Zetro Aerospace and Defence Sdn Bhd (ZETRO) is a holding company of many subsidiaries. The most active being Zetro Services Sdn Bhd, a company selected by Malaysian Government to participate in a program called Contractorisation Program. In this program, Government’s assets operated by Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF)
will be maintained by selected contractors and the maintenance facilities are placed under custodian of the selected contractors.
ZETRO was given the responsibility to provide maintenance on avionics components and Ground Electronics. In the Avionics Contract ZETRO shall be responsible for the servicing and maintenance on all avionics components of all aircraft operated by the RMAF. The Ground Electronics contract which consist of Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Navigational Aids Systems and Air Defence Radar (ADR) Systems are operated by the RMAF. In the Ground Electronics Contract, ZETRO was tasked to carry out the maintenance of ATC and ADR systems from First Line onwards for both. Now the Ground Electronics contract is further divided into ATC contract and ADR contract. ZETRO is also responsible for the calibration of all tools and test equipment operated by RMAF.
The Government was consistent in wanting to achieve the objective of Self Reliance in Defence Industry. As such the Contractorisation Program has now been further enhanced to a new and outcome oriented; Performance Based Contract (PBC). The PBC contract has now been implemented in ATC Contract and ADR contract. Efforts are on the way to implement PBC in the Avionics Contract.
ZETRO has its roots started on 6th January 1981 when ZET Aero Trading was established to serve a Malaysian Government contract for supplying aircraft spare parts to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).
Even during the initial stage, ZETRO was committed in ensuring that its service will meet the stringent requirements set by the customer, the RMAF. This small company; ZETRO took it in its pride to ensure that its vendors are credible, trustworthy and were properly certified in their dealings with aviation components and this was achieved through many visits to the vendors. It was through one of these visits that an incident took place and triggered the notion of wanting to do more than just trading. In one of the visits, ZETRO found a C-130 toilet belonging to RMAF that was in one of the ZETRO’s vendors’ workshop awaiting to be repaired. It was embarrassing and disgraceful for ZETRO to see that even a toilet; albeit aircraft toilet, had to be sent overseas to get it fixed. This sudden surge of desire to prove that the nation could do better was a great motivation that propelled ZETRO to get heavily involved in the aerospace industry. Besides the issue of national pride, ZETRO realised that it needed to do something at least to minimise the outflow of national fund to overseas vendors.
ZETRO bought over a few foreign owned avionics maintenance workshops to at least start small in avionics components repairs. In 1984 it managed to bring in T-56 Engine Facilities to Malaysia to cater for RMAF and other customers aircraft engines servicing and overhaul. By 1994 ZETRO had managed to establish a credible in-country repair facilities for maintenance, repair and overhaul of avionics components, Air Traffic and Air Defence Radars, navigational aids and communications systems.
In 1997 the Government introduced a program; Contractorisation Program as a way to see Malaysia achieve a Self-Reliance in Defence Industry by the year 2020. ZETRO was selected to participate and was given responsibility of maintenance of Avionics and Ground Electronics. The government used the assets operated by RMAF to facilitate the program for the reason that the RMAF was the agency that operated the leading-edge equipment then.
ZETRO had achieved what the it had hoped for since the contractorisation program was launched. It had followed religiously all the Government requirements set out in the contractorisation program. ZETRO had moved to its own facilities in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan since 01 January 2020.