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10 Apr 02. Malaysia has agreed to purchase two missile system packages worth over $350m in a move to boost its air defence capabilities, the official Bernama news agency reported on Wednesday.

Malaysia will buy Jernas short-range air defence missile system from European missile group MBDA for £220m($315m) and the Igla portable system from Russia’s state-owned Rosoboron Export in a deal valued at $48m. MBDA is owned by Franco-German EADS, BAE SYSTEMS and Italy’s Finmeccanica.

Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Razak said the two systems would be delivered within three years.

“In modern warfare, air defence capabilities are very important as they provide an umbrella of protection to infantry troops as well as to land assets from the assault of aircraft and helicopters,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying.

Najib dismissed suggestions that the purchase of the missile systems was to enable Malaysia to compete with other countries in the region.

“We are not competing with anybody. We are doing it according to our needs,” he said.

Sub-contractor, Alenia Marconi Systems AMS announced that it has signed a contract with MBDA to supply Blindfire tracking and weapon control radars and Dagger surveillance radars for the JERNAS Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) missile system ordered by the Royal Malaysian Army.

The AMS Blindfire weapon control radar provides JERNAS with an all-weather day and night capability. Fast acquisition and extremely accurate tracking of the target and the missile in flight give the air defence system unique dual engagement capability. With pencil beamwidth, high power, adaptive wide-band frequency agility, very low side lobes and smart digital processing, the radar is immune to all forms of jamming.

The AMS Dagger surveillance radar provides JERNAS with an early warning detection and target gathering capability. With narrow beamwidth, frequency agility and minimal sidelobes, the radar is immune to all forms of jamming and includes advanced techniques to counter modern sophisticated defence suppression threats.

The contract brings together the combined capabilities of the new AMS organisation following its acquisition of the former BAE SYSTEMS CaRS business.

Roger Mathias, Managing Director of Radar Systems Division, said: “ We are extremely proud to supply the Blindfire and Dagger radars equipping the Jernas system, which is so effective for protecting vital assets in adverse conditions.”

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