After its 2016 debut, the Royal Malaysian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKM returns to the Singapore Airshow with an improved routine and added features. The display team is from 11 Squadron, based in RMAF Gong Kedak, Terengganu, Malaysia.
“Based on our experience in 2016, we have taken into consideration the size of the show center and wind patterns, and have designed our profile within 0.7 miles, which is very tight," reported Lt. Col. Mohd Faizal bin Abu Bakar, one of the display pilots. He is joined by weapon system officer, Maj. Mohd Afian bin Abdullah.
“We are almost pushing the Su-30MKM to its limits, but it is at its most optimal. We can go tighter, but the weather here is very unpredictable and changes very fast. Our situational awareness has to be very high,” he said. ”Thankfully we have been training in bad weather back home, and we have good training," he added.
“We conduct these maneuvers in our operational training, just that it is at a low level here,” he said.
Deployment of flares and extended "engine idle time" during the crowd favorite Tail Slide and Cobra maneuver are among the new features in the performance, Faizal said.
“The main purpose here is not a competition of skills but rather establishing and improving military ties with other countries here," he added.