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Malaysia’s jet fighters under US control?

October 20, 2011

FMT LETTER

From  Ali Cordoba, via e-mail

The Turkish Military, despite being a Nato member, has decided to get rid of the US software that controls its fleet of figher jets. Its F-16′s can now target Israeli fighter jets, which was not allowed by the US built-in software.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) has its own fleet of American F/A-18Ds. The air force split their order between the F/A-18 and the Mikoyan MiG-29 in 2007 and now has 8 F-18s. They are all controlled by the US software that guides the pilot. The software will not allow any Malaysian fighter jets to target an ‘enemy’ who is ‘pro-US’ in the event of a clash.

This info provided by the Turkish media fully confirms multiple conclusions of the renowned military experts that export models of the American fighters are larded with “bugs” in the specific software that are destined to transfer to US all the confidential flight data and even block aircraft from current operations when it is beneficial to American manufacturers. Moreover these program bugs are programmed to completely disintegrate the aircraft.

Malaysia must bear in mind that its goal of obtaining fleets of modern American aircrafts runs the risk of losing every single fighter plane if Washington decides to prevent them from operations. US-inspired mutinies in the Middle East and Northern Africa clearly signify that Americans won’t stop from achieving their goal of being able topple governments of sovereign states or disintegrating its F-18 fighters sold overseas.

According to the Ankara’s Star Gazete, American-made F-16 fighter aircrafts will be re-equipped soon with a new Turkish radar system. The new system – Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) – is a defensive command and control system developed by Turkey’s

Military Electronics Industry (ASELSAN) for the nation’s air force and navy. It is slated to replace a similar US version which is in use today.

The order which came directly from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office also encourages change of naval and submarine radar systems.

The main cause of this decision is that specific software currently used in the American radar system automatically detects Israeli aircraft as friendly and doesn’t allow to fire at Jewish war planes. Modern Turkish F-16 radar system will be modified to recategorise Israeli targets as hostile.

The Turkish IFF system is scheduled to be mounted on all Turkish fighter jets, military vessels and submarines in the near future. The move, whose timing coincides with a prolonged period of unprecedented diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem, has received extensive media coverage in Iran, as well.

According to foreign media sources, the IAF has a fleet of 1,964 aircrafts, including 689 advanced assault helicopters and F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

Israel’s aerial superiority will soon receive a significant boost, in the form of the US-made F-35 fighter jet.

The Turkish Air Force is said to have a fleet of “just” 1,940 aircrafts, including F-16s and F-4 Phantoms, as well as 874 assault helicopters. Like Israel, Turkey has also been promised the F-35. It is slated to receive it by 2015.

Malaysia’s fighter jets

The F/A-18 “Hornet” is a single – and two-seat, twin engine, multi-mission fighter/attack aircraft that can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases. The F/A-18 fills a variety of roles: Air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions.

The F/A-18 Hornet replaced the F-4 Phantom II fighter and A-7 Corsair II light attack jet, and also replaced the A-6 Intruder as these aircraft were retired during the 1990s. But all this becomes useless if an enemy, seen as ‘friendly’, attacks such a figher jet. The pilot will not be able to fire against the ‘friendly’ aircraft as the software would not allow it to do so.

The situation will be precariously dangerous in the event the ‘friendly’ aircraft has performed a change in its ‘software’ and this with the help of American engineers, allowing to target a ‘friendly’ aircraft. In this case, the attacking fighter jet would see the ‘friendly’ aircraft as the ‘enemy’ instead.

Malaysian fighter jets do not have these software upgrades it is said. The unit cost of a F-18 is between US$39.5 million and US$60 million. The question is whether this is worth the bet!


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