Honeywell is eyeing upgrade opportunities for Kuala Lumpur’s Boeing F/A-18D Hornet fighters and Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules tactical transports.
Honeywell has a significant amount of content on the F/A-18Ds that it could upgrade, says company vice-president Tim Van Luven.
Potential upgrade work could involve the aircraft’s displays, global positioning system, antennas, lighting, wheels and brakes, and cabin pressure system. In addition, Honeywell produced the main fuel controls on the type’s General Electric F404 engines.
"The needs of Malaysia’s defence and aerospace industry are constantly evolving,” he says. “Honeywell is well positioned in the region to evaluate ways in which we can offer customized support to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. As a key solutions provider for the F/A-18D, we are continuously exploring possibilities that leverage our local partnerships and global supply chain network to bring enhanced aftermarket support to Malaysia.”
Honeywell also believes that maintenance for Malaysia’s Hornet fleet would be better expedited were this to be conducted under a direct commercial arrangement, as opposed to the existing Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement.
Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that the Royal Malaysian Air Force operates eight F/A-18Ds, with an average age of 21.7 years.
Van Luven made the remarks during the recent Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.
In addition, Honeywell sees broad scope for work on Kuala Lumpur’s fleet of C-130s.
“We talked to [local MRO firm] Airod and the Malaysian government as well,” says Van Luven.
“We understand there is funding to support the programme, but there are no decisions, contracts or tenders as of yet on what the upgrade is. We're going to give some briefings to some of the local decision makers on what Honeywell can do.”
Van Luven says that Honeywell can offer a broad range of upgrades to the legacy fleet, including avionics, mechanical systems, safety systems, and communications.
“There's lots of places to spend money on old C-130s from the 1970s, so it will depend on their requirements,” he says. “They seem very committed to upgrading.”
The RMAF operates 14 C-130s with an average of 34.9 years. Its in service fleet comprises three C-130Hs, eight C-130H-30s, and two KC-130Hs. It also has a single C-130H-30 in storage.