PETALING JAYA – French President Francois Hollande visited the 22 Squadron of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Military Base here today, to view the newest member of logistic aircraft A400M, the M54-04.
The RMAF had purchased four A400M for the 22 Squadron from France-based aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, and the first of the logistic aircraft was received on March 13, 2015.
Hollande was given a warm welcome by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein upon his arrival at the 22 Squadron before they attended a closed-door meeting.
During the 15-minute meeting, it was understood that Hishammuddin had briefed Hollande on the condition and performance of the fourth and last A400M which was received on March 14 this year.
The French president, accompanied by Hishammuddin, was then taken to watch then Dassault Rafale Fighter jet air display conducted by Captain Jean-Guillaume ‘Marty’ Martinez during a heavy downpour.
Martinez, who was a French Air Force jet instructor, had previously conducted similar fighter jet air displays last week at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’17).
On his performance today, the captain described it as a challenging one due to the heavy rain, windy condition and poor visibility, causing him to fly the jet at 500 to 1,500 feet.
Hollande, who is on a two-day state visit to Malaysia, had earlier attended a joint press conference with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya before heading to the airbase.
The two-day visit, beginning last night, was part of Hollande’s first visit to ASEAN, which also includes his state visits to Singapore and Indonesia.
It was the second presidential-level visit from Paris to Kuala Lumpur after President Jacques Chirac’s state visit in July 2003.
Hollande, accompanied by ministers, members of parliament, officials, as well as a business delegation, is next scheduled to visit the Islamic Arts Museum. – BERNAMA