Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The Mikoyan MiG-29 (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum) is a 4th generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other nations. The MiG-29 along with the Su-27 were developed to counter new American fighters such as the F-15 Eagle, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Previously 10 units of MIG-29 were bought for service with Royal Malaysian Air Force based in TUDM base in Kuantan. The service of all MIG’s was not yet reached 20 years. Even Germany still uses 22 Units of MIG-29GT. Algeria owns 51units, Iran 18, India 81, North Korea with 40 and additional 18 follow up order from Russia and hundreds in both Ukraine and Russia.
The blame was on the cost of maintenance. Even if Malaysia buy aircraft from other countries, will they give the source code? If the maintenance cost was too high, how much was it cost if compared to buying a fleet of aircraft? Is it better to lose millions for maintenance and upgrading or lose billions for brand new without full source code?
Why Malaysia want to retire the service of MIG-29 and buy more Fighter aircraft from other countries? Is it political issues? Or some VVIP wanted the “middle person” to get millions of dollars during the business and get some of the share for him/herself?