25 June 2009

The air force's MiG-29N jetfighters will be sold off - Defence Minister


Malaysia - Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29N M43-09

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 (Bernama) -- The air force's MiG-29N jetfighters will be sold off and replaced with new aircraft, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

Several companies abroad had expressed interest to buy the aircraft, he said, adding that the ministry would discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry.

"There are still matters to be considered such as the price," he told reporters after attending an event here to announce the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2010 exhibition.

Malaysia received the delivery of the Russian-made MiG-29N in April 1995.

Malaysia had signed the purchase of 18 units the aircraft in June 1994 at the cost of US$380 million while the package which included training and spare parts cost US$1.6 billion.

Ahmad Zahid the MiG-29N would be replaced with interceptors with the latest technologies to strengthen the air force's capabilities.

He also said that the government was taking steps to replace the armed forces' ageing assets in stages.

On foreign newswire reports that a North Korean vessel, suspected of carrying weapons and banned cargoes, was heading towards the Strait of Melaka, Ahmad Zahid said the Malaysian authorities were gathering intelligence on the matter.

Reports said that the cargo ship, Kang Nam, carrying the North Korean flag, was chugging towards the Strait of Melaka.

The ship was reported to be heading for Thilawa port in Myanmar and said to be carrying low technology weapons but still dangerous compared to other conventional weapons.
- BERNAMA

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