Any country that has a vast shoreline to patrol like Malaysia should have a large fleet of dedicated medium and long-range maritime patrol aircraft that is capable of performing hours of patrolling and can perform secondary missions like search & rescue and anti-submarine warfare. Presently this role is being taken with some modifications by the Indonesia-made CN-235 transport plane. Image source: Wikipedia.
Presently KD Jebat and KD Lekiu are the most capable frigate ships in the Royal Malaysian Navy’s fleet with Exocet Block 2 SSM and Sea Wolf SAM and are due to be complemented by the new 6 Maharaja Lela class frigates under the Littoral Coastal Ship Program. Image source: Wikipedia
As China and other countries in the region keep upgrading their military defence and offence assets such as this Sukhoi-30-based dedicated electronic warfare fighter (known as Shenyang J-16D), Malaysia needs to ensure that its existing defence assets are upgraded in par to keep up its effectiveness and also work with other countries like India who are facing the same threats. Image source: Defense News
The RMN operates one of the more reliable and known anti-ship missiles, the French made Exocet anti-ship missiles starting off with the MM38 version and now operating the newer MM40 Block 2 and SM39 on their 2 submarines. MM38 has a range of 40 kilometres whilst MM40 Block 2 has a range of 72 kilometres. Image source: Naval Analyses.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) even converted some of the CN-235 transport planes into maritime patrol roles which says a lot about the capabilities of a modern, well-designed transportation aircraft. Image source: Wikipedia.
When it comes to the air force’s mainstream inventory, one would often fancy their latest lineup of the latest jet fighters and perhaps their heavily armed & armoured attack helicopters but no one talks about the workhorse of the air force, the transport carriers.