Singapore Airshow 2018: Malaysia and India pursue Su-30 cooperation
Malaysia and India have agreed to conduct an exercise in Malaysia, centring on their respective versions of the Sukhoi Su-30 fighter.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the news on 26 January following a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi. Modi had proposed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent taking part in the RAAF-hosted Exercise Pitch Black in July-August hold an exercise in Malaysia either en route to Australia or during their return to India.
Najib stated that Malaysia had agreed to the proposal and the exercise would largely focus on tactical employment of the Su-30.
Najib also said that both countries’ navies would step up training collaboration, particularly in regard to the Scorpene-class submarines used by both countries. Ironically, following India’s Scorpene order in 2005, Malaysia had looked to India as a potential source of collaboration for its own submarines. Delays to the Indian programme meant such cooperation has not developed until now.
Malaysia and India have long collaborated in regard to the Su-30, despite operating different variants of the aircraft.
An IAF training team of pilots and technicians was based in Malaysia from March 2008-September 2010 to train Malaysian counterparts and, in September 2014, Indian technicians assisted the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) during a successful live firing of a Kh-31A missile from a Malaysian Su-30MKM in Exercise Angsa.
Modi and Najib announced in Kuala Lumpur in November 2015 that India and Malaysia would set up an Su-30 aircraft forum to exchange information on training, maintenance and technical support.