Another Day Has Just Begun

Hawk Mk 108 M40-08 doing touch and goes at Labuan airport in November, 2017

SHAH ALAM: Another day has just begun. Yes its the first day of the new year and it seemed just like yesterday I wrote that we will be muddling through the new year. So what is in store in 2018 then? I am not a soothsayer but listed below are somethings that might get mildly interesting in the coming days.

I am going to say it will be a bumper year for the maritime services, the RMN and MMEA. RMN will be getting two new ships this year, the Gagah and Teguh Samudera, the training ships. Contrary to what I wrote earlier, the commissioning of the two much delayed ships will be held not this month but on April 27, the 84th anniversary of the RMN.

Gagah Samudera, the first of two training ship at LIMA 2017.

Teguh, the second training ship, will be handed over to the RMN supposedly by January 18. As she is handed over by Grade One Marine Shipyard to the RMN, her sister ship, Gagah will undergo a minor refit at the same yard to prepare her for the commissioning ceremony later in April.

Gagah and Teguh at the RMN base in Lumut on Dec. 19. RMN

I was told that Gagah was to be commissioned during the 83rd anniversary celebrations but the legal troubles which had delayed their completion since 2013 caused the plan to be scrubbed.

RMAF Hawk Mk108 firing FZ rockets at the Army’s Live Firing Exercise 2017. Destini is the supplier of the FZ rockets and its ancillary equipment.

Another silver lining for the RMN will be the launch of the second LCS and the harbour trials of the first, Maharaja Lela, planned later in the year.

KM Bagan Datuk (right) and the third NGPC – 4543 – at Destini shipbuilding yard at Port Klang.

As for the MMEA, the third NGPC is expected to be commissioned this month as posted by one of our commenters. I have not got any confirmation on this yet (everybody is on holidays) but it seemed likely. The rest of the NGPC fleet is also expected to be delivered this year so the junior service will have a leg up on its senior for once.

Three AFV30 Gempita from 1 Armor demonstrates their fire on the move capability at the 2017 Firepower exercise in May.

As for the Army, it is getting more Gempita 8X8 this year though its likely not more than 30 vehicles. Perhaps we will see a new variant this year though I am not sure which one. I believed it will either be the reconnaissance or engineering variant though it could be both. Perhaps we will also see the first public firing of the Ingwe missile from the ATGW variant at the firepower exercise later this year.

RMAF A400M M54-04 on approach to Subang on March 14, 2017.

RMAF is not expected to take any delivery of new aircraft this year but it is likely that contracts for the upgrades of the Hawks, Hercules and Nuri will be signed at DSA 2018 later this April. This was stated in the 2018 budget announcement. The contracts for the Army including the Nexter 105mm LG1 howitzers and the M109 SPH are also likely be signed at the same show.

Colombian soldiers with their Nexter Systems LG1 105mm howitzer.

As for the MRCA and MPA contracts, your guess is as good mine.

Happy New Year!

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1154 Articles
Shah Alam

93 Comments

  1. the best news is the upgrades of the Hawks, Hercules and Nuri. been waiting long for those. i hope we can see what the upgrade will be. doubt the MPA will be down this year although a miracle will help. lastly, Happy New Year to all!!!

  2. How many av4 lipanbara delivered to the army to this date?

    Reply
    All 20 contracted for have been delivered

  3. There has been quite a major change in direction for TUDM this past few months. Some things that are firmly denied previously are now being considered, so LOI for items in LIMA 2017 may proceed or even dropped. So for 2018 i am hoping to hear more from the TUDM leaderships on the LCA and MPA.

    For the army, just waiting to see which regiment would be reequipped with the LG1. IMO probably be the 1RAD (para). Would also be interested to see if 10 Brigade (Para) would also be recapitalised with new equipment with the 2018 budget.

    For the navy, we know well about SGPV LCS and the training ships. So for 2018 more info on the LMS and also the NGPV batch 2 would be great.

    As for the MMEA, IMO great execution of equipment replacement and upgrades given the relatively small budget. for 2018 would be hoping to hear a 2nd batch of NGPC to be approved.

  4. Though our armed forces can be in a better position, I am grateful that it has come to where it is now compared to the early 90’s. Economic uncertainty has caused a lot of the military planners’ thoughts to be put on hold or even shelved but so far things are still moving though not as fast as most of us here wanted.

    The reality is, we are no longer the economic tiger we were 20 years ago and don’t think we will ever be again. As such a paradigm shift in the way we approach our defense procurement must be initiated. Procurement assets must be affordable, less waste and must be in sufficient quantity to justify economies of scale and to provide a credible deterrent force. What lacks in quality would be able to be made up in sufficient quantity.

    As the new world order are now ever increasingly shifted to the east, this also will affect our future procurement preference and standards.

  5. MMEA 44m NGPC vessel no 3 KM Kota Belud plan sailing back on 10 Jan 18 will base at Sandakan. Vessel no 4 start commissioning mid Jan 18

  6. kamal – ”I am grateful that it has come to where it is now compared to the early 90’s.”

    Are you sure about that? In capabilities no doubt but in many ways, we had better sustained long term planning in the 1990’s compared to now. Of course economics plays a part but since Najib took over; he’s been too distracted focusing on other areas.

    kamal – ”and must be in sufficient quantity to justify economies of scale and to provide a credible deterrent force.”

    Unless our threat perceptions undergo a sudden shift and we spend more; this will never happen.

    … – ”IMO probably be the 1RAD (para).”

    I tend to agree with you but can the LG1 be air dropped? Not that I see much utility in air dropping howitzers – not in our operational context – but the unit does air drop its Model 56s.

  7. Discussion only, I doubt this will ever happen due to the cost.

    Suppose the RMAF got two SAAB Global Eye and two Swordfish MPA.

    There will be 4 platforms for maritime surveillance (although only 2 dedicated maritime patrol) and 2 for AEW!

    Killing 2 birds with 1 stone??

    Reply
    Yes but again money gets in the way. That said two or three Globaleyes will do nicely

  8. @ azlan

    ” Developed by Nexter, the 105 LG1 is the lightest 105 mm towed artillery gun worldwide. Air-transportable by helicopters, towable by light vehicles, reliable in harsh environment and easy to use and maintain, the 105 LG1 is an excellent assault artillery gun and is used as fire support for fast reaction forces.

    The weight of the 105 LG1 gun is less than 1,600 kg, and it can be towed by any light off-road vehicle, without any speed limit on the road. It can be air transported (4 guns per C130) and can also be transported under a light helicopter.

    It can be parachuted or air dropped on a pallet at low altitude.”

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CwaVv7WVIAAEuFj.jpg:large

    But i agree with you, i also don’t see any utility in dropping the howitzer without having any means to move it as all the parachute force is on foot.

    That is why i am an ardent supporter of a company-sized spearhead force on air-droppable vehicles (110men on 10 Polaris DAGOR + 4 ZBD-03 IFV deployed from 3 A400M) to support the rest of the parachute force that is by foot. That would be a better force enabler rather than immobile howitzers.

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TsPSA8nfEkU/WfnXVz9oQ-I/AAAAAAABfL0/yV3Qink84o076wJ3EBmrVUnAz4sm0lteQCLcBGAs/s1600/tumblr_oyqsdjOZLf1rqpszmo3_1280.jpg
    Turkmenistan Polaris DAGOR. The DAGOR is optimised for airborne operations and can carry 9 soldiers.

    http://img01.imgcdc.com/mili/zh_cn/jctp/11172988/20160803/67931470211810.jpg
    ZBD-03 IFV with parachute rack at the rear of the turret. This IFV is similar in size and weight to Scorpion, but optimised for paradrop, with 3 crew and 4 soldiers, armed with 30mm gun.

  9. @ tomtom

    IMO we can get AEWAC by 2025 if the will is there (no MRCA dreaming that is)

    http://www.malaysiandefence.com/brimstone-and-typhoon/#comment-287985

    But it would be an ERIEYE ER radar on the Bombardier Global 6000 airframe as per Globaleye, but without the complicated maritime patrol equipment and belly radar installed. IMO buying AEWAC and MPA separately is better value than combining them in 1 platform and paying exorbitant prices like the Globaleye.

  10. Off topic

    Brazil has confirmed buying British Royal Navy’s helicopter carrier HMS Ocean for £84 million, which is about the price of one and half TLDM LMS boat.

    That is extremely value for money as the HMS Ocean is as young as KD Lekiu as it was launched only in 1998.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/26/Apache_Helicopter_Takes_off_from_HMS_Ocean_During_Operation_Ellamy_MOD_45153052.jpg/1280px-Apache_Helicopter_Takes_off_from_HMS_Ocean_During_Operation_Ellamy_MOD_45153052.jpg

  11. We need 4 mpa planes or 4 aew planes equipped with overwater rafars too . This is to take into consideration the places we need to patrol, maintenance n rrpair reqiirements

  12. Tom Tom – ”Killing 2 birds with 1 stone??”

    On paper yes but at minimum the RMAF needs 4 MPAs to ensure that 1-2 are always operational at any given time. A AEW [i.e. Global Eye] can of course detect surface targets but it’s no substitute for a MPA. The main use for a AEW will be early warning and battle management for the fighters.

    … – ”IMO we can get AEWAC by 2025 if the will is there”

    It’s a question of priorities actually. The intention has always been to get MRCAs first before an AEW. Once the MRCAs are in service it will be easier to justify a AEW purchase on the grounds that the MRCAs can’t be used to their best without an AEW.

    … – ”That is extremely value for money as the HMS Ocean”

    On paper yes but given that she’s a high mileage – large to begin with – ship it will be interesting too see how much she costs to run and maintain over the coming years and how much time she actually spends at sea under her new owners.

