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Japan prepares bid for Malaysian radar programme

Japan is preparing a bid to supply Malaysia its J/FPS-3 air-defence radar to meet a long-range surveillance requirement within the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

However, the bid is likely to be channelled through the radar's manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Melco), rather than an intergovernment agreement between the two countries.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo told Janes that the “MoD understands that the government cannot be a bidder” for the RMAF contract. A spokesperson from Melco told Janes that the company would “refrain from making any comment” on the bid.

The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MinDef) has not commented on the programme, although Janes understands a Japanese bid for the contract is expected when the virtual bidding process begins at the start of July.

In August 2020 the Japan MoD successfully bid to supply the J/FPS-3 radar to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

In 2018 Japan also offered the same radar to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), although this contract was eventually won by Spanish firm Indra, which is meeting the requirement with its Lanza 3D radar system.

Janes reported earlier this month that the RMAF's requirement for a single 3D long-range air surveillance radar was framed by a request for tender issued on 6 June. The procurement was intended to progress in 2020 but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In June 2020 the US government's System for Award Management website also announced that Washington was planning to donate up to three Lockheed Martin long-range surveillance radars to both Malaysia and Indonesia, although a specific number for each nation was not disclosed.

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