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The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will set up a technical team to evaluate several types of maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) following government approval of the purchase of the surveillance aircraft as announced in the 2018 Budget recently.

According to RMAF Chief, Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, the technical team will analyse several aspects of the contender’s aircraft and choose the best option which fits the RMAF requirements.

Currently, safeguarding the nation’s maritime sovereignty is primarily shouldered by three of the RMAF’s Beechcraft B200 aircraft, and aircraft from other agencies. 

Although the MPA will be operated by the RMAF, the multi-spectral mission of the aircraft also consists of naval operations such as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), which makes it imperative to have output from a naval officer in the evaluation team.

Besides ASW and maritime surveillance, the MPAs, according to Affendi also needs to perform missions such as Search And Rescue (SAR) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT). 

 Among the contenders to fulfill RMAF’s MPA requirement include Airbus Defence and Space’s C295, Indonesia’s PT Dirgantara CN235, Leonardo’s ATR72 and P-8 Poseidon which are used by the United States and Australia’s armed forces.

 

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