Royal Malaysian Air Force

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Royal Malaysian Air Force
Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia
تنترا اودارا دراج مليسيا
Crest of Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg
Crest of the Royal Malaysian Air Force
Founded2 June 1958[1]
Country Malaysia
Allegiance Supreme Head of Malaysia
Branch Malaysian Armed Forces
TypeAir force
RoleAerial defence and dominance of Malaysian territory
Size15,000[2] active personnel
MottoSentiasa di Angkasaraya (English : Always in the Airspace)
ColorsNavy blue, Maya Blue
        
Anniversaries2 June 1958 (founded)
EngagementsMalayan Emergency
Sarawak Communist Insurgency
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Communist Insurgency War
Moro attacks on Sabah (2013 standoff)
Commanders
Colonel-in-ChiefSultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang
Chief of Air ForceGeneral Rodzali Daud
Insignia
Air Force EnsignEnsign of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg
Roundel & Fin FlashRoundel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg Finflash.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackBAE Hawk Mk.108, BAE Hawk Mk.208
Electronic
warfare
Sapura UVA, RJX1 UVA
FighterSukhoi Su-30MKM, Boeing F/A-18D Hornet, Mikoyan MiG-29N
InterceptorNorthrop F-5E Tiger II (Active Reserve Interceptor)
PatrolBeechcraft Super King Air
ReconnaissanceNorthrop RF-5
TrainerBAE Hawk Mk.108, Aermacchi MB-339, MD3-160 Aerotiga, Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer, Aérospatiale Alouette III
TransportAirbus A400M, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, CASA CN-235, Boeing Business Jet, Eurocopter EC 725, Sikorsky S-61 Sea King,
 
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"RMAF" redirects here. For other uses, see RMAF (disambiguation).
Royal Malaysian Air Force
Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia
تنترا اودارا دراج مليسيا
Crest of Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg
Crest of the Royal Malaysian Air Force
Founded2 June 1958[1]
Country Malaysia
Allegiance Supreme Head of Malaysia
Branch Malaysian Armed Forces
TypeAir force
RoleAerial defence and dominance of Malaysian territory
Size15,000[2] active personnel
MottoSentiasa di Angkasaraya (English : Always in the Airspace)
ColorsNavy blue, Maya Blue
        
Anniversaries2 June 1958 (founded)
EngagementsMalayan Emergency
Sarawak Communist Insurgency
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Communist Insurgency War
Moro attacks on Sabah (2013 standoff)
Commanders
Colonel-in-ChiefSultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang
Chief of Air ForceGeneral Rodzali Daud
Insignia
Air Force EnsignEnsign of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg
Roundel & Fin FlashRoundel of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.svg Finflash.svg
Aircraft flown
AttackBAE Hawk Mk.108, BAE Hawk Mk.208
Electronic
warfare
Sapura UVA, RJX1 UVA
FighterSukhoi Su-30MKM, Boeing F/A-18D Hornet, Mikoyan MiG-29N
InterceptorNorthrop F-5E Tiger II (Active Reserve Interceptor)
PatrolBeechcraft Super King Air
ReconnaissanceNorthrop RF-5
TrainerBAE Hawk Mk.108, Aermacchi MB-339, MD3-160 Aerotiga, Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer, Aérospatiale Alouette III
TransportAirbus A400M, Lockheed C-130 Hercules, CASA CN-235, Boeing Business Jet, Eurocopter EC 725, Sikorsky S-61 Sea King,

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF; Malay: Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia (TUDM); Jawi: تنترا اودارا دراج مليسيا) was formed on 2 June 1958 as the Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Persekutuan). However, its roots can be traced back to the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force formations of the British Royal Air Force in then colonial British Malaya. Today, the Royal Malaysian Air Force operates a unique mix of modern American, European and Russian-made aircraft.

Early years

A Twin Pioneer Mk.1 "Lang Rajawali" (FM1064 c/n:583) on display at the Malacca Transport Museum.

The Malaysian air forces trace their lineage to the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force formations of the Royal Air Force raised in 1934. They later transformed into the Straits Settlements Volunteer Air Force and the Malaya Volunteer Air Force formed in 1940 and dissolved in 1942 during the height of the Japanese advance over Malaya. The latter was reestablished in 1950 in time for the Malayan Emergency and contributed very much to the war effort. On 2 June 1958, the MVAF finally became the Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force, this date is celebrated as RMAF Day yearly.

On 25 October 1960, after the end of the Malayan Emergency, the British Royal Air Force handed over their first base in Malaya to the RFMAF, at Simpang Airport; it was established on 1 June 1941, in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur which was formerly part of Selangor and the national capital city.

