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LIMA 2017: MRCA contenders jockey for pole position

22nd March 2017 - 23:46 GMT | by Wendell Minnick in Langkawi

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European aviation companies are playing tug of war over Malaysia's next fighter aircraft selection, with Saab and BAE Systems making counter-claims that each has been crowned king at this year's LIMA exhibition in Langkawi, Malaysia.

The fight is over the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) requirement for 18 fighters to replace its aging MiG-29N fleet. The Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) programme has been in limbo due to budgetary problems since Malaysia issued an RfP in 2011.

Expectations are that the competition will be finalised after the 2020 defence budget is allocated, but BAE Systems claimed its Eurofighter and the French-made …

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