    Reply
    Actually the AEW was supposed to come ahead of the MRCA. One has to wonder whether the money for the A400M was actually meant for the AEW

  13. Brazil can manage very well 2nd hand RN vessels bigger than frigate type. IMHO we’re way far down, particularly in money. Olso I don’t think RMN need a heli-carrier that big.

  14. … – ”But i agree with you, i also don’t see any utility in dropping the howitzer without having any means to move it as all the parachute force is on foot.”

    The prime movers for the Model 56s were Pinzgauers which can also be pallet dropped – I’m assuming the Pinzgauer [in the prime mover role] has been replaced by the VAMTAC. The main issue on the utility of air dropping guns in our operational context is not the lack of prime movers but whether 10 Para will ever have an operational need for guns to be airdropped; based on the likely circumstances the unit will find itself in, whether in times of tension or all out war – the unit will be operating on Malaysian soil, it will never drop over ”unfriendly” territory and that all the supporting elements of the unit will be flown in anyway. The traditional reason for having jump units with an guns that can be airdropped was because these units were intended to be dropped over unfriendly territory and wouldn’t have outside support for a brief period.

    If we want to argue that there will be a scenario where elements of 10 Para might have to be rapidly air dropped to form an airhead, in an area [friendly soil] where there is a lack of a nearby friendly presence and it needs an organic arty capability then yes; there is a requirement for a gun to be rigged on a pallet to be dropped but the scenario is unlikely. Also, If it were to occur and it was a high intensity scenario the problem would be having enough 105mm ammo.

    … – ”ZBD-03 IFV with parachute rack at the rear of the turret”

    Whether 10 Para needs IFVs depends entirely on the roles it’s intended to perform. The reason jump units have IFVs [the VVS’s BMDs comes to mind] was because they were intended not so much as a quick reaction unit per say compared to 10 Para but were intended operate deep in the enemy’s operational depth and over long distances on the ground [the PLAs’s jump units train for this role for Taiwan] and also be self supporting for certain periods. In the context of 10 Para, having a wheeled high mobility platform [i.e. DAGOR] makes absolute sense but it doesn’t need a IFV; not only because of operational requirements but also because it significantly increases the unit’s logistical/transport footprint. If indeed there ever was a future requirement to replace the unit’s Scorpions and Stormers; something small and light like Weasel makes sense, as a fire support and recce platform.

    Reply
    Yes the Pinz has been replaced with the Vamtacs.

  15. nimitz – ”Brazil can manage very well 2nd hand RN vessels bigger than frigate type.”

    ”Managing” is one thing; long term ”cost effectiveness” is another.

    Chile has found out the hard way that the ex-RN Type 23s are getting increasingly expensive to support as they get older. A problem for Brazil is that as the ex Ocean gets older; many of her on board systems will get increasingly expensive to support and will need replacing – all this has to be factored in as to how much the ship will cost to operate throughout her service life in the Brazilian navy. Yes buying her is cheaper than buying an equivalent ship for new but how much will it cost to operate and support her? The RMN was right in deciding against accepting the offer for the ex USN Perry.

    nimitz – ”I don’t think RMN need a heli-carrier that big”

    Not only do we not need something like that but how many RMN bases apart from Sepanggar and Lumut can take such a large and deep draught ship?

  16. @ azlan

    The globaleye is unique that it is an AEWAC and MPA combined in one platform. It has both EREIEYE ER radar on top and Selex Seaspray radar belly mounted in a radome. But it costs are much more than buying a separate AEWAC and MPA aircraft.

    http://saab.com/globalassets/commercial/air/airborne-solutions/airborne-surveillance/globaleye/new/globaleye-system-overview_2.jpg

    The ZBD-03 while looks like bigger IFV, it is actually quite small and weighs around the same as scorpion (7000kg) and with amphibious capability. It can be dropped from airplane without pallet (it has its unique designed airbags underneath it for cushioning the drop). It can replace both scorpion and stormer (stormer weighs like 10000kg) and would be ideal as recce and fire support (30mm gun in 1 man turret) vehicle. I am thinking for the 10 Bde Para to consolidate its vehicles to just the DAGOR and ZBD-03 for its parachute capable force, replacing the various g-wagons, land rovers, scorpions, stormers. Probably the only legacy vehicles to be kept is the vamtacs for the howitzers and supacats for logistics, others to be given to other army units.

    http://www.deagel.com/library1/small/2016/m02016080500013.jpg
    Size compared to a russian soldier

    http://i1.wp.com/inews.gtimg.com/newsapp_match/0/1954270353/0
    Ground mode. 3 crew and 4 soldiers in the rear.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3wZSwFvZzqM/Sl07etp3vyI/AAAAAAAACqQ/Mxtj8lti_iI/s400/ZDB03.jpg
    Airdrop mode

    http://n.sinaimg.cn/mil/crawl/20170812/LXlX-fyixtym2080936.jpg

    http://album.udn.com/community/img/PSN_PHOTO/YST2000/f_3888435_1.jpg

    And it has been officially offered for export
    http://p9.pstatp.com/large/1f8a00043dab1f05387d

  17. @ azlan

    £84 million for a 20 year old helicopter carrier (it is launched in 1998, its as young as the Lekius). Dont you think it is cheap for someone looking for such a ship? A new Mistral would be at least 6x that cost. Even if you spend another £84 million for an extremely thorough SLEP it would still be a value for money.

    But even if it is cheap, realistically TLDM would not have much use for such a ship, and probably if bought would face the same fate as the chakrinaruebet. But what about other ships that the Royal Navy is selling?

    Reply
    They have been offered the River class but not interested as it clashed with their 15 to 5 plan and also they need to pay for them as well as the refit. As I had mentioned earlier the MMEA was also offered the River class but lost interest when told that they had to pay for them and the refit. That’s why MMEA accepted the KM Pekan and Arau as they were given free including the refit.

  18. … – ”The globaleye is unique that it is an AEWAC and MPA combined in one platform. ”

    I understand that ……

    What I mentioned is that Global Eye is no substitute for a dedicated MPA despite it having the needed sensors to perform as an MPA ….

    … – ”The ZBD-03 while looks like bigger IFV, it is actually quite small and weighs around the same as scorpion”

    Maybe so but for the reasons I mentioned does 10 Para actually have a need for an IFV and just like whether it really needs the ability to pallet drop guns; does it really need the ability to air drop an IFV? Other jump units have a need for an air dropped IFV but then their requirements are different. Just like how maintaining the ability to air drop an unit is very resource intensive; acquiring and maintaining the ability to air drop an IFV is equally so and in our context is not worth the effort. Also, less weight has a penalty; it equates to weak armour protection levels and less internal space to mount/carry stuff.

    … – ”It can replace both scorpion and stormer (stormer weighs like 10000kg) and would be ideal as recce and fire support (30mm gun in 1 man turret) vehicle.”

    Indeed but a vehicle with a lighter footprint and one that can perform the armed recce and fire support role is Weasel. Ultimately what 10 Para needs really depends on the role it’s expected to perform which is as a rapid reaction unit. The point to take note is also that in the coming years, as 4th Division takes shape, there will be a lesser need to rapidly deploy units from West to East Malaysia. What 10 Para should be equipped with also depends not just on the RMAF’s and RMN’s lift abilities but also the unit’s organic logistical ability.

  19. Regarding National SOF, any update?

    Reply
    None, it’s under MKN where nobody talks. So it’s a little bit difficult to get updates

  20. Probably we not need to paradrop IFVs (as is to paradrop howitzers) but as a rapid reaction force, a lightweight IFV able to be deployed by air transport, and amphibious capable is a meaningful force multiplier. It is already specifically designed to be parachute deployed is just the icing on the cake. The size is just right (similar to the current scorpion), armed with a 30mm gun (which is more than enough to penetrate any other IFVs), able to carry 4 soldier dismounts (just happen to be the size of 1/2 of malaysian BIS section, so 2 IFV can transport 1 infantry section). It is still in production too.

    The MAK Wiesel can carry only 3 person, a manual 20mm gun without turret, and designed to be deployed from heavy helicopters, not heard of it being paradropped before. And AFAIK it is no longer in production.

    The DAGOR + ZBD-03 combo would also be useful for rapid deployment by ground. A full battalion of 4 companies can be deployed with 40 DAGORs plus 16 ZBD-03. Each DAGOR to transport 1 section (8men), while 2 ZBD-03 to carry 1 section. There would be 12 sections per company.

    DAGOR dimensions, length of 4.52m, width of 1.88m and a height of 1.84m

    ZBD-03 dimensions, length of 5.3m, width of 2.6m and a height of 2.2m

    https://dillonaero.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC_1251.jpg
    https://sofrep.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/POL_FEAT-905×509.jpg
    the DAGOR with malaysian army favourite minigun.

    http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Polaris-Defense-DAGOR-2015_8390.jpg
    it can actually carry 9 soldiers.

    http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/62A1AC82-0E89-4927-A0E7-7E9C814C47F0.jpeg
    DAGOR deployed in Germany.

    I think we need to have a proper topic on 10 bde para modernisation…

  21. Probably we not need to paradrop IFVs (as is to paradrop howitzers) but as a rapid reaction force, a lightweight IFV able to be deployed by air transport, and amphibious capable is a meaningful force multiplier. It is already specifically designed to be parachute deployed is just the icing on the cake. The size is just right (similar to the current scorpion), armed with a 30mm gun (which is more than enough to penetrate any other IFVs), able to carry 4 soldier dismounts (just happen to be the size of 1/2 of malaysian BIS section, so 2 IFV can transport 1 infantry section). It is still in production too.

