Malaysia 50th Merdeka day update

by Vernon Law


  Malaysia National Day 2007 


The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) recently took delivery of the initial batch of Irkut built Sukhoi SU-30 MKM.  A total of 18 were ordered in a deal valued at USD900 million.


The RMAF’s SU-30 MKM is considered one of the most advanced weapons platform of its type and is broadly equivalent to the Sukhoi SU-30 MKI operated by the Indian Air Force.  Like its Indian counterpart, the MKM is a substantial advance from the baseline SU-30 maintaining the airframe but incorporating a number of advances from the SU 35/37 project.  Both types feature thrust vector control engines as well as canards to increase maneuverability.  The main difference being the avionics whereupon the MKI incorporates Indian/Israeli avionics whilst the MKM, for political reasons, choose to incorporate a mix of Russian (ECM & ECCM systems), Swedish/South African (SAAB-Avitronics Multi Sensor Warning System) and French (Thales Holographic HUD, Navflir and Damocles targeting systems) avionics systems. The MKM will be equipped with the Russian NO-11M BARS radar which can track up to 15 targets and attack 4 of them simultaneously.

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The Kit


This model was built using the Mini Hobby 1/48 SU-30 MKK kit.  The kit provided a good (and cheap) platform from which to build the MKM.  As to be expected, lot of scratchbuilding was required to build the various sensor bulges.  The IRST ball was shaved off and moved to the lower right part of the front canopy and the kit’s nose was replaced by a resin nose.  For the cockpit, some modifications were made to depict the MKM’s digital cockpit.  The kit’s ejection seat was replaced by True Details’s KD-33 ejection seat. Markings came from VFA Production’s SU-30 MKM decal sheet as well as a mixture of others.


Happy 50th Merdeka Day Malaysia .  

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Photos and text © by Vernon Law