KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has no plans to acquire new fighter jets to replace the existing fleet until 2030, says Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu (pic).
"The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will continue to use the F18 Hornet and Sukhoi SU30 for the period under the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plan.
"Our immediate needs are to acquire maritime patrol craft and medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles and light combat aircraft," he said when answering a question raised by Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas) at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday. (Nov 21).
Although there are no immediate plans to acquire new fighter jets, he said the Ministry will consider the Russian government's sale offer.
He noted that the present emphasis was to enhance monitoring and patrol of the nation's maritime borders.
To a supplementary question by Ahmad Fadhli, Mohamad said that RMAF's Sukhoi fleet are 75% combat ready.
He said that a local company had been awarded a RM200mil contract to maintain and refurbish the aircraft.
Last July, Mohamad informed lawmakers that only four out of RMAF's 18 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKM and 10 MiG-29 jet fighters were operational.
Meanwhile, Mohamad said that procurement of new aircraft was among RMAF's Cap 55 Plans to improve the Air Force overall capabilities by 2055.
He said the Defence White Paper will be tabled in Parliament this meeting, which ends on Dec 5.
He added the paper will focus on the use of radar, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles as an alternative instead of reliance on jet fighters.
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