    The MAK Wiesel can carry only 3 person, a manual 20mm gun without turret, and designed to be deployed from heavy helicopters, not heard of it being paradropped before. And AFAIK it is no longer in production.

    The DAGOR + ZBD-03 combo would also be useful for rapid deployment by ground. A full battalion of 4 companies can be deployed with 40 DAGORs plus 16 ZBD-03. Each DAGOR to transport 1 section (8men), while 2 ZBD-03 to carry 1 section. There would be 12 sections per company.

    DAGOR dimensions, length of 4.52m, width of 1.88m and a height of 1.84m

    ZBD-03 dimensions, length of 5.3m, width of 2.6m and a height of 2.2m

    https://dillonaero.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/DSC_1251.jpg
    https://sofrep.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/POL_FEAT-905×509.jpg
    the DAGOR with malaysian army favourite minigun.

    http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Polaris-Defense-DAGOR-2015_8390.jpg
    it can actually carry 9 soldiers.

    http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/62A1AC82-0E89-4927-A0E7-7E9C814C47F0.jpeg
    DAGOR deployed in Germany.

    I think we need to have a proper topic on 10 bde para modernisation…

  22. … – ” Dont you think it is cheap for someone looking for such a ship”

    You miss the point. It’s ”cheap” to buy [as I mentioned] but one must also factor in the total cost of the ship including how much it will cost to operate and support such a large 20 year old, high mileage ship throughout its service with the Brazilian navy. Also bear in mind that a lot of the systems on board came with the ship and as the ship gets older some of these systems will have to be replaced. With regards to a SLEP it really depends on how much one is willing to spend and also whether spending ‘x’ amount on a 20 year old ship is justifiable. Brazil has good reason to buy the ship but other navies would not have bought her despite being ”’cheap”’ pros and con ……

    … – ”But what about other ships that the Royal Navy is selling?”

    Price is not the only factor. If price was the main factor then things would be significantly less complicated but alas that’s not the case. We also have to look at commonality. Even if there’s a ”cheap” ex RN ship; buying her might be counter productive if she’s fitted with guns, radar, engines, CMS, trackers, ESM and other stuff that we have no commonalty with. This would mean that we would have to establish a new shore support infrastructure to maintain those systems – its not as if we have a large shore support infrastructure and a large pool of shore support personnel to begin with. As it is, operating the varied fleet we have is a big headache.

    It is for this reason, together with long term operating costs that the RMN has rejected several offers for pre used ”cheap” ships because in the long run, operating these ”cheap” to buy ships will be cost prohibitive, a strain on resources and will increase the already large support/logistical footprint. The politically driven decision to buy the Laksamanas is a perfect example of what not to do in the future.

    … – ”The MAK Wiesel can carry only 3 person, a manual 20mm gun without turret, and designed to be deployed from heavy helicopters”

    How many people it can carry is irrelevant if its utilised as a recce/fire support platform. It can also carry/tow ATGWs and a mortar.

    The ZBD-03 is a great vehicle and you’ve done a great job extolling its virtues but the debate is not on how capable it is but whether it fits 10 Para’s requirements. Also, a similar argument can be made about how the BMD is just as equally capable.

    … – ”I think we need to have a proper topic on 10 bde para modernisation…

    Before that we have to have a clear understanding of what the unit was originally intended to do and the roles we can expect it to perform based on its abilities, our operational circumstances and our threat perceptions…..

  23. We need to see the context specific to the HMS Ocean.

    It has just been put through a refit in 2014 costing £65million that makes it fit for use for 15-20 more years. It is retired not because of it is worn out, but to save operating costs and to free up manpower for the 2 new aircraft carriers. Brazil did get a great ship here. As i said the HMS Ocean is off topic and I myself does not support a cause for TLDM to buy something like that, even the Mistral or Dokdo for that matter.

    ” How many people it can carry is irrelevant if its utilised as a recce/fire support platform. It can also carry/tow ATGWs and a mortar. ”

    As a direct replacement of current scorpion and stormer, IMO it is very relevant. A single type to replace 2 differerent armoudred vehicles. Every ZBD-03 has built in ATGM (but i prefer it not to be installed if we buy them) and the DAGOR can be fitted with ATGM and mortar too. The Wiesel is non amphibious, and out of production too.

    https://static.tildacdn.com/tild3465-3238-4537-b737-393232333963/SSB_9978900.jpg
    Swimming

    http://img.mp.itc.cn/upload/20170804/ed2bd178cb3048d990e4c00d14ba3fbf_th.jpg
    ATGM

    https://356007295890291112.weebly.com/uploads/1/8/3/5/18358769/9582459_orig.jpg

    As for the BMD, it is russian (a no go for obvious reasons) and it has the engine at the back, forcing its occupants to exit and enter the vehicle through a hatch in the roof. ZBD-03 has a normal rear door similar to western IFVs.
    http://media.gjczz.com/images/d86be655585e54bfcf0a6b5a8e27bd3a.jpeg

    ” Before that we have to have a clear understanding of what the unit was originally intended to do and the roles we can expect it to perform based on its abilities, our operational circumstances and our threat perceptions ”

    True, but we can estimate from its current ORBAT, and its training scenarios what it can be tasked to do.
    http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2008&dt=1124&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Polis_%26_Tentera&pg=te_02.htm

    http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2007&dt=0516&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Polis_%26_Tentera&pg=te_01.htm

    https://scontent-sea1-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s480x480/e35/c135.0.810.810/21576941_1910308029218348_235220764503048192_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTYwNDI4Mzk1Nzk4NDI4MTA0OA%3D%3D.2.c

  24. Should we bought :

    4 Saab Eyerie ER

    24 FA-50

    I think that will cost us around RM7 Bilion……

    Reply
    While the AEW is probably up there in the wings in terms of money, a new light fighter is not, not after 2027 at least as the Hawks are to undergo upgrades which will see them flying until 2030.

  25. The LOI for the Hawk upgrades was before the crash of the Hawk 108 (and from the little info we know that was a structural issue) and the talk of LCA. There has been some upgrade cancellations before (selex RWR to name a few). So lets see whats in store at DSA 2018.

    Reply
    From all the conversations I had with people in the ministry and TUDM, it will happen sooner or later. The crash was not about structural issue despite what the reports says

  26. …. – ”We need to see the context specific to the HMS Ocean.”

    Indeed and the facts remain that despite having undergone refits and being in top top condition; she is still a large high mileage ship and will get increasingly expensive to operate and maintain as she gets older. Yes the Brazilians saw a need to buy her but many other countries wouldn’t have. Period/full stop.

    … – ” I myself does not support a cause for TLDM to buy something like that, even the Mistral or Dokdo for that matter.”

    I never implied you did and I never implied it was not a good buy BUT there is a penalty : buying a 20 year old, large ship is never penalty free and despite being ”cheap” to buy, will not be so ”cheap” to operate as she gets older. This is a fact despite you only stressing the good points about buying her. It’s about the condition/age of the ship and the age of the various system aboard her; not whether she’s not a ”great” ship or whether Brazil’s decision was unsound or not …..

    … – ”As a direct replacement of current scorpion and stormer, IMO it is very relevant.”

    Why is it relevant? Are you assuming that just because 10 Para has Stormers, that it has a future requirement for a APC type vehicle that can carry a section? Both Scorpion and Stormer were transferred to the unit to mainly perform the fire support role – there was nothing else to transfer to the unit. As such, if future replacements for the same role arise and the contender can’t carry a section this won’t be an issue. If however the unit has a requirement for a troop carrying IFV then it will be relevant but as it stands the unit has no such requirement.

    … – ”True, but we can estimate from its current ORBAT, and its training scenarios what it can be tasked to do.”

    We already have a pretty good idea as to its roles but the problem is that its current TOE doesn’t exactly reflect what the unit is intended to do. Under its current TOE is doesn’t have all it needs and it has stuff that was given to it for want of anything else, i.e. the Scopons, Stormers and now retired RCLs.

    We have been through this topic before and the most logical solution would of course be to maintain its jump capability [very resource intensive] but also look at other ways to make the unit more relevant and flexible to suit our requirements and capabilities.

    Having 4 jump capable units in an army our size and with its budget is extremely expensive and resource intensive which is why many other armies have focused more on creating air mobility units and making their jump units more flexible. Unlike in the past [with the key exception of the French] many Tier 1 armies just don’t see the relevance of such units; especially when they’re safer, more practical ways to deploy them.

    … – ”For recce, the ZBD-03 fitted with lightweight optronic mast ”

    Again, it’s a great vehicle and you’ve done a thorough job extolling it many virtues but it’s not about the actual vehicle but whether it actually suits 10 Paras requirements. There are many great pieces of equipment out there but not all will suit our needs. There are reasons why some units have air drop capable IFVs and why some don’t. There are reasons why some units have IFVs and some don’t.

    … – ”The Wiesel is non amphibious, and out of production too.”

    Even if a vehicle with an amphibious capability is bought the rest of the unit’s vehicles will not have the capability. Assuming it involves a river crossing everything else would still have to come across or bridge and the unit does not have an organic bridging capability so would have to rely on others. Having an amphibious capability for a vehicle is nice to have but depending on the context shouldn’t be a deciding factor in selecting something unless the core role of the unit was to operate and deploy in such an environment; even then it depends on the circumstances.

    Same thing with ”air deployable” IFVs and guns. I don’t get too excited with it. Sure it’s a very useful capability to have but realistically how many sorties will it take to air lift a squadron of AV-8s and for that matter, a battery of guns along with the needed crew, ammo and prime movers [assuming of course the needed lift assets are available for the tasking and are not busy doing other things]..

