Boeing will upgrade the Royal Malaysian Air Force's eight F/A-18D Hornet fighter aircraft, with the updates intended to improve the type's interoperability with other nations and also to increase the situational awareness of its pilots.
The US manufacturer said the deal is the first major upgrade for Malaysia's Hornets, which were delivered in the mid-1990s. The upgrade includes improvements to the global positioning system and the addition of identification friend-or-foe interrogation capabilities and the joint helmet-mounted cueing system, as well as maintenance and training services.
"The upgrades also make the F/A-18Ds more compatible with the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which Boeing is offering to meet Malaysia's multi-role combat aircraft needs," the company said.
© Greg Waldron/Flightglobal
Although Boeing did not give a value or timeline for the work, a 28 November contract statement on the US Deparment of Defense's website said the company had been awarded $17.3 million for activities to be performed on Kuala Lumpur's F/A-18Ds by 2015. The DoD said 70% of the work will be undertaken at Boeing facilities in St Louis, Missouri, with the remainder to be performed at the Royal Malaysian Air Force's Butterworth air base.