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Marhalim Abas

Southeast Asia Correspondent

Marhalim Abas, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, covers Southeast Asian defense. He has worked as a journalist specializing in Southeast Asia defense and security since 1994, initially with the New Straits Times newspaper.

Year-End Decision For Philippines Multi-Role Fighter 
The Philippines defense department will decide in December on the type of multi-role fighter (MRF) aircraft to be purchased by the air force, its chief says.
Philippines Super Tucanos To Be Delivered In 2020 
The Philippines Air Force is expected to take delivery of six Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack planes by February 2020.
Thailand Wants Full Access To Next Fighter’s Core Software 
Thailand wants full access to the core software of the fighters it plans to buy in 3-5 years to replace some Lockheed Martin F-16s.
Elbit To Supply Drones To Southeast Asian Army 
Elbit Systems Ltd. has been awarded a $153 million contract to supply battlefield and medium-altitude drones to “an Army of a country in Southeast Asia,” possibly Vietnam.
Philippines Receives Two Elbit Hermes 450s 
The Philippines has taken delivery of two Elbit Systems Hermes 450 medium-altitude, long-endurance surveillance drones, its defense secretary confirmed.
Philippines Benefits From BAE WGU-59/B Production Order 
The Philippines is likely to arm Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light attack airplanes and Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters with 70-mm (2.75-in.) rockets converted to precision weapons by the addition of BAE Systems WGU-59/B guidance units.
Thailand Approved To Buy Eight Little Birds 
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible $400 million sale to Thailand of eight Boeing AH-6i light attack reconnaissance helicopters and associated equipment.
Singapore Renews U.S. Base Access Deal 
Singapore and the U.S. on Sept. 23 renewed a defense pact that allows U.S. forces use of the Southeast Asian country’s air and naval bases, extending it by 15 years.
More Missile Boats For The Philippines 
The Philippines Navy has inducted into service three new missile-armed boats, boosting its capability to fight insurgents and smugglers.
Indonesia Tests Chinese CH-4 Rainbow UAV 
Indonesia is using two China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. CH-4B Rainbow strike-capable, medium-altitude/long-endurance drones for testing and evaluation.
Indonesian Police Take Delivery Of Third Bell 429 Helicopter 
The Indonesian police force has taken delivery of its third Bell 429 light helicopter, completing a contract signed three years ago.
Indonesian Aerospace Flies CN-235 Testbed 
Indonesian Aerospace has completed the first flight test of a CN-235 light transport built to test new equipment and capabilities for the type.
Indonesian Police Sign Deal For 11 Leonardo Helicopters 
The Indonesian police force reportedly has signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 11 twin-engine, medium-size Leonardo helicopters—nine AW169s and two AW189s.
Indonesia Buys Naval Guns For Missile Boats 
Indonesia has ordered four BAE Systems’ Bofors 57mm Mk. 3 naval gun systems for its navy fast missile boat program, the company says.
Malaysian Flankers Test New Bombs, Capabilities 
The Royal Malaysian Air Force introduced two types of Russian general-purpose bombs into service with its Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flanker fighters following a recent live fire exercise.

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