LANGKAWI, Malaysia --- Malaysia has shortlisted five manufacturers as it seeks to buy 18 combat aircraft by 2015 to replace its ageing fleet of Russian-made MIG-29s, the defence minister said on Thursday.
The choice was between the British-backed Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden's SAAB JAS-39 Gripen, France's Dassault Aviation Rafale, Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Russia's Sukhoi Su-30, Zahid Hamidi told Reuters.
"We've made the shortlist," Zahid said on the sidelines of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. "We don't know the cost yet."
Industry sources said the purchase would run into billions of dollars. The deal will help modernise the air power of Malaysia, which is in dispute with China over parts of the South China Sea and with militants from the southern Philippines over its far eastern state of Sabah. (end of excerpt)
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