KUALA LUMPUR, -- AIROD Sdn Bhd, Malaysia's leading aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BAE Systems (Operation) Ltd for the upgrading of avionic systems on the Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) Hawk aircraft.
BAE System Managing Director, South-East Asia and India, John Brosnan, said the upgrade would equip the RMAF Hawk MK108 and MK208 aircraft with the latest technology and ensure the aircraft meet all future operational requirements.
"We provide options for both one- and two-seater aircraft. It gives additional capabilities and extra life as the product can last longer," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the 15th Defence Services Asia 2016 here today.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and the UK Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, witnessed the signing ceremony.
Under the MOU, BAE Systems will undertake the design, manufacture and certification of the aircraft systems, and AlROD will be responsible for the integration of the systems onto the aircraft.
It would further strengthen and enhance the collaborative work between the AIROD and BAE System in the long-term maintenance of the aircraft, thus ensuring the operational availability and capability of the aircraft for the RMAF.
AlROD, a subsidiary of National Aerospace and Defence Industries, has been providing the second-line maintenance on the RMAF Hawk aircraft ever since its inception into service in 1995.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Major General (R) Datuk Ir Ibrahim Bahari, said the new system, which would take three years and undertaken in Malaysia, would be implemented as soon as possible.
"We have the capabilities and we are bringing the overall capabilities from one level to another level. Last time we undertake the maintenance only. Now we do the upgrade with MRO," he said.
The Hawk is the best-selling trainer jet aircraft in the world.
Hawk exports benefit Malaysia through the manufacture of pylons and demonstrates BAE Systems' commitment to Malaysia.
Brosnan said BAE System has exported a total of 1,000 Hawk jets to some 20 countries worldwide, whereby 19 units of them were owned by Malaysia.
BAE Systems is a global defence and aerospace company and delivers a full range of products, support services and solutions in the maintenance of Hawk aircraft, including the RAMF Hawk MK108 and MK208.
The company, which has been in Malaysia for 50 years, is the largest supplier of equipment to the Malaysian Armed Forces.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk 208 advanced trainer / lightweight multi-role combat aircraft.