I went home early on June 12 after having an external meeting in Shah Alam. I guess I was lucky because that evening, an RMAF Su-30MKM flew over my house. I’ve managed to snap a picture of the aircraft using my cell phone but as you can see it below, the image is not quite satisfactory.
It turns out to be that the jet was part of the RMAF static display in conjunction with the new Defence Minister’s (Menteri Pertahanan – MENHAN) visit to Subang AFB. The Minister was taken around the airbase and has had a closer look on some of the RMAF assets including the above-mentioned SU-30MKM from No 11 Skn (Gong Kedak AFB), No 18 Skn’s F/A-18D Hornet (Butterworth AFB), No 10 Skn’s EC-725 Super Cougar (Kuantan AFB), No 1 Skn’s CN-235 (probably Subang AFB detachment) and No 20 Skn’s C-130H-30 Hercules (Subang AFB).
Some report suggest that the EC-725 was part of two newly arrived helicopters ferried to Malaysia from France to augment the existing two that has already inducted into service at Kuantan AFB. The one that was displayed to MENHAN was M55-04. (here)
It was also reported that the RMAF is in the midst of preparing the requirements for the MRCA before presenting it to the government to issue out the RFP. With regard to the C-130H-30 upgrades, limited updates on the aircraft’s navigation system to comply with new air traffic management is currently being conducted. However, there was no similar plans to do so on the exisisting fleet of RMAF’s BAe Hawk Mk 108/208.
Despite the initial report, it seems that the AEW procurement is still under consideration with the RMAF is said to be interested on platforms powered by jet engine rather than turboprop.