  27. Maintaining jump units is expensive in your opinion, but probably not among the army leadership. You have been talking about that for ages and if the army really agrees with you they have not added another jump qualified battalion to the 10 brigade, upping the number to 4.

    I want to hear your opinion on what can be done better, what additional capabilities that we can give from new equipments, not harping every single thing is not the militaries requirement. The ideas i put up is all based on the current operational tasks for 10 Para, all based on their current equipments and what they are trying to do (drop zone, walking 30-40km to the objective, a drop of sonetimes 1/2 battalion, sometimes 1 full battalion, amphibious exercises with USMC etc etc). It is not like i just put out an idea just based on my wet dreams.

    And i have even calculated 1 company of 12 sections (96men) plus an IFV platoon (12men on 4 IFVs) on 10 DAGORS and 4 ZBD-03 can be dropped with 3x A400M. If that is not possible, a combination of 2x A400M and 2x C-130H can also be used. It is not a number i just pluck out of the sky. All the vehicle dimension and weight that i put out was to check if they can be fitted into how many aircrafts, CG constraints etc etc. Because of our airlift constraints, that is why i suggest only to have 1 company sized ready force with the DAGOR and ZBD-03, because that is the size we can realistically drop/land at 1 go based on the need for the airlifters to do other tasks, maintainence etc etc. Im not like some fanboys who just think we can airdrop 4 battalions with tanks and howitzers at 1 go without going through of all the facts and figures.

    Having the men on vehicles also makes rapid surprise strikes or capture possible, rather than having to spend 1/2 a day walking to the objective 30km away from the drop zone, they can drive to their objective within 1 hour. Also they would bring more firepower (or in other words they bring their own fire support) than just being on foot, as the DAGORS can be fitted with 50cal guns, miniguns, ATGMs, mortars, while the ZBD-03 has 30mm gun and ATGM.

    Feel free to disagree, but dont just harp again and again it is not the militarys requirement.

  28. ” look at other ways to make the unit more relevant and flexible to suit our requirements and capabilities ”

    My idea for the unit to be more relevant and flexible to suit our requirements and capabilities is to have some of them on the DAGORs and ZBD-03s instead of on foot and with scorpions and stormers.

    Looking forward to hear your idea to make them more relevant and flexible to suit our requirements and capabilities.

  29. Our antitank missiles are gonna time expire soon? Any updates especially to standardize our so many variants from Pakistan to Russia? Hope can write an article on that.

  30. @ kamal

    Emm we have even added another new type in the INGWE.

    Waiting to see what ATGM to be integrated with the little birds. Of the ATGMs we have, the baktar shikan and the INGWE has helicopter launched systems, both have been integrated with western helicopters before.

  31. I believe the atgm that needed replacement would be the eryx as it is almost 30 years old in service. The rest is below 18 years except for ingwe.Though it may now be academic,i wonder why we never chosen the rpg 29 105mm which is known to be able to penetrate the older version of the M1 A armour

    Reply
    I believe the Eryx has been retired from service for some time already, I believed its replacement in the 10th Para is the RPG.

  32. I think better stick to one atgm like javelin although quite expensive. Less logistical footprint

    Reply
    You forgot the more the merrier

  33. @…
    “It has just been put through a refit in 2014 costing £65million that makes it fit for use for 15-20 more years. It is retired not because of it is worn out”

    HMS Ocean was built to commercial standards. As such its military life was only expected to be 20-25 years really. Also she is very much less automated than military naval ships and takes up more manpower proportionately. The 2014 refit was mostly to comply with new port environmental regulations and doesn’t constitute an SLEP actually. So the RN is quite happy to sell her cause they’ve got 2 shiny new ultramodern carriers to play with now.

    All said and done, there are more cons than pros to Ocean, I wish the Brazilian Navy luck but looking at the state of the rest of its navy I don’t think its a good buy.

    Of course the real issue is that Brazil insists on trying to buy its way into the “carrier club”, never mind how actually useful the thing is… Foch/Sau Paulo is equipped only with maximum 12 Skyhawks and some helis, the rest of its projected air wing was never bought, it is barely operationally-ready, suffered 2 fires, has catapult problems, and is escorted by little more than 2 elderly ex-RN Type 22s and some little corvettes.

  34. @ chua

    The HMS Ocean wasn’t just refitted “comply with new port environmental regulations”. It was a through refit to enable it to be used 15-20 more years.

    https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2014/january/14/140114-ocean-nears-end-refit

    You don’t spend £65million for a thorough refit only to sell it off for cheap only 2 years later. It was sold because of the always changing plans of the british government. It is a prime example of penny wise, pound foolish. If you have a long term plan to sell it off at 20 years old, you don’t splash out huge sums of money to refit it just 2 years before retiring it.

    Brazil didn’t get it easy. The HMS Ocean was also sought by Turkey.
    https://mobile.navaltoday.com/2017/11/15/turkey-emerges-as-potential-buyer-of-uk-helicopter-carrier-hms-ocean/

    BTW brazilian navy has been using aircraft carriers since 1960 with the Minas Gerais. Overall brazilian navy has some ups and downs. Things like the scorpene is good, the lack of money for the sao paolo is mainly because the latest studies to repair it (due to unforssen circumstances in those fires) shows that it is beyond economical repair, when upgrades to its fighters (skyhawk) and AEW/COD (turbo traders) aircraft are already underway.

  35. @…

    Read more about HMS Ocean. Things are not always what the headlines make it seem in UK defence. HMS Ocean has always been expected to pass out of service at this time.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-34909649

    This article from Babcock details the upgrade and refit works done. 1 of the major upgrade elements included the MBR sewage treatment system. True also that the Artisan radar was also another key system. But the MBR plant was said to be a major proportion of the costs at the time of the refit, and (unlike the radar) critical due to new EU port compliance regulations.

    http://archive.fo/OQ4dZ

    Back in 2015 when the refit was complete, a fuss was kicked up because it was perceived that Ocean was being retired right after. But it was planned as such all along.

    Ocean was built cheap – GBP 20 million only IIRC because of her commercial construction. See the big difference between that price tag and the reported sale price to Brazil? That’s the refit costs included – so all in all, a very good deal for the Royal Navy for a ship they no longer want.

    Whereas… for the Brazilian Navy there has never been an “up” carrier-wise. Minas Gerais only operated helis for most of her life. She was upgraded in 1993 but her catapults were ony fixed by 1996, and operated 20 outdated Kuwaiti Skyhawks for all of 5 years until decommissioning in 2001…!

    Since entering service in early 2001 Sao Paulo has been an endless maintenance nightmare, ceased flight operations after a catapult explosion in 2004 and has never sailed operationally ever since.

    As for its air wing… Brazil upgraded 12 of its Kuwaiti Skyhawks with first (delayed) delivery in 2015, but its COD and AEW Turbo Traders never got refurbed or delivered due to legal issues before Brazil officially gave up on Sao Paulo at the start of 2017… and now they never will because Ocean can’t operate fixed-wing carrier air.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/brazilian-navy-restarts-kc-2-turbo-trader-contract-406169/

    In summary, from 1960 to 2017, Brazil’s 2 carriers and small fleet of fixed-wing aircraft have only operated concurrently from 1996 to 2004, a grand total of 8 years, and Sao Paulo made ONE operational voyage and spent 13 of 17 years of Brazilian service sucking repair money.

    And that’s why buying second-hand, from cars to carriers, can be very, very dangerous!

  36. Edit:
    “Minas Gerais only operated helis for most of her life. She was upgraded in 1993 but her catapults were ony fixed by 1996, and operated 20 outdated Kuwaiti Skyhawks for all of 5 years”

    I was wrong. Actually Minas Gerais only began operating the Skyhawks in January 2001, mere months before the ship was decommissioned.

    Its even worse than I thought!

  37. If you could build a brand new HMS Ocean for £20 million (the tldm LMS is more expensive than that), i want to buy one from you. It was built for more than £300 million. I am sure the HMS Ocean would fare better than the Sao Paolo, which was nearly 40 years old when passed on to Brazil, not having any major refits at the time of sale. A £84 million buy of a 20year old ship that has gone through a major refit is a good one. As for the Sao Paolo, it never had as much money spent on repairs as the british spent on HMS Ocean anyway. Of course it back in 2015 fuss was kicked up for the plans to sell HMS Ocean as you dont spend money on things you want to retire! That shows only after the money was spent to refit, they are faced with huge deficit in their defence budget that they need to retire HMS Ocean. They planned expecting huge operational budgets, to field 2 aircraft carriers and the rest of the fleet. One of the 1st casualties of the budget cut was the LPD ship HMAS Choules, sold to Australia.

    Secondhand is a big catch-all phrase.
    You could have a secondhand f/a-18 hornet with high use like what canada buys from australia, or low use perfectly maintained ones like from kuwait. There are navies that buys secondhand stuff (turkey for example) and has no issues with it, as they spend proper money for maintenance. Cheap used or expensive brand new will still need similar expensive maintenance, ýet some expects cheap ship to have cheap maintenance too.

    Btw whether it is brand new or used, one thing is for sure, you buy ships that you can operationally use for your defence. It is better to buy something that can do 80% of what you need but can be used 100% of the time rather than going for things that can do 100-150% of what you need but you would only use 20% of the time due to high running costs.

  38. Does it make sense to restart the Kedah Class project when you can extend the LCS project for another 6 or more ships ?

