Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Russian press: Malaysia to announce purchase of 18 more Su-30s

RMAF Su-30MKM thunders off the runway. Photo © Chenjun. Click on thumbnail to see high-res image on

Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti, quoting Russian daily Izvestia, has claimed that Malaysia may sign a contract to buy 18 more Su-30MKM multirole fighters when Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi visits the Irkut aviation plant today. It also reports that the Malaysian defense minister also plans to discuss integrating new missiles, including the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles jointly developed by Russia and India, on the Su-30MKMs already operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

However, Malaysian defence journalist Dzirhan Mahadzir, writing in his Twitter feed, feels that an additional Sukhoi order now is unlikely, although the chances of Brahmos may be more likely. I tend to agree on this, there has little indication from Malaysia that more Su-30 purchases in the short term are forthcoming, although I can see Malaysia being keen on further batches of Su-30MKMs in the future.

The Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Air Force) currently operates 18 Su-30MKMs with Gong Kedak-based 11 Skuadron.

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