The Malaysian Ministry of Defence (MOD) has started to prepare for an international open tender for the acquisition of new Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to improve its maritime surveillance capabilities.
MOD’s Defence Industry Division (BIP), Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Acquisition Project Team, and representatives from local and international companies attended to an online briefing for the tender.
RMAF wants to acquire two MPA in line with the RMAF’s Capability Development Plan 2055 (CAP55).
The RMAF needs up to six new MPAs to meet its capability requirements, and to replace ageing assets.
Airbus C-295MPA, Leonardo ATR-72MPA, Boeing P-8A Poseidon, Kawasaki P-1 and the PTDI CN-235MPA attended to the briefing. In fact the RMAF set up a technical team possible candidates in 2018.
To improve its capabilities in the medium term, the RMAF has started a program to convert some of their CN235-220 tactical transport aircraft into Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Malaysia also plans to procure three medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during the upcoming five-year government spending period referred to as the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12). This period will run from 2021 through 2025.
Additional help in the area of maritime surveillance and reconnaissance capability will be forthcoming in the form of 12 ScanEagle drones provided to Malaysia by the U.S. under its Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) program. The first batch of six ScanEagles is due for delivery in November, with the remainder arriving through 2022.