Sukhoi signs Malaysian maintenance deal

April 5, 2013 at 12:06 AM
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, April 5 (UPI) -- Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi has signed a $100 million technical aircraft maintenance contract with the Malaysian Defense Ministry.

The deal covers Malaysia's 18 multirole Su-30MKM fighters and includes all spare parts, a report by Russian news agency RIA Novosti said.

The Sukhoi Flanker aircraft were delivered to Malaysia from 2007-09 under a $900 million contract signed in 2003, the RIA Novosti report said.

Malaysia bought the Su-30MKM to replace its Northrop Grumman F-5E Tiger II light fighter aircraft, a report by Air Force Technology defense news said.

Malaysia also operates the Russian MiG-29N Fulcrum as well as McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornets.

Malaysia is to take delivery by January 2015 of four Airbus A400M aircraft under a contract signed with Airbus Military in 2005, AFT said.

Malaysian Chief of Air Force Gen. Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said Malaysia plans to purchase laser-guided weapons and global positioning systems for its aircraft as well as upgrade its Sukhoi fighters.

"Due to the Lahad Datu incident, there is the urgency to upgrade our weaponry to carry out precision attacks and bombings," Daud said at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia last month.

The military, police and security forces are continuing an operation against armed intruders from the southern Philippines who landed on Sabah province on the western tip of Borneo Island Feb. 12.

Armed Forces Chief Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin said Operation Daulat in Sabah will continue as long as it takes to help the people affected by the intrusion rebuild their lives and regain confidence, a report by New Straits Times said this week.

Residents of 10 villages were evacuated from their homes after Malaysian security forces launched the operation to counter the threat from members of the so-called Royal Sulu Army.

Police arrested 416 people in connection with the armed raid by the ardent followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, the Filipino claimant to the Sultanate of Sulu, which includes eastern Borneo.

Sulu is a Filipino island province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, off the coast of Borneo.

Sabah became part of Malaysia when the British colonial administration gave independence to what were its Federated and Unfederated Malay States in 1963.

Successive hereditary sultanates of Sulu, in the Philippines, have argued it was illegal of the British to hand over part the Sulu area of the island of Borneo to what became Malaysia.

Last April at the Defense Services Asia arms exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia signed a $35 million contract with Russian state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport for RVV-AE air-to-air missiles -- also known as the AA-12 Adder.

The RVV-AE, made by Russian missile manufacturer Vympel, is a medium-range active radar-guided weapon similar to the U.S. AIM-120 AMRAAM -- advanced medium-range air-to-air missile -- initially made by Hughes and now Raytheon.

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