OPS Daulat: F/A-18D Hornet close air support and interdiction.

The Mighty Boeing F/A-18D Hornet Royal Malaysian AirForce

F/A-18D Hornet two key roles in OPS Daulat are close air support and interdiction. Yet the nature and physical settings of modern insurgencies makes these two roles rather difficult.

In Lahad Datu Conflict there are seldom any lines of troops, friendly or enemy. The Suluk Terrorist fighting smartly to compensate for their disadvantages and limitations, intentionally fight in widely dispersed and often only loosely inter-related small groupings of cell – rarely choosing to fight in groups bigger than their own numbers – with little regard for traditional concepts on linearity.

Interdiction is also problematic as a means of reducing the fighting strength of Suluk forces because they deliberately minimise their reliance on western-style logistics tails.

Close support is typically carried out by fighter-bombers such as the Hornets or dedicated ground attack aircraft such as the Hawk 208, both are used for CAS. Both has been use as a devastating tactical employment to destroy the enemy on the ground.

In the case of F/A-18 D Hornet the two GBU-16 Paveway II – Mk 83 first time being fired in anger by the RMAF strike Suluk Terrorist target with greater accuracy thus this leap in accuracy brought about primarily by laser guidance made it possible to take out heavily defended, point objectives target such as the Suluk Terrorist Defended position in Kampung Tanduo, without any risk towards friendly unit that prepared to sweep and cleanse the Red Zone Area.

Although the actual method of the bombing are still classified. Source from the military did mention that the bombing killing scores of terrorist and wounding even more. The terrorist knew the prowess of Malaysian army in jungle warfare, thus they setup heavily fortified defensive positions, mounting roving patrols around their defensive perimeter.. even to such extent setting up sniper and overwatch positions.

Malaysian elite Reconnaissance unit have been probing, gain vital information about Kirams Terrorist camp and environment for weeks. The knew the exact location of each foxholes and sector of fire of the Kirams Terrorist men. Its a very tough nut to crack as General Zulkefli said, but the airforce assured that they can soften enemy defensive positions so that the ground troops and armor could go in... and that they did.



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