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Sukhoi pesawat 'canggih'

Sukhoi Fighter Aircraft A Tactical And Strategic Asset

IRKUTSK, Russia, May 24 (Bernama) - Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Chief Jen Datuk Seri Azizan Ariffin said the Sukhoi Su-30MKM multi-role fighter jet is a tactical and strategic asset to RMAF as its ability to cover long distances puts it on par with the air forces of neighbouring states.

"The Su-30MKM will act as a deterrent to parties that try to threaten the sovereignty of Malaysia," said Azizan when signing an early acceptance certificate for the delivery of two Su-30MKMs (M52-01 and M52-02) from representatives of Russian state corporation Rosoboronexport and the Irkut Aircraft Corporation here today.

The RMAF Chief arrived in this eastern Siberian city yesterday piloting a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

"Today is a historical day for the RMAF as the Su-30MKMs delivered are the most sophisticated multi-role aircraft in Southeast Asia," he told reporters at the Irkut Aircraft Corporation's runway with temperatures dipping to -10 degrees Celcius.

The two Su-30MKM jets are the first of 18 ordered by RMAF in May 2003 at a cost of RM3.42 billion (USD900 million).

The Malaysian delegation comprising senior RMAF officers and the media were treated to a 10-minute aerobatics show by a squadron of Su-30MKM jets.

Azizan said the two Sukhoi planes would be delivered in June using the Antonov AN-124 transport aircraft to the RMAF base in Gong Kedak, Kelantan.

The sixteen others will be delivered in stages between the end of the year and mid-2008.

Azizan said the fighters will be equipped with sophisticated air-to-air RVV-AE missiles.

RVV-AE is the Russian acronym for Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile or AMRAAMski in defence circles and is said to be as good if not better than the United States-made AMRAAMs.

Other than Malaysia, Singapore is believed to have equipped its F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft with AMRAAMs.

The Su-30MKMs can fly for 4.5 hours with a range of 3,000km on a normal fuel tank, but with inflight refuelling, the time and distance can be extended to 10 hours and 8,000 km.

They are also equipped with high-powered radars to detect targets from afar enabling them to double up as early warning aircraft.

Meanwhile, the deputy general director of Rosoboronexport, Victor Komardin, said the RMAF's Su-30MKMs were the most versatile and modern multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) aircraft in the world.

"They have the most modern engine, avionics and weapons systems," he said.

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