Jump to content
MalaysianWings - Malaysia's Premier Aviation Portal
Sign in to follow this  
BC Tam

Su30 and Utusan Malaysia

Recommended Posts

Quite interesting read !


Jet claim flies in the face of facts — William Choong


JAN 22 — In 1990, David North became the first Western journalist to fly one of the most advanced Soviet aircraft then — the Sukhoi-27. The former United States Navy fighter pilot and editor-in-chief of Aviation Week and Space Technology made a quick assessment: The Su-27 was more comparable to America’s improved performance F-15 Strike Eagle, rather than to the earlier model F-15.


Apparently without the privilege of flying one, Professor Azmi Hassan — a geostrategist at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia — made a similar claim: US-made fighters like the F-5, F-15 and F-16, like those in the Republic of Singapore Air Force, “cannot beat the Su-30”, an advanced variant of the Su-27. Also, the Russian Su-30 is better than the US-made next-generation F-22 Raptor, Azmi wrote in Utusan Malaysia last month.


The thrust of his article was simple: Malaysia should purchase 18 Su-30s to replace its ageing inventory of MIG-29 aircraft.


But the article left out some obvious facts: For one thing, Malaysia already has 18 Su-30s. And to argue that the Su-30 is better than the F-22 — a stealth aircraft with cutting-edge capabilities — is patent nonsense, say experts.


To some extent, one could compare the airframe performances of two aircraft from roughly the same generation.


It has been reported extensively that the Su-30 beat American aircraft such as the F-15 in Red Flag exercises in the US, thanks to its manoeuvrability and high angle of attack. In a widely watched YouTube video, for example, a US Air Force pilot concedes that Su-30s in the hands of competent Indian pilots will “regularly defeat” earlier versions of the F-16 and the F-15. (He did, however, highlight some of the Su-30’s weaknesses).


But the assertion that the Su-30 is better than other US-made aircraft is too simplistic, argues Dzirhan Mahadzir, the Malaysia-based correspondent for Jane’s and a former lecturer at the Malaysian Armed Forces Defence College. “This is the kind of statement that amateurs or those with limited knowledge of military issues make,” he said.


One cannot pitch one aircraft against another, given that air forces fight in “systems”, or suites of capabilities. These include airborne warning and the ability to rearm, refuel and deploy aircraft into combat quickly.


It is a truism that a platform — that is, an aircraft — does not equate to an effective capability, notes Dr Alan Stephens, a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales and a former pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force.


“It’s the total system that matters. For example, if the Battle of Britain were refought today with the Luftwaffe flying Hurricanes and Spitfires and the Royal Air Force (RAF) flying Bf-109s, the result would still be the same,” he said, referring to the RAF’s excellent early warning radar network and superior leadership.


Individual skill is another important factor, argues Professor Bernard Loo, a defence analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “A half-past-six weapon in the hands of a skilled operator is better than a top-notch weapon in the hands of a half-trained monkey,” he says.


“The bottom line,” he adds, is as follows: “Unless and until the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) uses its combat platforms in a coherent system, their possession of technically superior platforms will not change the strategic situation in South-east Asia one iota.”


More importantly, Azmi’s argument that 18 Su-30s will make the RMAF the dominant air power in the region is faulty. Even if it is valid — and many experts beg to disagree — the statement misses the whole point about air power.


As early as 1921, air power strategists such as Giulio Douhet, an Italian air force officer, argued that air power, like other forms of military force, was merely a means to an end in a strategy to crush an opponent’s will. To paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, mere hardware is nothing without an overarching grand strategy.


Moreover, there has been growing circumspection about air power, particularly after the Vietnam War. In his 1996 work, Bombing To Win: Air Power And Coercion In War, Robert Pape argued that American air power had achieved little — and would achieve little — in coercing America’s enemies.


Utusan Malaysia — an Umno-owned newspaper that has seen its circulation fall in recent years — has a penchant for making controversial statements. In October 2000, for example, a reporter asked then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew where the 100 AIM-120C air-to-air missiles (AAMs) Singapore was buying from the US would face. He replied: “The missiles will face nowhere, but they are there to welcome whoever intends harm.”


Nobody took exception to the remark until four days later, when Utusan carried a front-page story headlined “Kuan Yew: Sila Serang Singapura”, or “Kuan Yew: Please attack Singapore”. (Interestingly, Lee had referred to a letter to the New Straits Times by Dzirhan, arguing that the US-made missiles put the Republic on a par with Malaysia’s AA-12 Adder AAMs).


