Malaysia requests aircraft upgrades

May 17, 2011 at 6:34 AM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency has reported a possible Foreign Military Sale to Malaysia to procure F/A-18D aircraft upgrades.

The possible sale includes associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support and is valued at about $72 million.

"The government of Malaysia has requested the procurement and integration of a Mid-Life Upgrade to existing F/A-18D aircraft, including six AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR Pods," the agency said in required notification to Congress.

"Also included are software development, system integration and testing, test sets, aircrew and maintenance training, support equipment, spares and repair parts, publications, technical documentation, U.S. government and contractor technical, logistics, engineering support services, and other related elements of program support."

Malaysia needs these assets to support future coalition operations and aircraft interoperability with the U.S. and other regional partners, it said.

This will upgrade the FLIR pod to a current configuration, reducing obsolescence issues and aligning the Malaysian navy with functionality similar to the U.S. Navy.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor if the contract goes through would the Boeing Co. in St. Louis.

The DSCA also said the sale would require the travel of about eight contractor representatives to Malaysia for installation, system validation and verification of the system along with other upgrade capabilities being integrated and installed simultaneously.

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