KUALA LUMPUR: The government is systematically planning the replacement of Hawk 108 and Hawk 208 fighter jets as outlined in the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Capability Development 2055 or CAP55, said Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein(pix).
He said the government had also started the replacement process by approving the new acquisition of Fighter Lead-In Trainer/Light Combat Aircraft (FLIT/LCA) through Rolling Plan 1, 2021.
“The international open tender for this procurement was closed on Oct 6, 2021, and is currently in the evaluation process. So, the process is underway and it is under CAP55,“ he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris (BN-Jerantut) who had wanted to know whether the government had considered grounding the use of Hawk aircraft and the current status of new procurement to replace the aircraft.
Replying to a question from Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (PH-Hulu Langat) on RMAF bases in high-density areas and in locations that are no longer strategic, Hishammuddin said all RMAF runways were in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards which were periodically audited by Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and the RMAF itself.
Hishammuddin said despite being in a high-density area, as long as it met the standards, there was no need for the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) to make drastic decisions on the location of the existing RMAF bases.
“Furthermore, all RMAF flight operations are also subject to very strict standard operating procedures (SOP) and aviation safety standards,” he said.
He added that MINDEF and MAF would work to improve the existing SOPs and safety measures.-Bernama