March 19, 2014

Royal Malaysian Air Force Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) Lease contract

Saab is the only manufacturer in the world that has leased its fighter aircraft to other countries and other manufacturers

Three military aircraft makers are ready to submit their proposals to Malaysia for its decision to lease new multi-role combat jets to replace the ageing MiG 29s owned by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

BAE Systems plc, Boeing Co and Saab AB are said to be part of a shortlist of five companies that have been identified by the government to be possible candidates for the RMAF Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) programme.

One of the two companies in the shortlist, Sukhoi Aviation Holding Co of Russia, has not indicated any interest while Dassault Aviation of France, the maker of the Rafale jet, has said it would not participate in any leasing programme.After several deadline shifts for the procurement plan due to budget constraints, the RMAF is looking at the leasing option.

Analysts estimated the MRCA programme to have a budget between RM6 billion and RM8 billion.They estimate that apart from Saab’s Gripen, the RMAF is also interested in BAE’s Typhoon, the Boeing F/A 18F, the Dassault Rafale and the Sukhoi SU-30.

Under the MRCA, the RMAF is looking to equip three squadrons with 36 to 40 new fighter aircraft.

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