Royal Malaysian Air Force
Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)
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TUDM (TENERA UDARA DIRAJA MALAYSIA)
1982: Eighty-eight surplus Skyhawks were contracted for purchase from the United States in 1982, for use by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM, or Royal Malaysian Air Force) ordered 88 A-4s (25 A-4Cs and 63 A-4Ls), delivery starting in 1984.. The TUDM wanted these planes refurbished into 54 single-seaters and 14 two-seaters. Thus we assume 20 /ac for parts. The aircraft were designated A-4PTM and TA-4PTM (Peculiar To Malaysia was a moniker attached in the U.S., "PTM" does have a meaning in Malaysia). TUDM purchased the 88 surplus ex US Navy A-4C and A-4L Skyhawks and Grumman Bethpage refurbished 40 of the air-frames into the A-4PTM configuration
1985: From Sean Campbell, who worked on the conversion to PTM:
"I happened upon your website. I worked for Grumman on the A-4 PTM project. The 38 or so single seaters were completely restored at the Grumman facility in St. Augustine, Florida with Joe Walters as President. The two operational trainers were stretched at Grumman Beth Page on Long Island, New York. These modified forward sections were then shipped to St. Augustine for assembly.
You know, for some reason I only remember delivering 2 trainers, but the photo of this trainer was the contract completion photo. The TA-4 is clearly numbered #6. You can just see the top of my head and dark sunglasses just below the DANGER stencil on the intake. In the aircraft #40 image you can see me standing center right, next to the man in the plaid red jacket. The man kneeling front center in the flight jacket is the Malaysian Air Force Test Pilot, Major Mohammed Alwi. The photos include members of the Malaysian Government and Air Force. I no longer remember their names, but I worked closely with them. In photo 193, I'm standing far left in the TA-4 photo. The other image is #40 in the paint hangar. Sean Campbell
Only 40 PTM Skyhawks, 34 single seat versions and six two-seat trainers, were delivered. The six two seat trainers were converted from single seat versions and look similar to TA-4F. The remainder were kept in storage in the United States awaiting delivery. But It seems that when Malaysia came to claim the remainder of the Skyhawks they could not provide proof of ownership, and so the undelivered Skyhawks remained in the U.S.A. at a storage yard. See Marana Regional Airport.
Y2011 update: Many of the Marana stored Skyhawks have now gone to museums and to restorers who intend to fly them. With 34 single and 6 two seaters delivered to Malaysia; and with the two seaters utilizing two each single seat cockpits; it is assumable that a total of 46 a/c were used in the creation of the 40 a/c delivered. 88 ordered minus 46 utilized leaves 42 a/c untouched and left in the U.S.A and stored at Marana. Marana also had Skyhawks unrelated to the Malaysia deal stored there.
September 24, 1985: Lt. Udara Khiril ejected safely when his RMAF Sixth Squadron A-4PTM Skyhawk (unknown BuNo) skidded off the runway while trying to land at the Royal Malaysian Air Base in Kauntan while on a routine circuit and landing exercise today. New Straits Times, Tuesday, 24 September 1985.
June 24, 1988: Lt. Wahi Anuar Mat Amin is still missing after his A-4PTM Skyhawk (unknown BuNo) crashed in the South China Sea on June 24 while on a training flight from Labuan to Kuantan. New Straits Times, October 1, 1988.
October 4, 1988: An unidentified pilot ejected safely when his A-4PTM Skyhawk crashed in the South China Sea. It was the second A-4PTM Skyhawk crash in less than a week and the fifth since 1984 and as a result the remaining 35 Skyhawks have been grounded for checks. Williamson Daily News, October 4, 1988.
August 15, 1990: Mejer Ong Cher Keong with the RMAF Ninth Squadron was killed when his A-4PTM Skyhawk (unknown BuNo) crashed into a mountain in low clouds while leading a two plane formation. New Straits Times, August 15, 1990.
July 30, 1992: Two unidentified pilots ejected safely when their TA-4PTM (unknown BuNo) trainer crashed at Kuantan RMAF airbase on July 30.
