Malaysia plans to finalise a contract for up to eight Airbus Military A400M transports in December and is also close to agreeing a deal to lease two maritime patrol aircraft.

Industry sources say Malaysia has agreed to order four A400Ms and take four options for delivery from 2012, but is delaying announcing the deal until December’s Langkawi air show.

Sources say Composite Technology Research Malaysia, which is already a minor A400M supplier, expects to receive an additional contract for composite parts, and that SME Aerospace has been asked to produce metal components.

However, the manufacturers are still waiting for detailed drawings and are unsure if they can meet the A400M’s tight production schedule. Indirect offsets could be arranged if the companies reject Airbus Military’s offer to participate, while Airod expects to be named as a service centre for the new transport.

Malaysia’s budget shortfall is expected to limit its military aircraft procurements this year to only the A400M. Sources say Malaysia’s planned acquisition of four airborne early-warning and control aircraft will slip into 2006 and its long-delayed purchase of up to 18 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets until at least 2007.

Malaysia’s maritime enforcement agency on 25 August received proposals from around 20 companies interested in wet-leasing two maritime patrol aircraft from November 2005.

A selection is expected within the next few weeks, with offers including Bombardier Dash 8s, EADS Casa/Indonesian Aerospace CN-235s, Fokker 50s and Raytheon Beech King Air 350s. The successful contractor, or its partner, will modify the aircraft and provide maintenance services throughout the 10-year contract.


Source: Flight International