Military Aviation

Only four out of 18 RMAF Su-30MKM fighters are able to fly

Instead RMAF’s entire fleet of ten MiG-29 Fuclrums is grounded due to lack of spare parts

Malaysia’s Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu told his parliamentary colleagues on Jul. 31 that the country has only four Su-30MKM fighters that can fly.

“Only four of the Sukhois are able to fly well,” he said.

As reported by The Star Online, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) bought a total of 18 Su-30MKMs from Russia last decade. Fourteen of those jets require repairs. Sabu added that his ministry has terminated the company in charge of their maintenance.

Instead the service’s entire fleet of ten MiG-29 Fuclrums is grounded due to lack of spare parts.

RMAF MiG-29 multi-role fighters entered service in 1995, while six Sukhoi Su-30MKM air-superiority fighters were delivered in 2007 and the remainder in 2009.

The Sukhoi Su-30MKM (Modernized Export Malaysia; NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) is a variant of the Su-30 series specifically developed for RMAF featuring many significant improvements over the original Su-30MK export version.

Developed by Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-30MKM is based on Su-30MKI operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The first two aircraft were handed over to the RMAF on May 2007 at Irkut’s aircraft manufacturing facility at Irkutsk, Russia. The two aircraft were later delivered to RMAF Gong Kedak, Malaysia on June 2007 by an An-124-100 transport aircraft. By December 2007, seven months after the delivery of the first two aircraft, the RMAF had taken delivery of six Su-30MKMs. The eighteenth and last aircraft arrived at RMAF Gong Kedak on August 2009.

Photo credit: carl brent (russianplanes) via Wikipedia

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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