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Singapore Airshow 2020: Malaysian air force grapples with fighter shortages

5th February 2020 - 06:45 GMT | by Dzirhan Mahadzir in Kuala Lumpur

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Gen Ackbal Samad assumed command of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) on 3 January, making him the fifth chief who will have to grapple with the much-delayed Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA).

The MRCA project to replace the now deactivated MiG-29 fleet has been in existence since 2009, and the outlook is that Ackbal’s tenure, which ends in late 2022, will not result in any change given the Malaysian government’s disinclination to commit significant spending to Malaysia’s armed forces despite a large number of ageing assets.

Malaysia’s Defence White Paper did not mention the need to replace the MiG-29s, instead only

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Dzirhan Mahadzir

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Dzirhan Mahadzir


Dzirhan Mahadzir is a freelance defense journalist and analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who …

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