The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) recently completed 25 years of operations with its fleet of Hawk 208s and Hawk 108s, which were acquired starting 1994. Manufactured by BAE Systems, the RMAF went to acquire a total of 18 Hawk 208s (single seat) and 10 Hawk 108 (twin-seat) from 1994 onwards, to meet its requirements for a light attack aircraft and an advanced jet trainer, respectively.
The RMAF inducted the aircraft into three squadrons (No. 6, No. 9 and No.15) at the rate of two aircraft each month, starting first deliveries in April 1994.
“The Hawk is still capable of delivering and remaining relevant. We are planning to use it for 10 more years and there will be upgrades,” said RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang.
The decision to operate the type for another decade, will mean that the RMAF will move forward on a planned upgrade for its Hawk 208s with upgrades to its Electronic Warfare (EW) and counter-measure systems, refurbishment of its APG-66H radar and display units as well as a new Mission Planning System. As per current plans, once the upgrade effort is formalised and contracted for, the first upgrade aircraft will be delivered in 15 months. The upgrade work will be performed by AIROD Sdn Bhd who are the MRO provider for Hawk in Malaysia, and the Malaysian Ministry of Defence. The RMAF is conducting flying displays with its Hawk aircraft, at the ongoing airshow.
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