Several RMAF plans on hold due to budget constraint

01 Jun 2018 / 13:26 H.

SHAH ALAM: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has been forced to put on hold several of its plans concerning military assets due to government budget constraints and pending approval, according to its chief Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
This includes the purchase of four maritime patrol aircrafts (MPA), the seeking of new multi-role combat aircrafts (MRCA) and its future plans for the grounded Russian MiG-29 combat planes.
On the acquisition of the MPAs, Affendi said the plan was shelved temporarily looking at the government's financial situation, with the national debt said to stand at over RM1 trillion presently.
"But that doesn't mean the programme has been scrapped for good. We expect the acquisition to come a bit later when the financial situation allows for it," he told reporters in a special interview in conjunction with the RMAF Day 2018, here, on Wednesday.
Affendi had, last November, said RMAF was seeking new MPAs following government approval of the purchase in the 2018 Budget.
He said the MRCA replacement programme was also similarly further put on hold due to the current situation, and that he had not been given any indication if it would be done in the near future.
The government had last year said it was postponing a purported USD2 billion (RM7.98 billion) plan to replace the Russian-made MiG-29 fleet which has been in service since 1990.
On the ageing MiG-29s, Affendi said the RMAF was awaiting words from the government on what would be the next course of action.
"One option is to sell those aircrafts to a third party, similar to what we did with other planes. Or, we might keep the aircrafts and sell it as spares. But at the moment, the government has yet to decide whether to stop the service," he said.
On celebration for the RMAF Day on June 1, Affendi said a small tahlil (prayers) ceremony and buka puasa event would be held at its Subang base camp, with the main celebration to be held on July 5, including a parade of over 500 officers and staff.
Roadshows will also be held at all camps on June 1 to allow the public further understanding of RMAF's assets and to inform them of the air force's previous and future plans.

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