Malaysia has initiated talks with Kuwait to buy its used F/A-18 Boeing Hornet jets besides upgrading Su-30MKM jets in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
While addressing members of the Senate in Dewan Negara on December 22, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz said it would be a “lock, stock and barrel” procurement of 33 F/A-18 Boeing Hornets in service with the Kuwait. These aircraft are still in good condition and with low operating hours.
“However, this initiative is still waiting for discussions between the two countries or at the Government to Government level. If this initiative is successful, it will definitely increase the level of preparedness and capability of the RMAF in safeguarding the country’s space,” the minister explained to Senator Datuk Zaiedi Suhaili when asked about F/A-18D service life extension and whether there were plans to increase the number of the aircraft.
Ikmal Hisham added that the plan to buy Kuwaiti jets was included in the RMAF Capacity Development Plan (CAP55) Phase 1.
The RMAF will continue to use F/A-18D jets until 2035. The Air Force will launch a project to increase the capacity of these jets in 2022. “The Ministry of Defence has also submitted an application for allocation for this programme to the Ministry of Finance,” he further stated.
In addition, the minister revealed that Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter aircraft were undergoing a service life extension program.