    Reply
    According to the RMN yes.See my story on the keel laying on the third LCS. It is because the new Kedah class is supposed to be cheaper than the LCS as we dont need to pay for the ship design as its IP is already paid for. Moreover the systems and other things will cheaper as its not a gold plated ship compared to the LCS. I am wary of these of course as the ship builder has the incentive to make sure its profitable as well no matter what the navy wants of course. In the end if the government had to make a choice whether to make the shipbuilder or RMN happy, my feeling is that it (govt) will choose the former as it is represented a bigger number (the shipbuilder and the industry supporting it) compared to the navy. I take the LCS for example, the navy want some stuff like NSM and ESSM, in the end it only got the NSM as the shipbuilder had already chosen the systems. And in getting the NSM, the navy had to contend that the project was delayed as both sides lobbied for their positions. One has to wonder what other things RMN had to compromise to get the ship. As an example, recently the Philippines fired its navy chief for holding back its frigate program with Hyundai shipbuilding. Based on what was reported, personally I think the sacked navy chief was right, the navy was promised another CMS when the contract was signed but now the shipbuilder had changed it to another (I am not saying the original CMS is better, I cannot make the judgement from here). Unfortunately the ministry sided with the shipbuilder resulting in the navy chief being sacked for his trouble. Time will tell whether the sacked chief reticent on the new CMS was right or not.

  39. @…

    Oops. Dropped a “0”. Actual cost bit less than 200m, though your figure of 300m is more accurate as it factors in inflation.

    The UK defence budget has basically been on a straight decline since WW2. HMS Ocean was part of the story, but not in the way you think. There was a Cold War-era requirement for LPHs for the RN Marines that was delayed until the 1990s, when it was decided to build a cheap 1-off vessel to augment amphibious capability for no more than 20 years. Because of this the budget was very strictly controlled, hence the building was to looser standards. Read around, there has been talk about what the RN will do when Ocean decomms for years and years.

    The refit/upgrade was probably done knowing that it would significantly improve her resale value. But her hull and fittings are reportedly not in good shape. Ocean has been used very hard in the past decade or so. Mark my words, you haven’t heard the last of the Ocean story… even if no major cockups occur, I’m willing to bet Brazil will be shopping around again before long.

    Not much money spent on Sao Paulo? They’ve had to fix her twice as it is, and she spent most of her life in port. She kept trying to sail around only for more breakdowns to happen. The story of her air wing is an ugly joke. Frankly I’m not sure which carrier program is more disastrous, Brazil’s or Thailand’s…

  40. @chua

    Sao Paolo keeps breaking down because it was never fully refitted/SLEPed after being bought by Brazil. Probably HMS Ocean’s 2014 refit was better than Sao Paolo ever gotten in its service with Brazil. Sao Paolo only has reactive repairs caused by breakdowns, not preventive maintenance like a proper refit/SLEP should be.

    @ mofaz/marhalim

    It is in the Navy’s plan to have both 6 more LCS and to restart the Kedah batch 2. It would be worthwhile IMO to have the Kedah batch 2 only if they could build a fully armed version at less than half the price of the LCS/Gowind. As for compromises for the LCS/Gowind, remember in the beginning that the budget and requirement is actually only for an ASW corvette similar in size to the Kedah class. So getting the LCS/Gowind as it is right now IMO is already more than what was expected in the beginning, ESSM or no ESSM.

  41. “Kedah class is supposed to be cheaper than the LCS as we dont need to pay for the ship design”…
    I thought we have the rights for the LCS design as part of the deal with DCNS.

  42. From the time the RMN looked at getting Lekiu Batch 2s the intention was always to get a multi role frigate, larger than the Lekius and with better ASW capabilities. This was also confirmed later at DSA by BNS when it offered a design based on the MEKO A100 for the LCS requirement. The intention was always to get a frigate with a larger displacement than the Lekius.

    Irrespective of whether ”gold plated” or not follow on Kedahs must have the ability to perform the type of roles than don’t require a LCS and roles that are beyond an LMS – whatever those roles are. If the class can’t be fitted out for that then it’s pointless to get follow Kedahs and the RMN must as well get follow on LMS.

  43. .. – ”Maintaining jump units is expensive in your opinion,”

    Not my ”opinion” but the opinion of many armies. The plain fact is that many armies are not expending their jump units and are focusing on other more practical and safer means to deploy them – including non NATO armies with an expeditionary role like Australia. Disagree or not – maintaining jump capable units is very resource intensive and expensive as it takes money to train people to jump and to maintain the capability as well as needing air assets. Every single person in the 4 battalions, as well as Brigade HQ, have to perform several jumps a year to maintain their wings and that doesn’t include people who have just joined the unit and who have to earn their wings. On top of that the unit has to maintain the capability to pallet drop various things. This in an army which can’t afford to even equip one of its 35 odd infantry battalions with adequate numbers of optical sights, body armour and NVGs.

    Even the British army which has more resources than we do does not see the need to expand the Para Regiment [the unit 10 Para was modeled on] and has converted one of its units to be part of the Special Forces Support group. Deploying by parachute is also very risk prone – look at the number of deaths and injuries the unit has sustained over the years.

    … – ”if the army really agrees with you they have not added another jump qualified battalion to the 10 brigade, upping the number to 4.”

    The army has done several things in the past that backfired or were not in the long run workable/feasible. As such just because it has added a 4th battalion doesn’t mean it was the right move. I’m of course in no way suggesting I know better than the army but in all due respect to the army; it has made unsound decisions in the past. Also, have you asked yourself whether Brigade HQ has been expended to cater for the additional battalion? Has the unit been allocated additional signals and other assets to cater for the extra battalion? Before the unit was raised the intention was to have the ”’11th Strategic Division” but reality sunk in and the unit was downsized to a brigade. Even then it took years to raise and train so many men to deploy by parachute took time and extra budgeting.

    … – ” not harping every single thing is not the militaries requirement.”

    I’ll leave the harping to you…… As I’ve said many times, what the unit needs should be based on what it’s expected to do based on its capabilities, limitations and threat perceptions. I do not see the need for it to have a IFV capability mainly because it will not be expected to move long distances far from its airhead unlike other similar units who train for this, i.e. Russian and Chinese who train to deploy long distances deep in the enemy’s operational depth and who have access to much more lift assets and who have a larger support infrastructure. The use of IFVs in addition to providing the means to maneuver and move over distances was also in case enemy IFVs were encountered. Also, there is a profound difference between the number of IFVs a unit [one with a limited self support logistical element] has and the actual number it can realistically deploy and sustain in the field – even for brief periods.

    … – ”Feel free to disagree, but dont just harp again and again it is not the militarys requirement.”

    The ‘…’ pot shouldn’t be calling the ‘Azlan’ kettle black …….

    You’re the one who keeps harping on and on and on about equipment ‘X’ and ‘Y” [it’s air dropable, can take so many men, it’s light, can mount ATGWs, etc, etc] without first asking if they actually suit our needs. You keep reinforcing all the strong points of something to bolster your argument, provide numerous links and seem to assume that just because off all its merits it will automatically suit our needs.

    …. ”rather than having to spend 1/2 a day walking to the objective 30km away from the drop zone, they can drive to their objective within 1 hour”

    You assume that 10 Para will perform roles similar to other units. 30km away? If the unit landed at a drop zone and had to reach its objective 30km away [or even 15km away], the lack of mobility would be just one problem, another problem would be resupply and its rear being interdicted. In the real world the unit will probably never deploy in strength behind enemy lines and if air dropped, will never be too far from its immediate objectives. The idea – if air dropped – was always for elements to deploy and be self supporting [in an area which limited friendly presence] for very brief periods before the unit was reinforced by other elements of the unit or other ”heavier” units. It was never the intention for the unit to move too far beyond its drop zone or air head. Hence the reason why there was never an urgency to equip it with more than the handful of Scorpions and Stormers it currently has [mainly fire support assets anyway]; nor increase the number of 4x4s or other soft skins the unit has.

    … – ”Im not like some fanboys who just think we can airdrop 4 battalions ”

    Gratifying to hear that. Even dropping a single battalion and all its organic elements, plus the need to keep it supplied will take many, many sorties. We have 15 Charlies and 4 A400Ms. At any one time several will be undergoing level or squadron level maintenance and others will be busy doing other things.

    … ”Looking forward to hear your idea to make them more relevant and flexible”

    – First before we go into the sexy stuff I would like to see the unit expand its organic engineering, signals and support capability. Having done that, it will be more feasible to expand the units size and the number of assets it has plus the ability to command and support them.

    – Given that there will be a 4th division in the coming years in Sabah there will be less need to rapidly deploy units there; as such I feel that whilst we should maintain a jump capability, part of the brigade should focus more on deploying via other means rather than parachute. In other words, shifting from a para centric unit to a jump” capable light infantry fast reaction unit which can deploy just as well via other means. Even if there’s a need to rapidly deploy the unit to a forward location, chances are only advance elements will be air dropped with the rest coming by other means and the unit will not be required to move on foot over long distances to reach its objective for the simple reason that it will be operating on friendly territory and there will be assets in place [from other units already deployed there] to assist 10 Para. Where ever the unit deploys to in Sabah [I use Sabah as an example because its the most likely place] the unit will also never be too far from the nearest port, airport, base or town.

    – Whilst I do see the need for a vehicle similar to DRAGOR [mainly for recce/pathfinder elements] I have good reason to question whether 10 Para actually needs IFVs. Its lack of organic fire support means its needs a fire support platform but it doesn’t have to be IFV based. Note that whilst some units have IFVs, many also don’t – hence me ”harping” on and on about operational requirements because in the real world what’s bought depends on operational requirements …….

    – Also subject to debate is whether the unit should bin its 105mm for 120mm mortars? No doubt 120mm mortars can never replace a howitzer [I’ve mentioned this before so I can be accused of ”harping” – yet – again] equipping 10 Para with 120mm mortars does have its benefits. Or should the unit have 120mm mortars in addition to its 105mms? The penalty would be the need to transport and supply those mortars; creating added strain to the unit’s already ”light” support infrastructure.