The first aircraft for the fledgling air force was a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer named "Lang Rajawali" by the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. Several Malayans serving with the Royal Air Force transferred to the Royal Federation of Malaya Air Force. The role played by TUDM was limited initially to communications and the support of ground operations against Communist insurgents during the Malayan Emergency. TUDM received its first combat aircraft with the delivery of 20 Canadair CL41G Tebuans (an armed version of the Canadair Tutor trainer). TUDM also received Aérospatiale Alouette III helicopters, to be used in the liaison role.

With the formation of the Malaysian Federation on 16 September 1963, the name of the force was changed to "Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia" or "Royal Malaysian Air Force". New types introduced into service included the Handley Page Herald transport and the De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou. TUDM received Sikorsky S-61A-4 helicopters in the late sixties and early seventies which were used in the transport role. TUDM gained an air defence capability when the Australian Government donated 10 ex-RAAF CAC Sabre fighters. These were based at the Butterworth Air Base.

After the withdrawal of British military forces from Malaysia and Singapore at the end of 1971, a five-nation agreement between Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom was concluded to ensure defence against external aggression. The Royal Australian Air Force maintained two Mirage IIIO squadrons at the Butterworth Air Base as part of its commitment to the Five Power Defence Agreement. These squadrons were withdrawn in 1986, although occasional deployments of RAAF aircraft continue.

Modernisation

Sukhoi Su-30MKM seen from top and bottom
Royal Malaysian Air Force (Sukhoi Su-30MKM, Boeing F/A-18D Hornet, Mikoyan MiG-29N and BAE Hawk Mk.108) and US Air Force (F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle) participating in Cope Taufan 2014

With the withdrawal of British military forces, TUDM underwent gradual modernisation from the 1970s to the 1990s. The Sabres were replaced by 16 Northrop F-5E Tiger-IIs. A reconnaissance capability was acquired with the purchase of two RF-5E Tigereye aircraft. TUDM also purchased 88 ex-US Navy Douglas A-4C Skyhawks, of which 40 of the airframes were converted/refurbished by Grumman Aircraft Engineering at Bethpage into the A-4PTM ('Peculiar To Malaysia'), configuration (similar to A-4M standard). TUDM has traditionally looked to the West for its purchases, primarily to the United States. However, limitations imposed by the US on "new technology" to the region, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM fire-and-forget air-to-air missile, has made TUDM consider purchases from Russia and other non-traditional sources.

The '90s saw the arrival of first the BAE Hawk Mk108/208 which replaced the T/A-4PTMs, followed by the MiG-29N/NUB in 1995 in the air superiority role and delivery of the F/A-18D Hornet in 1997 to provide an all weather interdiction capability. In 2003 a contract was signed for eighteen Su-30MKMs for delivery in 2007 to fulfill a requirement for an initial order of multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA). A requirement for a further eighteen MRCAs remains unfulfilled. TUDM is also looking for an AWACS aircraft, although no firm orders have been placed.

On 8 December 2005 four Airbus Military A400M aircraft were ordered to enhance the airlift capability. The first Malaysian A400M will be delivered in 2016.[3] In late 2006, the Government signed a contract to purchase eight Aermacchi MB-339CMs to add to the eight MB-339AMs already in service.

In March 2007, then-Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak notified the public that the MiG-29s would continue in service until 2010. Later that year, Najib announced the Nuri (Sikorsky S-61A-4) helicopter, in service since 1968 with 89 crew members killed in 15 accidents, would be phased out by 2012 and replaced by the Eurocopter EC725.[4] Deputy RMAF Chief Lieutenant General Bashir Abu Bakar told the media after opening Heli-Asia 2007, that tender assessment for the replacement of the Sikorsky S-61A-4 would occur in early 2008.[5]

In late 2013 Vector Aerospace, a global independent provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, with its subsidiary, Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services-North America ("HS-NA"), one of the world’s leading providers of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services was chosen to carry out a comprehensive fully integrated glass cockpit installation for the S-61A-4 Nuri, breathing new life in an already well established platform, and giving a modern,reliable and cost effective product that will carry the S61A-4 Nuri well into the future.

