Saab & BAE Systems table export credit for Malaysia fighter bid
October 19, 2017
The Saab JAS-39E. Photo credit - Saab

Saab & BAE Systems table export credit for Malaysia fighter bid

With the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) seeking 18 next-generation multi-role fighters to supplant its MiG-29, leading aviation vendors are beginning to actively position their respective platforms.

IHS Jane’s and Shepard Media report that Saab and BAE Systems are willing to provide credit or financing terms for the JAS-39 Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon, respectively. These statements came in light of the Malaysian government’s conservative defence spending outlook.

Notes & Comments:

Malaysia’s defence procurement strategy is tailored for diversification, which results in purchases from Eastern and Western vendors. One need only look at the Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) recent purchases from France (Scorpene-class submarines and Gowind-class frigates) and China (Littoral Mission Ships).

This mix is also evident in the RMAF, which operates the Boeing F/A-18D Hornet and Northrop F-5 Tiger II alongside the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-30MKM. The RMAF also took delivery of its fourth Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus DS) A400M.

A tight procurement budget could very well steer the RMAF to United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which is interested in securing overseas sales for its Su-35 and MiG-35.

The RMAF bid appears to be in a tentative stage, so it is unclear which platform is leading, though regional media outlets have identified the Dassault Rafale as among the frontrunners. Dassault did not comment on whether it would join BAE Systems and Saab in offering credit, but considering Paris’ success in selling arms to Kuala Lumpur, a loan is plausible.


  • Paul Baggio

    leasing 2 squadron of Gripen would allow RMAF to buy times in before choosing either Rafale or Typhoon as RMAF next generation fighter

    • Superior Shakeel

      Word around the block is they are almost set on rafale with extensive lobbying and flight testing being done by dassault.

      • Paul Baggio

        Both Singapore & South Korea pilots reportedly favor Rafale..but the contracts still going to Boeing!

        Malaysia may end up with Super Hornet if Boeing can offer better financial package plus buying back existing Legacy Hornets OR

        Russia could done the same by offering the latest SU-30SM plus buying back Mig-29N

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