2018, A Year in Review

SHAH ALAM: 2018, A Year in Review. With 2019 knocking the door already its time look wind back the clock and review what had happened in the last 12 months or so. Good or bad, the first thing to come into mind of 2018 was the May 9 general elections. Pakatan Harapan led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad beat the odds and overcame the Barisan Nasional government.

The result of the GE led to the swearing in of Amanah President Mohammad Sabu as the Defence Minister replacing Hishammuddin Hussein. Even though Mat Sabu is a better politician than Hishammuddin, the evidence so far revealed that he is no better the minister than the son of the former PM.

Mat Sabu with the XO of 11th Sqdn Lt Col Jasmi Wahab who flew him on Lucky 14 on July 7.

The change of government also saw the Armed Forces chief being abruptly replaced by a former Army chief. There were also changes to the Army and navy but both were expected as they had reached their retirement age.

Thales technician testing the Control Master 200 radar and firing coordination system as part of the Forceshield acceptance test. Thales

Anyhow despite the momentous changes in the government, the military remained the same, in the fringes. Even the budget had to be redone weeks after it was announced.

On The Way…Ingwe missile leaving its box launcher from the AFV30 ATGW

A month before the changes, at DSA 2018, several contracts like the Nexter 105mm, M109SPH and NSM were signed though the upgrades for the Hawks, Hercules and Nuri were left out. Other notable events in 2018 that comes to mind include the first public firing of the Ingwe ATGW, acceptance of the Thales Forceshield VSHORAD system and the air-to-air refuelling of RMAF fighters with the A400M. RMN also finally put into service its two training ships, after almost four year delay.

A RMAF Hawk Mk 208 being refueled by the A400M. 25th Hawk Anniversary FB.

As of 2019, RMAF is not getting any new aircraft, used or even leased ones. The upgrades of its Hercules, Hawks and Nuri fleet remained unclear despite what had been claimed by the previous minister.

A Nuri seemed to land on the horizontal tail of an A400M at the Butterworth airbase open day in September.

The Army is getting more Gempita like in the previous few years, trucks and 4X4 but not really new stuff. It is unclear whether it is getting the MD Helicopters MD530G light attack helicopter by year end or not despite what the new chief said.
MD Helicopters on Oct 1, 2018 announced that it

new MD 530G will receive a U.S. Army Airworthiness Release (AWR) by December 2019

The navy is scheduled to take delivery of the first of its LMS from China next year. Though with our luck, it will be delayed as well.

Maharaja Lela at the BNS facility in October, 2018. She is still missing her mast and other items. She is likely rusty after undergoing limited harbour trials.

Hopefully by March, we will find out more the direction of the national security sector though the outlook is cloudy. Anyhow, Happy New Year!

–Malaysian Defence

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