You are here
Home > MY ATM > RMAF Establishes New Unmanned Aerial System Squadron

RMAF Establishes New Unmanned Aerial System Squadron

KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has formed an unprecendented new squadron, specifically for the unmanned aerial system (UAS).

Its chief Gen Datuk Seri Ackbal Abdul Samad announced this today in conjunction with the 62nd RMAF anniversary via a ‘live’ social media event.

He said the new UAS formation would replace the Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flankers at the 11th Squadron, with the fighter jets now reassigned to the 12th Squadron at the Gong Kedak air base at the Kelantan-Terengganu border.

“This new UAS squadron has been formed as of today (June 1) in preparation to receive the required assets (like unmanned aerial vehicles) soon.

“This development will definitely arouse emotions with the Su-30MKM personnel as it will involve the redocumentation of assets by the human resources department at the air force headquarters and the like.

“But I feel we do not have a choice as its implementation is in accordance with preserving historical facts,” he said.

Ackbal said the RMAF hoped to regain its preventive and corrective maintenance of its assets without compromising local defence industries, something that had long been overdue for over 23 years.

These were the plans under the RMAF’s 35-year ‘Capability Development 2055’ (CAP 55) transformation plan on new procurement, enhancement and upgrading of assets to make it a ‘lean and mean’ air force.

The programme entails the acquisition of the UAS, air defence radars, a maritime patrol aircraft squadron, and up to three squadrons of fighter lead-in-trainers and light combat aircraft.

Ackbal added that the year 2020 also involved the shifting and operations of new RMAF facilties, following the closure of the RMAF’s Kuala Lumpur air base that had suitably served as a very systematic and centralised infrastructure for the air force headquarters and its units.

“The relocation of the facilities at the Kuala Lumpur air base to its new premises is in line with the aspirations of the RMAF to create a modern and conducive infrastructure.

“This is to give a positive impact to the concerned units for a better readiness of the RMAF,” he said.

Ackbal added that for instance, the Air Operations Command Headquarters, Air Support Command Headquarters, Air Force Operations Centre and the Air Warfare Centre had shifted to the Subang base.

The RMAF’s Education and Training Command Headquarters had shifted to the new Sendayan air base in Negri Sembilan, while the RMAF’s No. 1 Division headquarters had moved to the Kuantan air base.

On another note, Ackbal said that to conform to the ‘new normal’, the well-being and health of air force personnel following the Covid-19 pandemic has been given serious attention.

“The advice and guidance by the government to contain the virus has to be adhered at all levels of personnel and society at all times for everyone’s benefit.

“I urge all personnel to practice preventive measures as part of their daily lives.

“We need to embrace the ‘new normal’ in our daily lives, which is no longer the same anymore.

“It is not something difficult to adapt with but has to be done for our own good,” he said.

Ackbal reminded them that although they faced some tension and challenges, they have to carry out their duties and responsibilities with full commitment and dedication.

He said once the movement control order (MCO) is lifted, all the necessary basic training would resume with the RMAF overcoming the situation successfully.

He said the 62nd anniversary theme of ‘Berupaya bersiaga, kedaulatan terjaga’ (Always prepared, sovereignty safeguarded) were important air power elements in safeguarding the country’s airspace and maritime borders.

In today’s era, the duty spectrum of the RMAF is very wide.

Apart from possessing a credible combat power, there requires a high level of asset preparedness and formidable manpower to thwart any sovereign threats.

“The man, machine and method integration is important for a balanced synergy to remain an effective air force.”

On the MCO, Ackbal said the RMAF had assisted other enforcement agencies like the police and also carried out 42 missions in air freighting 270 tonnes of medical and health supplies for frontliners nationwide.

Additionally, the Eurocopter EC725 helicopters carried out 20 missions to airlift 30 tonnes of food supplies to the interior regions in Sabah and Sarawak.

These are in addition to aerial surveillance to secure maritime borders in the Straits of Melaka, South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

It resulted in spotting several foreign vessels carrying hundreds of illegal immigrants attempting to encroach into Malaysian territorial waters in the Straits of Melaka.

The operations were successful in preventing the illegal entry and trafficking of the immigrants which could have posed a health risk with the Covid-19 virus.

To check on this menace, Armed Forces chief Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang had announced the establishment of a National Task Force integrated operation codenamed ‘Ops Benteng’, comprising the Armed Forces and other enforcement agencies, to tighten the country’s maritime and land borders.

%d bloggers like this: