8 Things We are Not Getting for RMK11, Part II

SHAH ALAM: This is the second installment of the Things We Are Not Getting for RMK11. If you did not read the first part go Here.

Again I am not saying that is the official list, far from it. However it is unlikely we will see the items below procured in the next five years or so. Lets hope I am wrong though…

5) Attack Helicopters

Attack helicopters have been in the Army’s procurement sights since the early 90s. Infact back in 1997 we signed on for six Denel Rooivalk attack helicopters. But the deal was scuttled less than a year later due to regional economic crisis.

Two SAAF Rooivalk Attack Helicopters serving as part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade escorting a UN delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. MONUSCO/Clara Padovan
Two SAAF Rooivalk Attack Helicopters serving as part of the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade escorting a UN delegation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. MONUSCO/Clara Padovan

Since then the AH requirement stayed in the wings even as the Army’s Air Wing, the PUTD, started sending pilots to France for hands-on training on the Airbus Helicopter Tiger. Following the Lahad Datu incursion, the AH requirement were dusted off and it was generally believed it was just a matter of time before the helicopters are procured.

Airbus Helicopters Tiger. Airbus Helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters Tiger. Airbus Helicopters.

Unfortunately, although it was announced in Parliament that the Army had requested funding for six AH in RMK11, no allocation was approved. Instead a light scout attack helicopter in the class of the Little Birds was approved.

The MD530G that was displayed at LIMA 2015. Note the weapons fit.
The MD530G that was displayed at LIMA 2015. Note the weapons fit.

6) AEW
Like many of the items listed, the AEW requirement has been in the books for sometime now. However it had failed to be listed or funded during successive RMKs. For RMK11, I was informed that the AEW programme had not been approved.

Royal Thai Air Force Saab 340 AEW seen at Korat air base in June, 2015
Royal Thai Air Force Saab 340 AEW seen at Korat air base in June, 2015

RSAF G550 CAEW. The ugliest bird at the Singapore Airshow 2012.
RSAF G550 CAEW. The ugliest bird at the Singapore Airshow 2012.

It was expected as I had reported industry sources before as saying that the AEW programme will be funded ahead of the MRCA. With the MRCA’s KIVed so did the AEW.

7) SPH
It was supposed to be the high-noon whether wheeled or tracked will prevail in the Army’s long standing requirement for a SPH battalion. In the end neither won as yet again the requirement remained unfunded.

Caesar on the Unimog chassis.
Caesar on the Unimog chassis.

The wheel SPH is of course the Nexter Caesar which is already in service with the Indonesian and Thai armies and the tracked SPH is the Samsung Techwin K9 Thunder.

K9 Thunder and the K10 ARV.
K9 Thunder and the K10 ARV.

Both have their merits of course, the wheeled Caesar is more mobile of the two. However, the Thunder is better suited to be part of the Army’s Armour brigade which is probably the reason for the SPH requirement in the first place. Personally I prefer the BAE Systems Archer SPH. I am not sure whether the system was offered for the Army’s requirement though.

8) more Cougars

Since entry into service, RMAF Airbus Helicopters H225M Cougars have seen sterling service from flood relief operations to special forces support. Although more Cougars were expected to be procured in RMK11, it was left of the RMAF wish list.

RMAF H225M conducting flood relief operations in late 2014.
RMAF H225M conducting flood relief operations in late 2014.

According to RMAF Jen Tan Sri Roslan Saad that due to the tight budget situation the request for more Cougars had been dropped from its RMK11 list (From Malaysian Defence RMAF 57th anniversary). For RMK11, Cougars based in Labuan will be armed with FN MAG machine guns.

A FN MAG pintle mounted on  an Airbus Helicopter H225M Cougar.
A FN MAG pintle mounted on an Airbus Helicopter H225M Cougar.

However as reported previously, industry sources told Malaysian Defence that for RMK11 funding for a number of heavy lift helicopters had been approved. According to them it will either be the Sikorsky MH-53E or the Boeing CH-47 Chinook. Both are expected to be second hand birds from the US.

In the meantime enjoy a video of a A400M which made Tom Cruise Mission Impposible

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.