  44. Chua – ”All said and done, there are more cons than pros to Ocean”

    Indeed. As she gets older various stuff on her will also have to be replaced. Thus, not just the purchase costs but also how much she will cost to operate and maintain over the years will be needed to really give a true picture whether she was ”cheap” or not – that’s the indicator, not how much a particular ship was bought for.

    We bought the Laksamanas for ”cheap” but look at how they performed and what a drain of resources the class was. For the Brazilian navy, maybe the plan [on paper] is to operate her until she becomes too expensive to operate and then use this to justify a replacement. The key fact remains that as ships get older they tend to be more maintenance intensive – a major reason why the RMN avoided getting anything pre used as in the long run it would have been a drain on resources.

    On another matter, Brazil in the past also looked at SSNs. Granted Brazil has legitimate security concerns but one really has to ask is whether maintaining a carrier capability and getting the former Ocean is really needed or a prestige move.

    kamal – ”I believe the atgm that needed replacement would be the eryx as it is almost 30 years old in service”

    Infantry units need a new ATGW/ATGM to replace Eryx and Metis. Ideally it will have a top attack function as MBTs – with applique and composite armour – are getting harder to penetrate frontally. The addition of an APS also complicates things.

  45. Wondering aloud. Why is everyone so keen on big ticket items? MPA, AEW, MRCA, more LCS, upwards of RM100 million type of acquisitions?

    I’m curious since with the budget situation, there won’t be enough numbers to make a significant difference. It may end up being a training platform, but if it is, better off getting second hand equipment (e.g. Agosta 70) for familiarisation and training, with total cost including operating for 5-years, which will cover 1 budget cycle. Why the hardcore demand for new high end assets?

    Why so keen on buying new hardware when there is no OPEX to properly maintain, equip and use these assets? Where is the value in buying assets that cannot be used? If its re-capitalisation, replacements, then acceptable. But why introduce a whole new asset class into the OPEX budget when the budget is tight?

    Also personally I’m more keen on doing the basics such as infantry, airmen, seaman equipment and training? Simple things such as rations, uniforms, combat boots, load bearing vests, night vision, large quantities of ammunition, training centres, simulators, radios, 100% adoption of the new camo pattern, new body armour, optics, language education, live fire training, more fuel so boats and ships can patrol 24/7, get the border fence or wall with Thailand up (to stop people, terrorist, drugs and arms smuggling) etc? Small items that individually don’t exponentially increase the capabilities, but collectively improve the core of the armed forces (the soldiers) ability to operate. To me, no point getting the high tech stuff if the foundation is not ready.

    Also I’m wondering if having more CB-90s would be a good interim measure. These are fast, sufficiently armed to deal with small boats, very fast as interceptors, dual task as transports and already in RMN’s inventory. I see use in the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia / Malaysia border and of course ESSCOM.

    Just curious…

  46. Kelvin – ”Why is everyone so keen on big ticket items?”

    It’s a matter of priorities and what the armed services feel they need base on their respective requirements and threat perceptions. It’s also based on what the government feels should be procured. We have had a requirement for an AEW since the mid 1980’s and without the LCS the RMN’s ability to deal with peacetime threats, never mind the possibility of something more serious, would be affected. We need an MPA to patrol our vast maritime domain [we only have 3 Beechcrafts and a few C-130s occasionally used for MPA with the Mk1 eyeball being the only sensor] and given that the last fighters we bought was in 2002 the RMAF obviously – as part of its ongoing modernisation efforts – has a need for MRCAs.It is the job of the armed services to lay out their requirements and to make sure they’re heard; it’s the government’s duty of care to ensure the armed services get what they need. If the government is unable to provide a firm commitment it should inform the armed services so they can plan accordingly and look at alternatives. The requirement for the big ticket items you mentioned have been around for a long time; nothing new.

    Kelvin – ”but if it is, better off getting second hand equipment (e.g. Agosta 70)”

    Buying 2nd gear is always an option we should look at but it really depends as various factors are involved. Not only commonality but also – more importantly – how much these 2nd hand gear will cost to operate as they age and whether spares will be available in the long run. Some 2nd hand stuff we should buy and some we shouldn’t – one thing we should never do is to buy 2nd hand gear just for the sake of buying or because it’s ”cheap”. Something ”cheap” to buy may turn out to be expensive to operate and support in the long run. No point buying something used for ”cheap” for say 10 million if in the long run it gets more maintenance expensive ans say costs 5 million to support in the first few years in service, plus requires many, many hours of maintenance. It really depends.

    CB-90s are great for certain things but at the end of the day they are small boats made for inshore work, can’t deploy beyond certain Sea States and have range, endurance and load limitations – they can never be a substitute for larger ships.

    Whilst the MAF should indeed focus on non state or low level threats it still has to focus on its core roles; that of defending the country and its maritime domain against possible external threats. This is a problem faced by most militaries and one that is a major challenge.

  47. Kelvin – ”To me, no point getting the high tech stuff if the foundation is not ready.”

    You are right but it depends on the circumstances. For example, whilst the troops no doubt need optical sights for their M-4s the chances of them actually getting in a firefight are slim but the possibility of us being unable to detect an intruder in our EEZ due to a shortage of MPAs is high. It’s a matter of priorities and deciding on which to focus on.

    On simulators all 3 armed services operate various types – it’s something we have always placed priority on; despite the unavoidable delays due to funding.

  48. @ azlan

    ” Not my ”opinion” but the opinion of many armies ”

    Countries like UK, USA, France, Italy, China, Japan and Indonesia all has kept large forces of parachute capable units and conduct regular parachute exercises.

    ” what the unit needs should be based on what it’s expected to do based on its capabilities, limitations and threat perceptions ”

    ” You assume that 10 Para will perform roles similar to other units. 30km away? If the unit landed at a drop zone and had to reach its objective 30km away [or even 15km away], the lack of mobility would be just one problem, another problem would be resupply and its rear being interdicted ”

    This is your problem. You are the one that does not want to know what is the mission set of 10 Para, and assume differently when its mission set can be clearly seen in their annual exercises (gerak pantas and PARADISE).

    http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2007&dt=0516&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Polis_%26_Tentera&pg=te_01.htm

    Look at this exercise

    – 560 men
    – DZ at ladang tebu Chuping Perlis.
    – walk to objective which is in Sintok, Kedah. Distance? 32km. Brisk walking time? 6.5 hours. With backpacks and weapons? Probably more. Most of 10 para brigade exercises involve walking to objectives far from the DZ.

    Would a company sized force on ground mobility vehicle that is deployed in 1 sortie do a similar mission set better? Probably a resounding yes and would it be great to have that option?

    Of course a rapid reaction force is always a lightweight force mainly to strike fast and hold ground (ie buying time) until a bigger force arrives. That is always be the intention and even with the DAGORs and ZBD-03 it should never be deployed with no intention of sending a bigger force later.

    So what mission set does a rapid reaction force can and should do that normal army battalions can’t? That should be the real question, and it currently is answering but as it is could be further improved. With ample time and infrastructures such as ports and airports, any normal infantry units could be deployed anywhere in malaysia. No point of having a rapid reaction unit that has no different deployment capability (time and method) to a normal unit. The addition of DAGOR and ZBD-03 not as a new addition, but a replacement of existing vehicles with something that are better suited to the rapid reaction mission and easier to paradrop if needed, but equally suitable for rapid deployment on ground or by amphibious means would increase the effectiveness of the 10 para brigade. It would also be a better force enabler (can be a personnel carrier, fire support, command and recce platform) compared to the brigades current gwagens and scorpions (which are mainly fire support vehicles).

    Look also at Marawi. What capability of a rapid reaction force that could bring to something like that crisis? IMO it could be used as a rapidly deployed flanking force to stop the enemy from running away. Say for example the main force is attacking from the south, a para force could be quicky dropped to the north to block the enemy.

    ” Also subject to debate is whether the unit should bin its 105mm for 120mm mortars? ”

    IMO 80mm mortars on DAGORs or 120mm mortars towed by DAGORs is enough to support a battalion sized strike force, when there is plenty of DAGORs with that can have 50cal, miniguns, ATGMs mounted on them deployed with the force. The current artillery regiment attached to 10 para brigade could be redeployed to the new 5th Infantry Division in Sabah.

    Logistics for the 10 para brigade of course should be improved. IMO operational equipment “sets” should be set up, like US airborne and USMC is doing. An example with the DAGORs and ZBD-03s.

    1x company ready set Subang AFB – 10x DAGOR, 4x ZBD-03, with 2 different sets of ready equipment ( saab barracuda camuflage etc ) for jungle or desert operations.

    1x operational set for quick reaction ready battalion if needed to deploy as a battalion on ground 50x DAGORs. Battalion sized force to deploy on ground with 40x DAGOR and 16x ZBD-03.

    3x training sets for battalions not on ready status. 12x DAGOR each

    1x ZBD-03 set for Para Armour regiment 32x ZBD-03. To have 16 of that on ready status, rest training/maintenance.

    Support element, 120mm mortars towed by DAGORs, 12 units.

    BTW as a reference, 1 DAGOR costs usd150 thousand each.

    ” On another matter, Brazil in the past also looked at SSN ”

    Its SSN program still on track. The 5th sub from its Scorpene BR program would be nuclear powered.

  49. @ Kelvin

    ” Wondering aloud. Why is everyone so keen on big ticket items? ”

    IMO it depends, some of it are needed and some of it are wants, depending on ones perspectives.

