Sunday 8 September 2013

Good choice on Fulcrum and Flanker

This is just in at NST SMS Alert,

NST 08/09: There are no plans to replace the country's fleet of MIG-29 and Sukhoi fighter jets with newer models soon, says Defence Minister.

I believe this was a good news and Defence Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein who is trailing in my Umno vice-president poll may score some points for it.

Malaysia will save billions of ringgit if it maintains its fleets of Russian-made fighters. For instance, half a squadron of MIG-29s were estimated to cost just about the same as a single

Eurofighter Typhoon

which had been touted as their possible replacement.

Some may disagree, but I think the

Mikoyan MiG-29 (Nato's codename Fulcrum)


Sukhoi Su-30MKM (Nato's codename Flanker)

are still good enough for now to either defend our airspace or strike at the country's enemies from the air.

Both are still the best Russian fighters of their respective class and could match their Western-made counterparts.

The MIG-29 was the Russian answer to the US' 

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon 

which is a fighter currently deployed by the Singapore Air Force.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force's MIG-29s based in Kuantan were mainly interceptors primarily assigned to shoot down intruders of our airspace. 

The bigger Su-30MKM is a more advance derivative of the original Su-27, which was originally designed to rival the US'
The F-15 is the best American air-superiority fighter before the introduction of the stealth-capable
It should however be noted that the F-22s were not for the export market and even the US Air Force found them too expensive to maintain.

So, the US' main air-superiority fighters are still the F-15s which RMAF's SU30MKMs are more than capable of matching.

Here is a video which illustrates the same level of capabilities of US' and Malaysia's main combat aircrafts,


  1. Singapore's F-15SGs took part in the recent National Day Parade fly past.

    (Reuters) - Singapore is in the "final stages of evaluating" the F-35 to upgrade its air force, a process U.S. sources say should turn quickly into orders for several dozen of the stealthy warplanes.

    Singapore's air force now has 24 F-15SGs, 20 F-16Cs and 40 F-16Ds, 28 F-5Ss and nine F-5Ts, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. It also has 19 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters among its other assorted aircraft.

    1. Thanks for the updates. I must have missed that news. I will take down the note about Singapoe not yet having the F15s.

    2. It would be good if we could teach our young kids to build our own UFOs. Save some money on education!!

    3. Why on earth an island as big as Langkawi has a broad arsenal of advance warplanes and attack choppers??

  2. Military hardware such as these are much more complex than other equipt. Russian aircraft are much cheaper, but more expensive to maintain due to the relative short lifespan of the engines. Therefor it is most unwise to compare them in terms of costs.

    It is also a point to remember, that defense is integrated. Meaning your weapons systems, avionics, and so forth should be fully compatible,
    Russian systems are totally different from western made hardware. So if you choose Russian fighters, will they need costly modifications to integrate with our other equipt which are mainly western?

    1. Thanks for your input, but I believe the Su-30MKM with its Western modifications seem to be flying well, the same as India's Su-30MKI. Well, unless you know of things which I don't know about these things, whereupon I hope you can share with us here.

      As for integrated defense system, honestly, I would prefer the Malaysian armed forces to totally go Russian. The Americans will always give the better stuff to Singaporeans anyway, as they are a closer ally of the US. If we go Russian, I believe we can get the best that they could offer which are not of much lesser quality than what the Americans give to our Singaporean friends.

      But whatever it is, I hope we don't have to spend too much on military hardware.

    2. To have a better appreciation of Malaysian Air Force hardware, see:

      Our number of MiG-29s in particular.

    3. Anon 00:17
      Based on the link you gave, the number of RMAF's operational MIG-29s which was only 10 surely doesn't look good. Compared to Singapore's 60 F-16s as stated by Anon 12:36, they are surely not enough. Well, maybe the government should buy more of them. But I do wonder whether the Pakatan people will make all sorts of noises over such purchase, the same as when the government bought the Su-39MKMs and the Scorpane submarines. Well, since Hishammuddin said we are not buying, then let's hope the Singaporeans have no immediate plan to invade us.

    4. sorry, Su-30MKM not Su-39MKM

    5. Singapore's military build up is essentially for deterrence. It also gives investors confidence as to its viability as an independent nation. It therefore values peace, and will definitely NOT look for a war with Malaysia.

      Since separation from Malaysia, it has treated the world as its hinterland for trade. Towards all countries, it would much prefer working together for mutual gain - which is the same as Malaysia's present foreign policy.

    6. I can see now how the PAP moles in the cabinet hijack our defenses: When and if we upgrade our defense systems, the Puas and the Lokes and the Lims in the Pasrliament will bising-bising and say how all this is a waste of taxpayers money etc etc.

      Silently, they applaud when Singapore increases their armaments.

      Suddenly, all this talk about their ancestors having a say in the Portuguese's coming and colonializing our archipelago in 1511, make more sense and believable now. And to upgrade the British-murdering and Cop-killing Chin Peng to superstar status and demand of his return confirms of the treacherous nature of these ingrates built-in inside their DNAs.

  3. Air superiority does not win a war just as American found it in Afganistan and Iraq. Foot solders are still needed to win a war.

    I only hope malaysian army upgrade ground hardware like APC and so on.

    1. On the subject of Land Forces, here's a comparison of the Malaysian and Singapore armies:

  4. An immediate threat to Malaysia:

    The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has activated some 4,000 foreign-trained Tausug fighters embedded in Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysia, group spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla told The Philippine Star yesterday.

    Fontanilla said the mobilisation of the fighters was to protect Tausugs, who he claimed have been the subject of a crackdown by Malaysian authorities recently.

    According to the Philippine daily, he said the MNLF fighters were in addition to the Sulu Sultanate Army led by Agbimuddin Kiram, the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, leading the armed struggle to reclaim their ancestral land in Sabah.

    MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari had declared Sarawak and Sabah as part of the Bangsa Moro Republik (BMR).

    Fontanilla, however, clarified that the MNLF fighters in Malaysia will act only in self-defense against any attack from Malaysian security forces.

  5. I do agree that Malaysia's key defence risks are from armed non-state groups, but the comparison Annie has raised relates to air superiority only. This is fair as all countries will counter threats in many ways and it would be a long chat. Its also a hard comparison. F-16s can fire missiles from further away, but Mig 29s have more power in close combat. A recent study showed F16s in combat scenarios won 92 times and lost 13 against other similar aircraft, MIG29s won 16 and lost 28 against similar aircraft. But training is critical - in a recent joint exercise Indian Air Force SU-27s won over USAF F15s 9 to 1.

  6. I can't even imagine a Singaporean invasion. If they won, how long would it take them to clean and sanitize the whole of Malaysia? I think they would dread the idea. Also, where to go to get away from all those rules they have at home? For all the occasional grumbles between the two countries (and two old men) I think that normal Singaporeans love Malaysia and Malaysians and are happy with the neighbours they have.

    1. Correct.

      Despite all the fantasies of certain people about a war with Singapore, in reality we have been attacked by Indonesia in the 60s (Konfrontasi) and rebel forces in the Phillipines.