In June 2009, RMAF chief General Azizan Ariffin said that the air force would replace their MiG-29s with aircraft that have better agility and the capability to attack enemy forces.[6]

At the 12th Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition 2010,[7] a Letter of Agreement (LOA) was signed for 12 EC725 helicopters to be supplied to the RMAF.[8] With that, EADS, (the European Aeronautical Defence and Space Company), has pledged 100 million Euros to set up a comprehensive helicopter centre in Subang for an aeronautical academy, training, simulation and a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility for the EC725 Cougar military version and the EC225 civilian model.[9]

Aircraft

AircraftPhotoRoleVariantsOperationalTotalNotes
Combat Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-30MKMA fighter jet sharpened.jpgMultirole fighterSu-30MKM18[10]18An advanced version of the Sukhoi Su-30 family and highly specialised version for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.[11]
Boeing F/A-18 HornetRMAF-USAF Cope Taufan 2012 (120404-F-LX290-020).jpgMultirole fighterF/A-18D8[10]8Upgraded in 2011.[12] Operable at night/in all weather.
Mikoyan MiG-29Malaysian Mig-29 (6900918437).jpgAir superiority fighterMiG-29N
MiG-29NUB
10[13][14]
2[15]
12Will be retired in 2015. The MRCA replacement for MiG-29 is currently narrowed down to 4 types of aircraft (Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Saab JAS 39 Gripen). Under the MRCA, the RMAF is looking to equip three squadrons with 36 to 40 new fighter aircraft with an estimated budget of RM6 billion to RM8 billion (US$1.84 billion to US$2.46 billion).[16]
BAE HawkRAAF BAe Hawk AVV Creek.jpgLight strike fighterMk 108
Mk 208
6[15]
13[17]
19Upgraded in 2010 to enhance their capabilities.[17]
Mk 208 planes are used as light strike fighters and provide support for RMAF's Su-30MKMs and FA18 Hornets.
Mk 108 planes have combat capabilities after major upgrades and modification but are still used mainly for training.[18]
Northrop F-5Malaysia Northrop F5 Tiger II 2322530.jpgLight attack, ReconnaissanceF-5 Tiger II
RF-5E Tigereye
16[13]
2[15]
18Active reserve interceptor and reconnaissance.
Transport Aircraft/Aerial refueling/Patrol
Airbus A400MA400M-1969.jpgLong Range military transportA400M(4)(4)4 on order. Will receive first batch in 2015.[19][20]
Lockheed C-130 HerculesM30-05 (8231201231).jpgMilitary transport, Maritime patrol aircraft, Aerial refuellingC-130H
C-130MP
KC-130T
10
1
4
1510 C-130H,1 C-130MP and 4 KC-130T. C-130MP is a maritime patrol variant and can be reconfigured into tactical airlift. The 4 KC-130T provide aerial refuelling capabilities for the RMAF. All aircraft are to be upgraded.
CASA CN-235CN235 - RIAT 2006 (2392704212).jpgMilitary transport, Maritime patrol aircraftCN-235-220M-VIP
CN-235-220M
8[10][21]8Military transport for army airborne (PAC) and humanitarian uses.
Beechcraft Super King AirAngled shot of Malaysia Air Force's Beechcraft Super King Air MPA.jpgMaritime patrol aircraftB200T4[13]4Equipped with tactical command system, one master search radar and one forward looking infrared system.
Cessna 402Cessna402C-FFAP02.jpgMilitary transport402B10[13]10
Boeing Business JetRoyal Malaysian Air Force Boeing 737-700BBJ PER Monty.jpgVIP TransportBBJ1(737-700)11Used for the Prime Minister and/or Deputy Prime Minister.
Bombardier Global ExpressRMAF Global Express MRD.jpgVIP TransportBD70011
Dassault Falcon 900RMAF Falcon 900 MRD.jpgVIP Transport900B11
Airbus 319Malaysia - Air Force Airbus A319-115X CJ, 9M-NAA@ZRH,26.01.2008-494ah - Flickr - Aero Icarus.jpgVIP TransportA319CJ11
Fokker F28 FellowshipRMAF Fokker F28 MRD.jpgVIP TransportF28-100011
Trainer Aircraft
Aermacchi MB-339MB-339CD.jpgLead-in fighter, Light fighterMB-339AM
MB-339CM
10
8
18originally 16 in inventory. 6 lost in accident. Were replaced by 8 new MB-339CM.
-
Pilatus PC-7 Turbo TrainerRMAF PC-7 MRD.jpgTraining aircraftPC-7
PC-7 Mk II
30[13]
17[13]
47
MD3-160 AerotigaRMAF SME MD3-160 MRD.jpgTraining aircraftUnknown2020
Aérospatiale Alouette IIIRMAF Sud SE-3160 Alouette III MRD.jpgTraining helicopterSA-316B
SA-319B
1313Total of 26 received (not including 7× SA-316Bs transferred from Republic of Singapore Air Force in 1978/9), 10 transferred to Malaysian Army Aviation and 20 involved in crash and emergency landing in various incident.
Helicopter and Non Fixed wing Aircraft
Eurocopter EC 725Caracal2552.jpgTransport helicopter, CSARSuper Cougar / Caracal1212
Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King140607-Z-IX631-075.jpgTransport helicopter, SARS61A-4 Nuri2929Multipurpose transport and utility. Built by Agusta under license. Carries troops, supplies, rations & humanitarian aid. To be upgraded[22] with new engine, gearbox and rotor blade. Some units will possibly be handed to Malaysian Army Aviation[23]