    From mine, more MPA, AEW, Kedah class is a need, as this would be used daily to patrol our terratories. Not so? high end MRCA (we have our MKMs), LCS (even with the current 6 being built is already capable of giving us capabilities we never had before). for TUDM the LCA is IMO more needed than the MRCA, to give back the fighter numbers decimated by crashes and retirements and giving the force a balanced capability (numbers, fighting capability, low operating costs, commonality)

    ” Also I’m wondering if having more CB-90s would be a good interim measure ”

    The CB-90 is a great capability by itself (fast strike and intercept, patrolling in shallow littoral areas, it is like a waterborne IFV) and should not be used as a substitute for oceangoing patrol boats. That said, a recapitalisation of the CB-90 fleet would be good, 1 to 1 replacement with brand new CB-90 can be done, as the original design is spot on and copied by many other companies.

  50. @ azlan

    ” Whilst I do see the need for a vehicle similar to DRAGOR [mainly for recce/pathfinder elements] I have good reason to question whether 10 Para actually needs IFVs. Its lack of organic fire support means its needs a fire support platform but it doesn’t have to be IFV based ”

    What i see in the DAGOR
    – Organic personnel transport/fire support vehicle/platform for para dropped force.
    – 1 DAGOR can transport 1 whole para section (8men, while actually can fit 9). Not many small air droppable vehicle can do that.
    – purposely designed to be air dropped and go fast off road. Suspensions and axles from off road racing trucks. Unlike civilian based vehicles like gwagens.

    What i see in the ZBD-03
    – IFV that could be easily deployed with para dropped force, more so that what armoured vehicles the 10 Para now has.
    – similar size and range to the DAGORè
    – as a fire and maneuver support vehicle. As it is armoured, it can go out and give support fire while itself is under fire, taking attention away from the rest of the force to move position, take cover etc. While fighting other infantry forces, those few IFVs would be a very important asset. The example that weighs heavily in my choice was the falklands war, where the infantry vs infantry battle was tilted to the british’s favour with the few (8) scimitars and scorpions available to the british forces.
    – as a command platform for the rest of the force on DAGORs
    – as a recce platform, with telescopic optical masts mounted to the side of the rear troop door.

    I understand that it is impossible to have the whole airborne force on IFVs as is the chinese and russians (cost, limited airlift capabilities), but having a few to support the rest of the force on unarmoured vehicles while having overall good mobility is IMO a good compromise, for a rapid reaction force based on its capabilities, limitations and threat perceptions (infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support).

  51. Kelvin,

    Not to be long winded but more on simulators.

    The RMAF has a simulator for almost every aircraft operated excluding the Nuri but Nuri pilots in the past have been sent abroad for simulator time. The RMN has various simulators including a bridge and damage control simulator. The army has been operating various simulators for decades, including artillery ones, a Saab\Grintek BattleTek 1 simulation training system and even has a simulator for 4×4 and lorry drivers :]. The latest simulator [which Marhalim covered] is the Immersive Virtual Training Simulator. Unfortunately plans to get a drivers and gunnery PT-91M simulator from Ruag years ago was postponed. Used for tri service training there is the Joint Theater Level Simulation system. The good thing is is that we’ve long realised the value of simulators and even when funding was tight we still invested in them.

    ”Why so keen on buying new hardware when there is no OPEX to properly maintain, equip and use these assets? Where is the value in buying assets that cannot be used?”

    Which assets can’t be used and where did you get the conclusion that ”there is no OPEX to properly maintain, equip and use these assets?” Granted funding issues have led to delayed overhauls/depot level maintenance as well as spares shortages but as a whole, things have improved compared to the past and we do go to great lengths to ensure what we have are maintained within the guidelines set by the OEM; i.e. periodic checks after ‘x’ hours are flown or after ‘x’ miles are traveled. Some will say that our MKMs hardly fly but one only has to live around or near the Gong Kedak area to know that this is untrue. To be fair to the MAF [especially the RMN and RMAF] some of the issues it had with certain stuff was foreseen but the decision to buy came from above and when things started to go badly funding or approval to rectify things took time.

    ”I see use in the Straits of Malacca, Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia / Malaysia border and of course ESSCOM.”

    CB-90s are great for ESSCOM and for patrolling around the Spratlys but not more than that. To be fair CB-90s were not designed to do extended patrolling far from the shore. Even the FACs in fact have issues deploying beyond certain Sea States and lack the needed endurance for what we use them for; for which there is no alternative to a frigate or corvette.

    On pre used gear, stuff we [wisely] rejected in the past includes the pair of Oberons [part of the 1988 MOU with Britain] and the Tornados. We were lucky with the Inderapura, she was a hot transfer and we got her in very good condition. The RMN also rejected the ex USN Perry as it was found that the vessel in question was too old and had gas turbines. The Lakamanas were ”considered” new when we got them but all the systems [1980’s vintage] were quite outdated when we got them and all 4 ships had stuff that never performed as advertised – I remember a Lt telling me that he had more faith in the Super Rapid than the Aspide and its tracker. We spent quite a bit on them including a new CMS for 2 ships and new ESM and jammers but it was throwing good money after bad as a few years later all 4 had various issues related to age and obsolescent. Not sure about issues we had with the Albatross but they had a very short period in service with the RMAF. The RMAF didn’t have too much issues with the ex RAF Bulldogs [to be expected] but had issues with the ex USN Skyhawks. Admittedly not all the issues we had with the Skyhawks were due to them being pre used.

    Some things we should buy pre used and some we shouldn’t – there is always a penalty in buying pre used and if there isn’t at time of purchase, there often will be later; especially as things age and various system become unsupportable [something we have experience in]

  52. @… “Probably HMS Ocean’s 2014 refit was better than Sao Paolo ever gotten in its service with Brazil.”

    Ocean’s 2014 refit was actually just the bare minimum and does not constitute a service life extension – that was made quite clear by the RN. The upgrades were done to make it usable as the RN flagship for the next 4 years – in the areas of sewage treatment system, accommodation, modern RWS guns and putting on an Artisan radar. The former two upgrades addressed long-standing issues with Ocean and the latter two upgrades were done fleet-wide and essential for the RN flagship. Even so the Artisan radar is not a major deal; if Brazil won’t pay for it they’ll just take it off and put it on another ship.

    We don’t know what exactly the Brazilians did with Sao Paulo. But they certainly didn’t neglect her, we know they spent lots of effort on her fixing up catapults and so on. If they had the cash they probably would have loved to give her a big SLEP, but they didn’t… and therein again is another salutary lesson on not biting off more than one can chew.

    @Azlan “Granted Brazil has legitimate security concerns but one really has to ask is whether maintaining a carrier capability and getting the former Ocean is really needed or a prestige move.”

    A self-admitted prestige move. They feel the need for a carrier to truly join the BRIC club, and to play top-dog in South America.

    @Azlan “Infantry units need a new ATGW/ATGM to replace Eryx and Metis. Ideally it will have a top attack function as MBTs – with applique and composite armour – are getting harder to penetrate frontally. The addition of an APS also complicates things.”

    I’ve been saying that for years now. The new French MMP is my fantasy choice. Why not, since we’re apparently so buddy-buddy with the French now in defence…

    @Kelvin
    A handful of MPAs would cover more sea more effectively than a hundred CB-90s.

    Also it just happens that a lot of assets need recapitalising at this time… or rather, in the future, because it will take quite a few years to begin replacing things.

    “More LCS” is a thing that is going to happen very very far in the future. I think you mean LMS, which is truly an immediate need.

    Fact is that the military has been heavily under-resourced to start with. And though it is true that the basic infantryman is cheap and yet highly useful, there are lots of things they can’t do which a relatively small number of high-end force-multipliers can.

    @… “Countries like UK, USA, France, Italy, China, Japan and Indonesia all has kept large forces of parachute capable units and conduct regular parachute exercises”

    UK keeps a relatively small Para brigade and their duties these days include what the US calls “airborne assault” ie heliborne assault. The UK traditionally uses its Para brigade as elite light infantry and 1 PARA battalion is roled as spec-ops support in the style of US 75th Rangers or Marine MEU(SOC) units.

    US also reduced its Para units to only the 82nd Airborne Division. The famous 101st Airborne Div has re-roled to “airborne assault”. In effect therefore the total number of parachute troops in the entire US Army is 9 battalions, all in the 82nd.

    The French also deploy only 3 battalions of parachute infantry (and 1 company of para-qualified Panhard VBLs), re-roling the rest to airborne assault or spec-ops. AFAIK they are the only one of these three with an air-droppable vehicle.

    Why are these top-tier militaries reducing its Para units? Because en masse parachute insertion is considered no longer very feasible with high casualty rates even in peacetime training and the perennial problem of their light equipment being not much use against a mechanised enemy. Rather, the focus is on “air assault” i.e. deploying via helicopters or tactical air transport such as C-130s or A400Ms. In other words, these days “Para” is synonymous with “elite light infantry” which are usually “air TRANSPORTED” but not necessarily “ParaCHUTE”.

    These parachute units are also notoriously low not only on firepower but also battlefield sustainability. Taking the US as an example the 82nd Airborne’s Paras are designed to help seize air-heads and beach-heads, for the latter role regularly training with Marine BLTs which have a lot more firepower and logistics support, because the Paras are acknowledged to only last mere days in combat if not hours. The question is 1) will we ever have such a need and 2) do we also have the funds for the 2nd part of the equation ie moving heavy equipment and supplies to quickly reinforce the parachute troops? Otherwise it is Operation Market-Garden all over again!

    So we might consider forgetting the idea of mass parachute deployment, probably reduce the capability to 1 battalion. We can maintain the “elite light infantry” status of the rest of the unit, but I see little point in spending money (and lives) for the capability of deploying 4 battalions’ worth of paraCHUTE infantry.

