Its Vice-President, Aftermarket Sales, Defence, Asia Pacific Tim Van Luven said the company is working with the RMAF, which is currently evaluating avionics, power and communications upgrades, to evaluate its military aircraft enhancement opportunities to meet its defence needs.
He said the RMAF was looking to upgrade up to 10 of its C-130 Hercules transport aircraft to extend the fleet’s mission capabilities.
Last year, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said that the RMAF’s Charlie C-130 aircraft would be upgraded with a more sophisticated equipment and technology, and the allocation for the upgrades was included in the 2018 Budget.
The RMAF has 14 C-130, of which, four are being used as tankers, while rest as transport planes.
Van Luven told Bernama that the retrofits, modification and upgrades (RMU) for the RMAF’s existing fleet of aircraft would help bolster combat effectiveness and would be a less costly option than replacing aging fleet with new aircraft.
The duration of RMU projects typically varies and is highly dependent on the needs of each military, aircraft platform and equipment function, and if it were to materialise, as much as possible, it will take place in Malaysia -- either through a service centre or the Malaysian Ministry of Defence, he said.
Some of available solutions include the RDR-4000M Weather Radar System, which provides a 3D volumetric scan of terrain and weather hazards up to 320 nautical miles away; Radar Altimeter; and Embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation System.
Additionally, Honeywell Aerospace, a leading aircraft engines and avionics manufacturer, provides connectivity and communication technologies that enable a connected battlefield for defence forces in Malaysia -- giving the country a competitive advantage through enhanced operational effectiveness and mission readiness.
Among Honeywell Aerospace’s connected battlefield technologies include the JetWave Satellite Communications Hardware and VIPER Mobile Satellite Communications, as well as Aspire Satellite Communications Systems for defence and civil helicopters.
In addition, Van Luven said Honeywell Aerospace’s suite of defence technologies could be applied to more than 300 military platforms, including the F/A-18 Hornet, and were capable of supporting a diverse variety of Malaysian aircraft platforms -- even beyond modernisation efforts.
Malaysia is also looking at upgrading its combat fleets, having announced its defence allocation of RM14bil for 2018.
Van Luven said Honeywell Aerospace also believed that it could assist Malaysia’s Armed Forces achieve optimal combat efficiency through strategic investment in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems that would enable troops to make informed decisions in time-critical situations.
“Keeping this in mind, the RMAF is already looking into complementing its Network Centric Operations infrastructure with platform-to-platform, platform-to-ground and over-the-horizon communications capabilities -- through satellite communications and other line-of-sight communication solutions,” he added.
Van Luven said Honeywell Aerospace was well positioned to support Malaysia’s Armed Forces in increasing their mission effectiveness by helping to extend its C4ISR capabilities.
The improved C4ISR capabilities will provide the Armed Forces with smooth and timely delivery of high-quality, actionable information to key decision makers, thereby improving overall resource and combat efficiency, he said.
Moving forward, Van Luven said Honeywell Aerospace would continue to engage Malaysia in discussions and works, and was looking out for new opportunities to collaborate and partner with local companies to support the current and future fleet of the RMAF.
“As part of Honeywell’s strategy to maintain and strengthen Malaysia’s defence network, the company will incorporate localised aftermarket support through its global supply chain network and local partners.
“This brings sustained, long-term economic benefits to the local defence industry through job creation and skills transfer, which will further improve the RMAF’s mission readiness and safety,” he added. - Bernama