Skip to comments.Super Hornet Represents Natural Progression From Hornets, Says Boeing (Malaysia)
Posted on 11/18/2010 8:55:54 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Super Hornet Represents Natural Progression From Hornets, Says Boeing
By Mikhail Raj Abdullah
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- Boeing's combat-proven multi-role Super Hornet fighter aircraft represents a natural progression for Malaysia's current aircraft fleet given its enhanced inter-operability with the existing eight Hornets plus its ability to provide support for ground forces.
"The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernise the air or naval aviation forces of any country," said Dennis Muilenburg, the Executive Vice-President of The Boeing Company and President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, which is a unit of Boeing.
He said international interest continues to grow for the Super Hornet and Malaysia's aerial defence capabilities would certainly increase if it was to go forward with the aircraft which has a speed of more than Mach 1.8.
"The multi-role capabilities of the Super Hornet is really unmatched in the marketplace today," he told a media briefing during his two-day visit to Malaysia this week where he also met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as well as Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Muilenburg said his two-day visit to Malaysia as of last Monday was also to ensure that the in-field support for the current fleet of eight F/A-18D Hornets used by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) was going on well.
From his discussions with Dr Ahmad Zahid and defence ministry officials, he said it it was evident RMAF was pleased with the existing fleet as it provided tremendous capability, reliability as well as low-cost support plus being robust.
"If we are successful in bringing the Super Hornets to Malaysia, part of our industrial programme would include composites manufacturing work done here in Malaysia which certainly can include defence parts," he said.
Malaysia had acquired a fleet of eight F/A-18D Hornets, delivered in the late 1990s for use by RMAF.
"We aim to support this going forward," said Muilenburg, adding that Boeing had offered its new F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft.
Armed among others with 11 weapons stations as well unlimited angle of attack, the F/A-18E model is a single seater while the F/A-18F is a two-seater.
Muilenburg said there were a lot of advantages for Malaysia to have a combined Hornet and Super Hornet fleet going forward as "it certainly is the most capable and cost-effective solution."
Asked how many Super Hornets Boeing intended to sell to Malaysia under the Request For Proposal (RFP) it provided to the customer, he declined to comment, saying this was entirely for the customer to decide.
However, based on newsreports, the number usually thrown about was about 12-18 Super Hornets with Malaysia preferring the single-seater aircraft.
"We also provide industrial participation (and) if we have industry partners in Malaysia, like Asian Composites Manufacturing Sdn Bhd supplying parts for commercial aircraft, we can look to partners for parts manufacture on the Super Hornets," he said, alluding to the possibility of producing some defence aircraft parts locally for the regional and international market as well.
Boeing recently clinched a US$15 billion multi-year procurement deal to supply 124 Super Hornets to the US Navy, which Muilenburg said was a sign of confidence in the fighter aircraft.