LONDON — UK Defence Procurement Minister Philip Dunne and his Malaysian counterpart, Hishammudin Hussein, signed Sept 12 contracts for Kuala Lumpur's order worth more than £100 million (US $154.3 million) for the Starstreak, a short-range air-defense missile from Thales.
The ministers sealed the deal on the first day of the Defence and Security Exhibition International show, giving official support for the missile contract Thales signed with its Malaysian partner, Global Komited, (eds: correct), part of the Westar group.
The integrated arms package for the Malaysian armed forces comprises the Starstreak missile, ControlMaster 200 radar and weapon coordination system, Rapid ranger and Rapid rover mobile weapon systems, next generation lightweight multiple launcher, and communications, Thales said in a statement.
The missile deal was is worth more than £100 million and the two defense ministers witnessed the initializing of the contract at the Lima defense exhibition, Malaysia, a few months ago, Dunne said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron recently visited Malaysia, indicating the long-term security relations between Britain and Malaysia, Dunne said.
Asked about a recent French offer of the Dassault Rafale fighter jet to Malaysia, Hussein said the Malaysian administration would ensure there would be "transparency" in the selection and communication with the public.
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently visited Malaysia with a high level team comprising senior members of parliament and company chairmen, and visited the airbase where the first Airbus A400M transport plane for the Malaysian Air Force is based.
There is a strong orderbook for the Starstreak missile, with six years of backlog for employees at the Belfast plant, Thales Executive Vice President Alex Cresswell said. Southeast Asia is a strong market for the missile, with Thales competing in a tender in Singapore, which is "recompeting" the Saab RBS70 missile.