1 lost to crash 22 December 2013.[24]

Agusta A109RNZAF A109 helicopter at the 2012 Wanaka Airshow.jpgUtility helicopterA109C11
Sikorsky SH-3 Sea KingCH-124 Sea King.jpgVIP TransportAS-61N122
Sikorsky S-70 Black HawkÖBH BlackHawk Zams Boden2st.jpgVIP TransportS-7022
UAV
CTRM Aludra[25]Reconnaissance
UAV
Mk.1 and Mk.2unknownMalaysian made UAV use as coastal surveillance
ScanEagleScanEagle UAV catapult launcher 2005-04-16.jpgReconnaissance
UAV
unknownCoastal surveillance
CTRM Eagle ARVAPFTEAPA.JPGReconnaissance
UAV
unknownReconnaissance UAV

Airbases

RMAF Labuan control tower & radar

Airbases include:

Organisation

RMAF personnel performing combat air rescue at Cope Taufan 2012

Ranks of the Royal Malaysian Air Force

Until the late 1970s, the Royal Malaysian Air Force used the same officer ranking system as the Royal Air Force. They were replaced by army-style designations and given Malay title equivalents, but the sleeve insignia remained the same mirroring the RAF practice, but all General Officers wear 1 to 5 stars on the shoulder board in addition to the existing sleeve insignia. The list of ranks which are currently used are shown below (in descending order). NCOs and enlisted ranks remained unchanged, and retain their pre-1970s names.

Equivalent NATO CodePre 1970s RankCurrent Rank
Flag Officers
OF-10Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air ForceMarshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force

(Marsyal Tentera Udara Di Raja Malaysia)[26]

OF-9Air Chief MarshalGeneral, RMAF (Jeneral, TUDM)[27]
OF-8Air MarshalLieutenant General, RMAF (Leftenan Jeneral, TUDM)[28]
OF-7Air Vice MarshalMajor General, RMAF (Mejar Jeneral, TUDM)
OF-6Air CommodoreBrigadier General, RMAF (Brigedier Jeneral, TUDM)
Senior Officers
OF-5Group CaptainColonel, RMAF (Kolonel, TUDM)
OF-4Wing CommanderLieutenant Colonel, RMAF (Leftenan Kolonel, TUDM)
OF-3Squadron LeaderMajor, RMAF (Mejar, TUDM)
Junior Officers
OF-2Flight LieutenantCaptain, RMAF (Kapten, TUDM)
OF-1Flying OfficerLieutenant, RMAF (Leftenan, TUDM)
OF-1Pilot OfficerSecond Lieutenant, RMAF (Leftenan Muda, TUDM)
Cadets
Officer CadetOfficer Cadet (Pegawai Kadet)

All officers, with the exception of the Marshal of the Royal Malaysian Air Force apply the Air Force acronym (RMAF, TUDM) to their rank title, to differentiate from their Malaysian Army equivalents. For example, a Colonel in the Air Force would be titled Colonel, RMAF or Kolonel, TUDM in Malay.

Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Enlisted personnel

Royal Malaysian Air Force Regiment

Two PASKAU officers on patrol at Langkawi Airport security gate during LIMA 2009

The RMAF Regiment is the ground and air defence support unit of the RMAF. It is composed of the various units of the regiment tasked to fulfill the RMAF's mission and vision. These units are:

Special Forces

Main article: PASKAU

The special arm of the RMAF is known as PASKAU (a Malay acronym for Pasukan Khas Udara, which loosely means 'Special Air Service'), and is part of the RMAF Regiment. PASKAU was formed in response to a mortar attack by the then Communist Party of Malaya on a DHC-4 Caribou in the 1970s at the Kuala Lumpur Air Base.[29] During peacetime, the unit is tasked with responding to aircraft hijacking incidents as well as protecting the country's numerous RMAF airbases and civilian airports. Its wartime roles include ground designation, sabotaging of enemy air assets and equipment and the defence of RMAF aircraft and bases. This unit is also deployed for counter-terrorism duties as well as Urban warfare/Close quarters combat.

