A report in The New Straits Times says that Malaysia is set to take delivery of the first batch of six Russian-built Sukhoi jets in May this year. The delivery will occur after a delay of a year, in part due to replacement of components made by Israel.
Malaysia and Israel do not share diplomatic ties.
The New Straits Times quoted the source as saying, "Russian and French-made avionics replaced the Indian-Israeli-French combination, while the Israeli electronic countermeasure system was changed to a South African variant."
The deal was arrived at between Russia and Malaysia in 2003, under which Malaysia contracted for 18 Su-30MKM aircraft, while Russia undertook to send a Malaysian astronaut into space. The Sukhoi's will eventually replace 14 of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's (RMAF) US-made F-5E jets, which have by now logged two decades in service. They will also complement 18 MiG-29N Fulcrums currently in service with the RMAF.
Indian aerospace major, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, which is already tasked with the job of assembling and constructing up to 140 Su-30MKI jets for the Indian Air Force, will provide the RMAF with technical support for equipment, as well as spares.