The Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia) has its own fleet of American F/A-18Ds. The air force split their order between the F/A-18 and the Mikoyan MiG-29 in 2007 and now has 8 F-18's. They are all controlled by the U.S. software that guides the pilot. The software will not allow any Malaysian fighter jets to target an 'enemy' who is 'pro-U.S.' in the event of a clash.
Malaysia must bear in mind that its goal of obtaining fleet of modern American aircraft run risks of losing every single fighter plane if Washington decides to prevent them from operations. US-inspired mutinies in the Middle East and Northern Africa clearly signify that Americans won’t stop from achieving their goal being topple of government of sovereign states or disintegrating its F-18 fighters sold overseas.
According to the Ankara's Star Gazete American-made F-16 fighter aircraft will be reequipped soon with a new Turkish radar system. The new radar system – Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) – is a defensive command and control system developed by Turkey's Military Electronics Industry (ASELSAN) for the nation's air force and navy. It is slated to replace a similar US version which is in use today.
Order that came directly from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office also encourages change of naval and submarine radar systems.
The main cause of this decision is that specific software currently used in the American radar system automatically detects Israeli aircraft as friendly and doesn’t allow to fire at Jewish war planes. Modern Turkish F-16 radar system will be modified to recategorize Israeli targets as hostile.
The Turkish IFF system is scheduled to be mounted on all Turkish fighter jets, military vessels and submarines in the near future.
The move, whose timing coincides with a prolonged period of unprecedented diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem, has received extensive media coverage in Iran, as well.
According to foreign media sources, the IAF has a fleet of 1,964 aircraft, including 689 advanced assault helicopters and F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.
Israel's aerial superiority will soon receive a significant boost, in the form of the US-made F-35 fighter jet.
The Turkish Air Force is said to have a fleet of "just" 1,940 aircrafts, including F-16s and F-4 Phantoms, as well as 874 assault helicopters.
Malaysia's Fighter Jets
The F/A-18 "Hornet" is a single- and two-seat, twin engine, multi-mission fighter/attack aircraft that can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases. The F/A-18 fills a variety of roles: air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions. The F/A-18 Hornet replaced the F-4 Phantom II fighter and A-7 Corsair II light attack jet, and also replaced the A-6 Intruder as these aircraft were retired during the 1990s. But all this become useless if an enemy that is seen as 'friendly' is attacking such a figher jet. The pilot will not be able to fire against the 'friendly' aircraft as the software would not allow it to do so.
The situation will be precariously dangerous in the event the 'friendly' aircraft has performed a change in its 'software' and this with the help of American engineers, allowing to target a 'friendly' aircraft. In this case, the attacking fighter jet would see the 'friendly' aircraft as the 'enemy' instead.
Malaysian fighter jets do not have these software upgrades it is said. The unit cost of a F-18 is between $39.5 million. $60 million. The question is whether this is worth the bet!
Links to the articles on the sofware bug and upgrades: