Malaysia has expressed interest in South Korea’s progress and developments in the aerospace industry. Speaking during his visit to the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) facility, the Malaysian Prime Minister stated that South Korea has made great strides in the highly technological field since the last time he visited the country in 2002.
The PM has always been interested in fighter planes and indigenous planes and wants to see how they perform and the advancement of their aircraft industry.
A qualified pilot and an avid follower of aero technology, the Prime Minister arrived at the aerospace and defence facility by helicopter.
Sacheon is located about 100km from Busan, the host city of the ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit 2019, which the PM is scheduled to attend. He spent more than two hours at the facility, which included attending a 30-minute meeting with the company’s top officials. He later toured the facility and was briefed on KAI’s FA-50 Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft (LCA).
Malaysia is currently mulling its option on LCAs and may formally launch a procurement effort to enable its air force to keep up with advanced technology and capability.
According to a defence publication, the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s (RMAF) plans to procure up to 36 LCAs with an option for 26 more to complement its current batch of Hawks, Sukhoi SU-30MKM and FA-18D Hornets fighter jets.
The LCAs are expected to serve several roles in RMAF, including as LCA and lead-in fighter trainers. Among the other types of LCA under consideration by RMAF are the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Tejas, the Leonardo M-346, the
Aero Vodochody L-39NG, the CAC L-15A/B, the CAC/PAC JF-17, the Saab Gripen and the Yakovlev Yak-130. Meanwhile, the PM said the government wanted Malaysia to be part of the Fourth (IR 4.0) and use modern technology to its advantage.
Speaking at the ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit, it was noted that the most promising industries in Malaysia were information technology and new technologies. We may be behind many others, but we intend to catch up.
The aim is to educate young Malaysians so that they are more familiar with the new values, a new strategy of doing things and new kinds of businesses.
The PM stated that Malaysia continued to welcome foreign investors despite the change in government.
The CEO Dialogue, organised by the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was held in conjunction with the two-day summit, which started yesterday with a leaders’ welcoming dinner. The PM also visited the Malaysian Pavilion at the Invest ASEAN Exhibition held in conjunction with the summit.
In January 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that a world-standard aerospace centre would be set up in Subang. The project was lauded by industry players and academicians at research universities, including Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).
The centre is being developed on a 32.37-hectare site in Subang and is seen as a positive development in the aeronautical sector, which is now one of the studies being given focus by the university.
The Dean of the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UTHM and Associate Professor hopes that the university would be directly involved in the government’s effort.
UTHM was one of the higher learning institutions that offer studies in aviation technology, apart from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
The Malaysian aerospace industry is seen by the Malaysian Government as a strategic industry, which has vast potential in the country’s industrialisation and technological development programmes. This motive is manifested in the setting up of the aerospace centre and the exploration of new aerospace technology.