New Straits Times, August 12, 1992.
1999: As of September 1999, the Royal Malaysian Air Force Skyhawks were no longer operational. The A-4PTM's and TA-4PTM's are abandoned at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base at Kuantan. Some military related web sites list "30 A-4PTM Skyhawks as "retired".
With 34 single and 6 two seaters delivered; and with the two seaters utilizing two each single seat cockpits; it is assumable that a total of 46 a/c were used in the creation of the 40 a/c.
Known BuNo delivered:
145078: 19SEP77 A-4PTM M32-?? Display Kuala Lumpur
145092: 19AUG77 A-4PTM M32-14/19
147782: 19AUG77 M32-30 PTM Museum
147807: 29MAY78 A-4PTM M32-29
148555: 25MAY78 A-4PTM M32-39
149630: 29MAY78 TA-4PTM M32-01
Suspected BuNo delivered
145065: stricken from inventory 25MAY78
Total of 33
If of the 88 ordered, 46 were used to create the 40 delivered; then 42 were left in the U.S.A. and never delivered.
Probable BuNo originally allocated but not delivered:
145064: Stricken:29JUL74, N128AT ATW Aviation 14SEP04.
145131: wing went on 149606
147726: cut up for art.
Count of 3 Charlies.
145076: Stricken:10MAY71, N129AT sold TX.
145119: our data marked as Malyasia.
145128: went to A-4L LLC and was lost.
147669: Stricken: 29MAY78, N135AT sold USA.
147671: Stricken:29MAY87, N142AT sold USA.
147690: N143AT to A-4L LLC
147696: Stricken:15MAY73, N144AT sold in USA.
147754: Stricken:29MAY78 parts for Malaysia, N145AT in restoration USA.
147761: N146AT to A-4 LLC
147768: N147AT to A-4 LLC
147793: Stricken:29MAY78, N148AT Raptor Aviation
147807: our data marked as Malyasia.
147836: N154AT to A-4 LLC
148307: Stricken:29MAY78, N156AT sold USA.
148316: Stricken:29MAY78, N157AT sold USA.
148446: Stricken:29MAY78, N130AT sold USA.
148500: Dross Metals N159AT in USA.
148502: Stricken:29JUL74, N203AT USA.
148509: Stricken:15MAY73. N204AT
148555: our data marked as Malyasia.
148573: Stricken;29JUL74, to ATW then SFDAM. N250AT
148576: tail went to 149606
148581: N207AT A-4 LLC
148590: Maran forward fuselage
148597: Stricken:15MAY73, N214AT sold in USA.
148600: A-4L t Watkins?
148602: Stricken: 29MAY78, , sold USA N215AT for parts.
149500: Stricken:29MAY78, N218AT sold USA.
149502: Stricken:29MAY78, N219AT sold USA.
149531 our data marked as Malyasia.
149540: Stricken:29MAY78, N220AT ATW Aviation sold USA.
149550: Stricken:29MAY78, then N224AT sold United Kingdom.
149555: Stricken:29MAY78, N225AT Raptor Aviation
149575: Stricken:15MAY73, then N226AT sold in USA.
149581: Stricken:15MAY73, then N227AT, sold France.
149591: Stricken;29MAY78, N228AT, sold USA.
149595: Dross Metals N229AT sold USA.
149606: Stricken 04JUL76 civilian N2262Z, wing from 145131, tail from 148576,to Titusville Museum.
149620: Stricken:29MAY78, N233AT sold in USA.
149636: Stricken:19AUG76, then N230AT sold in USA..
150581: Stricken:15MAY73, then N235AT A-4C marked only as being restored.
150585: Marana A-4C / our history marked as Malaysia.
150593: Marana A-4L / our history marked as Malaysia.
44 LImas +3 Charlies total count of 47
Suspected BuNo IF any of the listed here are not correct.
149506 A-4L stricken at davis.
149604 A-4L stricken at davis.