It is bad enough that Azmi’s commentary is full of faulty logic and bereft of any theoretical heft. It would be worse if his comments were to impair the otherwise good political and military relations between two neighbours. — The Straits Times


* This article is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.


from here

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

More, but non-Utusan related :)


Su-27s Grounded


Russia has grounded all of its Su-27 fighters. At least until it can be determined what caused one to crash on January 14th, 30 kilometers from its airbase at Dzemga (in the Far East). The pilot died in the crash, but the flight recorder was recovered. Last year, two Su-27s crashed. The Su-27, which entered service 25 years ago, is showing its age. It's still a first line fighter, but is fading fast. Last year, the U.S. bought two Su-27 fighters from Ukraine, to be used to help train American pilots to cope with the growing number of Su-27 and Su-30 fighters being sold to air forces the world over. The two Su-27s were also used to test the effectiveness of new U.S. radars and electronic warfare equipment. Currently, each of these aircraft are being sold to collectors, for $4.5 million each

Russia's Sukhoi aircraft company has sold over a billion dollars worth of these aircraft (plus components and technical services for them) a year for the last few years. Sukhoi mainly supplies Su-27/30 jet fighters to India, China, Malaysia, Venezuela and Algeria. The 33 ton Su-27 is similar to the U.S. F-15, but costs over a third less.


Developed near the end of the Cold War, the aircraft is one of the best fighters Russia has ever produced. The government helped keep Sukhoi alive during the 1990s, and even supplied money for development of an improved version of the Su-27 (the Su-30). This proved to be an outstanding aircraft, and is the main one Sukhoi produces. There are now several Su-30 variants, and major upgrades. While only about 700 Su-27s were produced (mostly between 1984, when it entered service, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991), adding Su-30 production and you have over 1,000 aircraft (including license built ones in China and India).


The other modern Russian fighter, the MiG-29, is having similar reliability problems, but worse. Malaysia recently admitted that it is getting rid of its MiG-29 fighters because the aircraft are too expensive to maintain. It cost about $5 million a year, per aircraft, to keep them in flying condition. Malaysia has ordered 18 Su-30 fighters, and will apparently order more to replace all of its retired MiG-29s. Russia has offered better prices on maintenance contracts for new Su-30s, in addition to bargain (compared to U.S. planes) prices.


The MiG-29 entered Russian service in 1983. Some 1,600 MiG-29s have been produced so far, with about 900 of them exported. The 22 ton aircraft is roughly comparable to the F-16, but it depends a lot on which version of either aircraft you are talking about. Russia is making a lot of money upgrading MiG-29s. Not just adding new electronics, but also making the airframe more robust. The MiG-29 was originally rated at 2,500 total flight hours. At that time (early 80s), Russia expected MiG-29s to fly about a hundred or so hours a year. India, for example, flew them at nearly twice that rate, as did Malaysia. So now Russia is offering to spiff up the airframe so that the aircraft can fly up to 4,000 hours, with more life extension upgrades promised. This won't be easy, as the MiG-29 has a history of unreliability and premature breakdowns (both mechanical and electronic).


In the last year, Russia grounded has grounded its MiG-29s several times, in order to check for structural flaws. Compared to Western aircraft, like the F-16, the MiG-29 is available for action about two thirds as much. While extending the life of the MiG-29 into the 2030s is theoretically possible, actually doing so will be real breakthrough in Russian aircraft capabilities. The Indians are going to take up the Russians on their upgrade offer. Algeria, and several other nations, have turned down the MiG-29, which has acquired the reputation of being second rate and a loser. Russia, however, wants to preserve MiG as a brand, so it is not solely dependent on Sukhoi for its jet fighters. At this point, it looks like an uphill fight. MiG and Sukhoi are now both divisions of a state owned military aircraft company (United Aircraft). Technically, the MiG division is bankrupt. Sukhoi is profitable.


from here

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Utusan has the same credibility as their owners have.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Utusan Malaysia is compatible with:

1. Entertainment

2. Gossips

3. Politics*


Utusan Malaysia is NOT compatible with:

1. Aviation

2. technology

3. Computer-related items

4. Politics**


* 1950s style

** Modern style

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...