‘MALAYSIA UNDECIDED ON RAFALE’
But, we will take note of multi-role fighter’s success in other countries, says PM
HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN PUTRAJAYA firstname.lastname@example.org
MALAYSIA is not yet ready to make any decision on whether or not to acquire the French-made Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the matter was raised during his meeting with French President Francois Hollande and his delegation yesterday.
“Part of the discussion today (yesterday) revolved around the possibility of acquiring French defence equipment, including the Rafale. Although Malaysia is not ready yet, Malaysia will take note of the aircraft’s success in several countries.
“We will also take note of the possibility of that particular aircraft chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor and RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang.
Armee de l’air (French Air Force) pilot Captain Jean-Guillaume Martinez, callsign “Marty”, flew the state-of-the-art Rafale in the 10-minute routine, showcasing the type’s impressive rate of climb and manoeuvrability in a series of tight, high-G, minimum-radius turns.
At several points during the high-G routine, vapour, or “vapes”, formed on the Rafale’s wings as moisture was squeezed being the subject of cooperation and collaboration with these countries,” he said in a joint press conference with Hollande.
The Rafale is one of several aircraft still in the running for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s multi-role combat aircraft replacement programme to replace the out of the air. Martinez was the solo display pilot for the Rafale at the recently-concluded Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) 2017 exhibition.
He said despite the challenging weather, the display went off without a hitch.
“Visibility was only about 4km to 5km because of bad weather, but I tried my best to give a good show. At Lima last week, I did better,” he said with a laugh.
Martinez has logged more than 1,400 hours on the Rafale and has two decades of experience flying with the French Air Force. air force’s ageing fleet of MiG29N Fulcrum aircraft.
In response to Najib, Hollande said France would provide the necessary support to Malaysia should the country decide to procure the Rafale.
“I know you will be making a decision and against that background,
“This is my second year as a display pilot for the Rafale, but (this is) my first time here for my president’s visit and Lima.
“But, I might come back for Lima as the coach for the next display pilot.”
The two-seat, twin-engine air superiority fighter was designed and built by Dassault Aviation and is also operated by Aeronavale, the French Navy’s air arm, replacing two types previously flown by the French Navy — the Vought F-8 Crusader fighter and Dassault Etendard strike aircraft. we want to provide all the necessary support.
“Our ministers are already working to that effect... All I would like to say is that Rafale is the best jet in its category. We, then, of course, need to discuss the price and the specifications,” he said.
Foreign operators include the air forces of India, Egypt and Qatar. It is also available as a single-seater.
The multi-role fighter can haul a wide range of weapons comprising a mixed loadout of both air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.
With the mixed loadout, it can perform both roles on a single sortie. Dassault describes this capability as “omnirole”.
Airbus had, on March 22, officially delivered the fourth and final A400M aircraft on the sidelines of the Lima exhibition.
The French-made Rafale multi-role combat aircraft during an aerial display in conjunction with the state visit of French President Francois Hollande at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base
in Subang yesterday.