BAE bid to win Malaysian deal

Typhoon on the apron
Typhoon on the apron
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BAE bosses have stepped up their fight to supply Eurofighter Typhoons to the Malaysian Government.

The firm wants its Warton-built dual-role fighter to be the replacement the Malaysians choose to replace their ageing fleet of Russian Mig29 fighters.

It’s hoped the Malaysian Government – after a general election – will select the replacement in the next two years.

In recent weeks, BAE has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian Industry Group High Technology (MIGHT) to strengthen industrial cooperation between the countries.

The MOU sets a framework for cooperation on technology research and development, linking both country’s expertise to support the development of Malaysian intellectual property rights and taking the country’s innovation global.

And BAE has managed to take its full-scale Typhoon replica to the DSA 2012 defence exhibition being held in the country now.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “It is a coup to have got the replica in there, and we are meeting with key stakeholders now.”

Ministers, delegations and visitors will all be able to experience what it’s like to be a Typhoon pilot, sit in the cockpit and gain an understanding of the working environment.

In total, six customers have so far bought almost 900 Typhoon aircraft, the last 300 of which are still to be built.

BAE slowed production down in a bid to maintain the production line while more orders are sought.

Earlier this year, the Indian Government selected Dassault’s Rafale – on cost grounds – over the Typhoon, but BAE is still fighting to overturn the decision.

The aerospace firm has also agreed to sponsor seven Malaysian students to study engineering and sciences in the United Kingdom in 2012 and a further 14 in 2013.

The scholarships are to be managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Malaysia, which will select the students through a competitive process.

John Brosnan, managing director South East Asia for BAE Systems, said: “Chevening Scholarships is an established, highly prestigious programme for potential future leaders and BAE Systems’ sponsorship will enable more Malaysian students to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.”

And in late 2011, four UK RAF Typhoon aircraft from 6 Squadron flew from their base in Scotland to the Royal Malaysian Air Force airbase in Butterworth to take part in an exercise.