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Every two years since 1991 the holiday island of Langkawi in Malaysia becomes the venue for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, This is  LIMA 2011 


Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition

LIMA 2011

If there was a prize for the ultimate venue in which to hold an International Trade Fair, then LIMA ought to be one of the top contenders. The Malaysian Government have demonstrated that by locating their Trade Fair in such a wonderful location as this, that the old cliché “you can’t mix business with pleasure” must be wrong.

Since its launch in 1991 the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition has been held on the holiday island of Langkawi off the cost of mainland Malaysia. The exhibition was set up to target the growing aerospace and maritime market from the countries within the Asia Pacific. From its inception LIMA has witnessed a steady growth in the number of participating countries and companies attending the exhibition. The 2009 Trade Fair attracted 400 leading defence companies and 38,000 trade visitors from 60 countries. When it comes to staging international trade fairs within the Asia Pacific region, the LIMA exhibition coexists with Singapore and just as in Europe with Farnborough and Paris they alternate their events each year to avoid coinciding with each others. The LIMA show is held over five days with the first three days being trade days, the last two days being open to the public. As the growth in companies attending LIMA increases so has the growth in the amount of public attending the event during its open days which is putting it well and truly on the international air show calendar.

The major topic of conversation at this years show was the intense competition to influence the Malaysian Government & Air Force as they conduct a study into the possible purchase of a Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) to replace their Mig 29N’s presently in service but which were due to retire last year. Five contenders have been identified to be the possible supplier of a replacement. All five of those companies were here and vying for the contract. They are Dassault, Boeing, Eurofighter, Saab and Sukhoi. Of the five competing companies only four brought aircraft to attend the show with only three being flown during the five day show. Aircraft in attendance were Dassalt’s Rafale, Boeing’s F18 Super Hornet, Eruofighter Typhoon and the SAAB JA39 Gripen. The example of the SAAB Gripen at LIMA was supplied by the Royal Thai Air Force and was only displayed in the static park. Sukhoi’s aircraft the Su-35 Flanker-E wasn’t in attendance, however Sukhoi did have a team of representatives on site at their trade stand.

Prior to LIMA 2011 the RMAF had the benefit of witnessing the capabilities of three of the types, when they deployed and operated from the Royal Malaysian Air Force base at Butterworth. First to arrive in May of this year was the F18 Super Hornet, operated by 1Sqn of the Royal Australian Air Force this was followed in October by the Typhoon, operated by 6Sqn the Royal Air Force. Both aircraft took part in a bi annual 5-power exercise (Bersama Lima) staged within the area. Then more recently came the turn of the Rafale when in early December the French Air Force arrived at Butterworth.

If there isn’t an outright winner after the show the final decision on a replacement could be some time off even after manufacturers have been selected. The next process would entail the competing companies submit sealed bids to the Malaysian Defence minister for them evaluate and choose the best all round package. This in view of the current financial climate is likely to be a hard fought contest. As manufacturers will be looking at securing orders which in turn will secure jobs and financially benefits for its country of origin.



In excess of 250 companies from 30 Countries were listed to exhibit at the 2011 showcase some of the companies included were………












Rolls Royce






Malaysia Airlines

BAE Systems





There were 54 aircraft on display of which 21 took part in the flying display each

Aircraft Flying at LIMA

1) 1 x Su-30 MKM Royal Malaysian Air Force

2) 1 x MB-339CM Royal Malaysian Air Force

3) 1 x PC-7 MKII Royal Malaysian Air Force

4) 5 x MiG-29N Royal Malaysian Air Force

5) 1 x C-17 United States Air Force

6) 1 x Eurofighter Typhoon Royal Air Force

7) 1 x Rafale French Air Force

8) 1 x F-16C Republic of Singapore Air Force

9) 5 x Extra 330L Aerotree

10) 1 x F-18 Super Hornet Boeing

11) AH6i Boeing

12) Tiger HAD Eurocopter

13) Dornier 228-212 New Generation Ruag Aerospace


Static display

1) 2 x Su-30 MKM Royal Malaysian Air Force

2) F/A-18D Royal Malaysian Air Force

3) 2 x MiG-29N Royal Malaysian Air Force

4) Hawk 108/208 Royal Malaysian Air Force

5) MB-339CM Royal Malaysian Air Force

6) F-5E Royal Malaysian Air Force

7) PC-7 MKII Royal Malaysian Air Force

8) CN -235 Royal Malaysian Air Force

9) Super Lynx Royal Malaysian Navy

10) Fennec Royal Malaysian Navy

11) Agusta A109 Royal Malaysian Army

12) AW139 Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

13) Dauphin Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

14) CL- 415 Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

15) Mi-17 Fire & Rescue, Air Unit

16) AS-355N Police, Air Unit


Static display

17) 2 x Learjet Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia

18) 1 x Eurofighter Typhoon Royal Air Force

19) 2 x Gripen Royal Thai Air Force

20) KC-30A Royal Australian Air Force

21) 1 x Rafale French Air Force

22) P3C Orion US Navy

23) 2 x F-16D RSAF Republic of Singapore Air Force

24) S -70B Sea Hawk Republic of Singapore Air Force

25) Avanti II Piaggio Aero

26) F-18 Super Hornet Boeing

27) ATAK TEAM T129 Agusta Westland

28) AW149 Agusta Westland

29) Eurofighter Typhoon (Full-scale replica) Eurofighter

30) G450 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

31) ALUDRA (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Composites Technology Research Malaysia

32) S-92 Sikorsky