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Malaysia wishes to purchase four Awacs aircraft (03 Jun 2003)

Malaysia intends to spend US $1 billion (S$1.74 billion) on four Airborne Warning and Control System (Awacs). The aircrafts considered are the Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, the Boeing 737 AEW&C and the Brazilian Embraer.

Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak confirmed the purchasing plans yesterday, however he also added that there could be budget limitations, as the purchase of the aircraft will incur large expenses and thus required proper planning.

The estimated arrival of the aircraft would be by 2005 but an earlier purchase is a possibility if the aircraft can be acquired with long-term payments or barter trade.

The Awacs will ensure adequate defence surveillance because they will allow the military to identify and handle possible threats from a distance, something that Malaysia said it will need in the future.