|Mig-29N pilot with LA100 Rafale Helmet - ©Bud Bilko - LIMA 2007|
[...]The Malay Mail was informed by defence industry sources that the decision to open the office here “within the next one month or two” was a clear statement by Dassault that “it was serious” in offering its Rafale – which the company described as the only omni-role fighter - for the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) programme.[...]
The RMAF requirement is for 12 to 18 fighter jets in order to replace MIG-29N. At first glance, it was thought that the Malay authorities would have selected the Boeing F/A-18E as the logical complement for its F/A-18D fleet. On the contrary, it seems that 3 other fighters are now concidered : the Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and most probably the Dassault Rafale. This new Malay contest looks very much like a mini remake of the Indian MMRCA competition with almost the same actors. The Rafale being shortlisted in India might well be the reason why the French plane is now considered seriously by the RMAF. It is worth noting that Dassault usually does not bid if the contest is not percieved to be fair (Recently, Dassault did not respond to Japan and Korea RFI/RFQ)
[...]Last December, Dassault officials met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Putrajaya. No details of the meeting have come out but it was believed that as a result of the meeting, Dassault had decided to actively pursue the MRCA programme.
The tender for the programme is only expected to be announced at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) show this December. All four fighters bidding for the MRCA contract are expected to take part in the show.[...]
Also read this 2009 report : Replacement of Malaysia MiG-29s Faces Future Budget Challenges