size of this aircraft type was originally four-strong, but a single airframe was lost in a 2016 crash that claimed the life of a crew member.

Malaysia has been actively studying options for new MPAs since at least 2017. During his presentation at a maritime security conference in Singapore in December 2017, the RMAF’s then Head of Staff for Air Region 1 Headquarters, Brigadier General Yazid Bin Arshad, showed a title slide with images of aircraft types that the service has shortlisted for its requirements.

He stopped short of naming them, but among the aircraft types depicted on the slide include the Airbus CN295, the ATR 72MP from Leonardo, and the CN-235, which could possibly be supplied by Indonesia’s PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

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The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has issued a tender notice seeking two maritime patrol ai...

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