BAE Systems Inc, the wholly owned US subsidiary of the British defence, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems PLC, is planning to set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility and a vocational training centre in Malaysia.
BAE Systems International Ltd South East Asia managing director John Brosnan said the conditional assessment would be dependent on Malaysia’s decision to choose the company’s combat aircraft, Eurofighter Typhoon for Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme.
“Both developments will be based on a joint-venture with local players. It will also provide economic value to the local market about five times of the value of the aircraft purchase,” he told NST Business in an exclusive interview yesterday.
Brosnan said the investment’s facility would be spent over 25 years, creating more than 20,000 high-skilled jobs for the locals including the establishment of vocational training centre for the local aerospace sector.
“We will develop the technical vocational training centre in phases over 10 years with the involvement of Bristol University and Loughborough University,” he added.
Brosnan said BAE Systems had been working with the RMAF for nearly five years to test its combat aircraft.
“Hopefully, a deal will happen soon for the Eurofighter Typhoon,” he said, adding that there is a requirement for Malaysia to upgrade its aerial surveillance capabilities.
Brosnan said the fighter jet delivery could be made in about four years, subject to the RMAF requirements and negotiations.
The fighter jet package could include the unit, support services including maintenance and repair as well as training modules for local technicians.
Malaysia has been for several years considering to replace its ageing combat fighters, Russian-made, MiG-29s, which currently are not in service.
However, the decision to acquire new 18 fighter jets has yet to materialise as the country is preparing its focuses on the 14th General Election, which will be held on May 9.
It was made to understand that the decision could only be finalised after the election with regards to potential purchase either Eurofighter Typhoon or France’s Dassault Aviation, Rafale fighter jet.
“Every country has economic pressure. Defence is a significant cost, where governments have to allocate certain spending priorities.