RMAF Provost Unit

This is the military police unit of the RMAF Regiment, mandated to provide military police duties in RMAF air bases.

Aerobatic team

Main article: Kris Sakti

The Kris Sakti (English: Magic Dagger) is the recently founded aerobatic display team of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.It makes its debut on 2011 Langkawi International Maritime and Air Show on December 2011. They operated four Extra 300L aircraft.

Missing jet engines scandal

In May 2008, two J85-GE-21 engines that power the Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighter jets belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force were reported missing, as of sometime in 2007, from an RMAF warehouse in Kuala Lumpur during Najib's tenure as Defence Minister in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Cabinet. The jet engines belonged to the 12th Squadron (Scorpion) based in Butterworth. The issue became a matter of political dispute,[30] and it was reported a brigadier-general, 40 other armed forces personnel, had been sacked over the incident.[31] On 6 January 2010, two Malaysians, an Airman (Sergeant) and a civilian contractor, were charged in connection with the theft and disposal of both engines.[32]

Engines diverted to Uruguay

On 5 February 2010, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail revealed that the two missing engines had been found in Uruguay with the help of the government there and the Malaysian government is proceeding with the necessary measures to secure their return. Investigations showed that the engines were taken out of the RMAF base on 20 December 2007 and 1 Jan 2008, and sent to a warehouse in Subang Jaya before being shipped out of Malaysia to South America.[33][34]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Note: Originally founded as Malaysian Auxiliary Air force in 1936
  2. ^ "Malaysian Armed Forces". GlobalSecurity.org. 
  3. ^ Malaysia: Military plane delivery delayed
  4. ^ "RMAF’s two new copters arrive". Eurocopter Malaysia. 
  5. ^ International Tender For Nuri Replacement To Open Soon
  6. ^ "TUDM tunggu keputusan kerajaan ganti MiG-29N". Utusan Malaysia. 
  7. ^ http://www.dsaexhibition.com/dsa2010/index.php
  8. ^ http://www.defenseworld.net/go/defensenews.jsp?id=4404
  9. ^ http://www.nst.com.my/articles/23eads/Article/
  10. ^ a b c http://www.flightglobal.com/airspace/media/reports_pdf/world-air-forces-2014-108161.aspx
  11. ^ "Sukhoi, Malaysia Sign $100 Mln Deal on Fighters' Maintenance". 28 March 2013. 
  12. ^ http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=20295&item=2057
  13. ^ a b c d e f "AMR Air Force Directory 2013". Asian Military Review. 
  14. ^ Defence ministry mulls RM30bil for new fighter jets
  15. ^ a b c http://www.asianmilitaryreview.com/the-amr-regional-airforce-directory-2013/
  16. ^ http://themalaysianreserve.com/main/news/corporate-malaysia/5597-three-fighter-jet-makers-to-submit-leasing-bids
  17. ^ a b "Selex Galileo to protect Malaysia's Hawk fleet". Flightglobal. 
  18. ^ http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/selex-galileo-to-protect-malaysia39s-hawk-fleet-348841/
  19. ^ Malaysia to receive first A400M in January 2015
  20. ^ "New RMAF Plane Plays Three Roles". 10 October 2013. 
  21. ^ http://www.milaviapress.com/orbat/malaysia/index.php
  22. ^ "No Plan To Dispose Of Nuri Helicopters - Armed Forces Chief". 4 February 2013. 
  23. ^ http://malaysiaflyingherald.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/nuri-for-malaysian-armys-putd/
  24. ^ http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/12/24/Lucky-escape-for-RMAF-six-Squad-survives-copter-crash-thanks-to-experienced-pilot.aspx
  25. ^ http://www.ctrm.com.my/ps_alu_mk1.php
  26. ^ This rank is only used by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the Supreme Commander of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
  27. ^ The Chief of Defence Force and the Chief of the Air Force hold this four-star rank.
  28. ^ This three-star rank is bestowed on the commanders of the various RMAF commands, and by the Vice Chief of the Air Force.
  29. ^ "PASKAU". Laman Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia. 
  30. ^ "Stolen engines case was covered up from the start". Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  31. ^ "PM: Fighter jet engine reported stolen to cops". TheStar Online. Retrieved 22 December 2009. 
  32. ^ "Two Malaysian Indians charged with aircraft engine theft". Deccan Herald (India). Retrieved 7 January 2010. 
  33. ^ "Missing jet engines found". TheStar Online. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  34. ^ "El enigma de los motores de F-5 robados". El Pais. 

External links