A Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules lands at Australian Air Force Base Pearce. Progress was announced at Defence Services Asia on a program to upgrade Malaysian C-130 cockpits. (Rob Griffith/Agence France-Presse)
KUALA LUMPUR — Collaboration agreements, minor contract announcements, letters of agreement and letters of intent came thick and fast on the third day of the Defence Services Asia show here.
The Ministry of Defence alone took over an hour Wednesday to announce 25 deals of various kinds, many of them requiring signing ceremonies.
Most of the contracts were for spares, maintenance and other support items for air and land systems with local companies like Sapura-LTAT Communications Technologies and Global Turbine Asia being the beneficiaries.
SME Ordnance secured contracts to supply various ammunition types and other munitions while Peluang Kristal won work for the provision of camouflage.
Aircraft maintenance company Airod secured two letters of acceptance from the MoD, including one to act as prime contractor on a much-delayed cockpit upgrade for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s fleet of C-130 Hercules.
The technical solution has yet to be selected from a list of avionics suppliers such as Rockwell Collins and Esterline CMC Electronics, but Airod’s selection as program leader is as close to a commitment as has been seen on the C-130 update program.
Letters of intent with Airod and Sapura accounted for around half of the 1.86 billion Malaysian Ringett (US $572 million) worth of announcements made by the MoD today.
Actual contract awards accounted for 737 million Malaysian Ringett of the total.
The MoD event was also used to announce several memorandums of understanding for industrial partnering.
AM General signed up with DRB-HICOM to cooperate in the co-production and supply of the US company’s High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and other light tactical vehicles into the local market.
The Malaysian company also inked a cooperative agreement with Bell Helicopters to look at partnering on potential programs for the local military, such as the AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters.
DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies is best known as a vehicle builder but is increasingly focusing on the aviation market.
The company already partners with Saab to sell Swedish fighters and airborne early warning aircraft to Malaysia.
Later in the day, further industrial partnering arrangements were rolled out, most notably a collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space and Sapura Secured Technologies in the field of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The deal includes the joint development of planning and data fusion systems for armed forces digitization in the Asia Pacific market.
Separately, Finmeccanica subsidiary Selex ES said it had signed a deal with Airod to supply spares and support for electronic countermeasures, and radars for the AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 helicopter.
The final announcement of the day was a collaboration pact between Bulgarian military and law enforcement optical supplier Optix and Malaysian engineering and construction firm Bintang Kencuna.