Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKM take part in a training drill ahead of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) 2019 exhibition in Langkawi, on March 22 in Butterworth. - NSTP/DANIAL SAAD

LANGKAWI: The first of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKM has undergone a refurbishment programme.

Aerospace Technology Systems Corp (ATSC), the Russian manufacturer's local partner, undertook a ‘Preventive and Restoration Work’ after the fighter jet reached 10 years of active service.

ATSC's corporate and contract administration senior manager Mazliza Mohd Noor said the particular aircraft, with military registration number M52-11, would be officially handed over to the RMAF tomorrow.

She said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was expected to hand over the aircraft to RMAF chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang at a simple ceremony.

The event, to be witnessed by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, is scheduled to be held just after Dr Mahathir opens the 15th edition of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) 2019 exhibition at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre at Padang Matsirat.

"The preventive and restoration work was done at a much lower cost domestically, rather than send the aircraft to Russia to have the job done.

"We are planning to undertake life-extension work for the remaining of the RMAF's fleet in stages," she said.

The New Straits Times has learnt that the preventive and restoration work was done to the tune of tens of millions of ringgit, but accounted for huge savings for the government by extending the aircraft's service life.

Affendi had recently voiced his concern that 40 per cent of the RMAF's assets required immediate upgrading.

These include the BAE Systems Hawk 100/200 fighter jets, Boeing F/A-18D Hornets and a fleet of 14 Lockheed C-130 Hercules, in service for over 20 years.

The Sikorsky S-61A-4 Nuri helicopters have also served the RMAF for over 40 years.

The Su-30MKM is the country's leading multi-role combat aircraft based at the Gong Kedak air base in Terengganu.

Masliza said ATSC focused on three primary core businesses - the RMAF's Sukhoi Su-30MKM and MiG-29N Fulcrum air superiority fighter.

At Lima 2019, ATSC will be presented with the 'Authorised Engineering Organisations and Approved Maintenance Organisation' (AMO) certificates by the RMAF's technical airworthiness department (DGTA).

"These awards are granted in conjunction with ATSC's 10 years of servicing and design, development, review and approval of ground support equipment and AMO for the Su-30MKM's intermediate level maintenance and depot level maintenance.

"The maintenance concerns the aircraft's weapon systems, service life extension and preventive restoration works, repair and overhaul after the successful compliance audits by the Aircraft and Aeronautical Maintenance Regulation and Team and Aircraft Aeronautical Engineering Regulation," she said.

On June 25, 1994, ATSC was formed in accordance with a deal between the government and Russian State Corporation named Rosvoorouzhenie, now known as Rosoboronexport, and Moscow Aircraft Production Organisation (MAPO), presently known as JSC RAC MiG.

ATSC is a subsidiary of National Aerospace and Defence Industry Sdn Bhd (NADI) which holds 70 per cent of the shares while its Russian partners, RAC MiG and Rosoboronexport each hold 25 per cent and five per cent, respectively.

The Ministry of Finance Incorporated holds the golden share of one per cent.