    In this vein, its all well and good to try and follow the French model and acquire a company of air-droppable vehicles for the Paras (especially if their organic firepower can thus be increased e.g. by mounting 40mm GMGs or ATGMs). But at best what you achieve is really up-arming a small unit of air-dropped Paras with some crewed support weapons. Is it really worth it to have this capability? What is the “concept of operations” for this unit, what scenario is it trying to solve, how does it fit into the wider scope of the army? Can the money be spent on other things of direct use such as up-arming the “air transportable” units instead?

    In a nutshell, if you can’t provide a decisive mass in the first place i.e. by having the airlift power and supporting arms to build up an air-dropped force that can perform meaningfully against at least an enemy mechanised infantry unit, then you have to seriously consider the worth of maintaining lots of air-droppable infantry. That is a criticism which US, UK and French Para units are facing now, especially the latter in light of shortcomings in the Mali operation.

  53. “..,even has a simulator for 4×4 and lorry drivers…” this is news to me. Wondering if there is a similar sim in a driving school that can assist ppl like me getting a E-class licence for lorry at lower cost. 😂 ya ya its a pipe dream eh.

    Reply
    Simulators will not reduce the cost of getting licenses just to reduce wear and tear on real vehicles

  54. @ Chua

    ” In a nutshell, if you can’t provide a decisive mass in the first place i.e. by having the airlift power and supporting arms to build up an air-dropped force that can perform meaningfully against at least an enemy mechanised infantry unit, then you have to seriously consider the worth of maintaining lots of air-droppable infantry ”

    You never counter mechanized infantry with paratroopers! What makes you think that is the mission? The logical adversary would be infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support, events such as Lahad Datu, Marawi, Mali.

    The 10 Para Brigade was never meant to be deployed as a single mass. Those 4 battalions are there so that there could always be 1 that is fully qualified on standby ready to deploy at short notice, while others in deployment, training, and rest cycles. It is to function as a very rapidly deployable battalion (plus or minus) force, for a crisis with a dynamic situation.

    USA, russia and china is investing to upgrade their paratropper capabilities with new systems (parachutes, weapons, vehicles etc). Other western forces are being cut across the board, UK for example is cutting everywhere, the marines, armour, para, helicopter carriers the lot! So it is not a sign of parachute forces are no longer relevant.

    This is some other opinions on the future of airborne forces
    https://warontherocks.com/2016/04/reimagining-and-modernizing-u-s-airborne-forces-for-the-21st-century/

    BTW every single infantry battalion is “air transportable”, by C-130, A-400 or even airasia!
    We have been deploying soldiers from helicopters since the 60s, so there is also nothing special about that. The concept of operations for 10 Para should be something that normal infantry battalion cannot do, which is rapid deployment to places where normal transports cannot go.

    My idea of having DAGORs and ZBD-03s is to increase the firepower, ground mobility and endurance of the parachute force, as more equipment and supplies could be carried on vehicles instead on backpacks. As i said the parachute rapid reaction force is always a lightweight force mainly to strike fast and hold ground (ie buying time) until a bigger force arrives, so it is a tool for a specific situation. Want to hold ground? there is the normal infantry. Mobile while protected? mechanized battalions. Situations that is time critical? That is for the 10 Para Brigade.

    As with the Mali operation. This is the 1st time i hear that the operation is a sign of shortcomings of a parachute deployed force. Most study it as an example of scalable rapid deployment force, by parachute, ground self deployment, sea and air transport.

  55. Chua – ”We can maintain the “elite light infantry” status of the rest of the unit, but I see little point in spending money (and lives) for the capability of deploying 4 battalions’ worth of paraCHUTE infantry.”

    I wholeheartedly agree ……

    … – ”Those Bulldogs are bought brand new.”

    Sorry. I meant the Provost.

    … – ”This is your problem. You are the one that does not want to know what is the mission set of 10 Para”

    Well if you insist that you know better, who am I to disagree?

    …. – ”Countries like UK, USA, France, Italy, China, Japan and Indonesia ”

    I didn’t say otherwise did I? What I did say is that most are not expending their units; for good reason. France has a special need for such units especially for Africa [not to mention experiences in Indochina] and Indonesia – being a large archipelago – has a need for para units as a strategic reserve. They have the largest number of jump capable units within ASEAN and during bush wars fought against rebels in the 60s and 70s did many operational jumps. On the other hand Russia and China maintain jumps units for different reasons. It ALL depends on individual requirements.

    Also just because countries maintain their jump units doesn’t mean that maintaining such a capability is not resource intensive, which it clearly is …….

    … – ”Look at this exercise”

    An exercise at times plan for the worst case contingencies or scenarios; to test troops and their support elements to the limit. In real life if 10 Para dropped somewhere and had to march 32km to an objective; the unit would face a whole set of problems. irrespective of whether it had IFvs or not ……

    …. – ”I want to hear your opinion on what can be done better, what additional capabilities that we can give from new equipments, not harping every single thing is not the militaries requirement. ”

    I have given my opinion but because my opinion does not fit in with your narrative and I happen to disagree with some of what you say; you dismiss it and accuse me of ”harping”; something you do very well on your own ……

    ….. – ”So it is not a sign of parachute forces are no longer relevant.”

    No it’s not and nobody here indicated as such but it’s a sign
    that countries are placing less importance [a profound difference to ”no longer relevant”] on jump units and have been looking at cheaper, safer and more practical ways to deploy men. You point out that some countries are expending their units but most aren’t and the ones that are doing so have good reason to do so.

    …. – ”Most study it as an example of scalable rapid deployment force, by parachute, ground self deployment, sea and air transport.”

    Indeed but it all depends on the operational circumstances.

    ….. – ”We have been deploying soldiers from helicopters since the 60s”

    We have been deploying men to forward locations since the 1960’s but there is a major difference in that and transporting whole, fully ”heavier” equipped units, plus their supporting elements via rotor and having the means to sustain them in the field.

  56. …. – ”You never counter mechanized infantry with paratroopers! ”

    I believe what he meant is that lightly equipped units when operating far from friendly areas – on their own – always face the danger of encountering ”mechanized infantry” ……… Which incidentally is why the VDV saw the need for BMDs and SPHs; to [amongst other things] support units in the event they encountered ”heavier” units.

  57. Chua – ” In other words, these days “Para” is synonymous with “elite light infantry” which are usually “air TRANSPORTED” but not necessarily “ParaCHUTE”.”

    And in our army ”para” or the ”para mafia” has enormous influence/pull. People will say – again – that I’m ”harping” but in an army our size and with our resources; maintaining 4 jump capable units is a big strain on resources, not to mention expensive.

    The French in Mali and in Kolwezi, plus the Belgians in the Congo before that didn’t have to worry about jump units encountering ”heavier” units or being stuck in the field longer than expected. Not to mention the fact that they controlled the skies and outgunned their enemy. The French experience in Indochina was mixed, there were occasions when para units which had dropped in the field were close to being surrounded and they literally had to walk their way out of trouble but given the operational circumstances jump played a vital role there. The Indonesian use of jump units is also interesting but at the end of the day; the merits outweighed the risks due to operational circumstances. The main risk was not enemy action but the risks of injuries and landing in the wrong place.

    It is telling that the Australian army, an army with an expeditionary role, one that has more lift assets than we do and more cash; has very limited ”para” units and has not seen the need to raise anymore; preferring to focus on deploying and sustaining units via other means than the parachute.

  58. @ azlan

    ” Sorry. I meant the Provost. ”

    Nope, that was also brand new, some of the last piston provosts to be built actually.

    ” I believe what he meant is that lightly equipped units when operating far from friendly areas – on their own – always face the danger of encountering ”mechanized infantry” ”

    Para forces are for quick reaction to very dynamic situations, something a column of mechanized infantry is not. As is said the next sentence to what you quoted ” The logical adversary would be infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support, events such as Lahad Datu, Marawi, Mali.”.

    ” I have given my opinion but because my opinion does not fit in with your narrative and I happen to disagree with some of what you say; you dismiss it and accuse me of ”harping”; something you do very well on your own …… ”

    Your idea is basically to just give up the parachute capability, which basically makes the force no different than a normal infantry battalion. Then there is no reason for 10 Para to even exist. Is that actually better? So lets just agree to disagree. My idea is to enhance the parachute capabilities, not decrease it.

    ” It is telling that the Australian army, an army with an expeditionary role, one that has more lift assets than we do and more cash; has very limited ”para” units and has not seen the need to raise anymore; preferring to focus on deploying and sustaining units via other means than the parachute. ”

    It is because the Australian army is shaping itself to be an amphibious force with huge investments in equipment’s such as new heavy IFVs, LPD, LPHs etc etc. Malaysia OTOH has invested in expensive A400Ms. It can transport and land troops, it can paradrop troops too. As we now have that capability, then why not enhance it, instead of killing the capability alltogether? It is not like i am saying that we absolutely have to deploy them by parachute, but it should still be a very capable option for our leaders to exercise. That is my idea. Even if landed conventionally at an airport or dirtstrip, landed on the beach from a LCT or LCAC it is better to ride in a DAGOR and ZBD-03s rather than walking right? And to get those capability does not cost hundreds of millions. I calculate somewhere around usd 50 million could get us 100 DAGORs and 36 ZBD-03s.

    @ Xan Vreda

    ” Are you guys really confident that we will get ZBD-03 from China in the future? ”

    It is just my suggestion, as a replacement for 10 Para’s Scorpion and Stormer. The ZBD-03 has been shown for export during Zhuhai airshow 2014, so we know that it is offered for sale. We have bought Chinese weapons before, and now with closer diplomatic and economic relations, I don’t see why not. A combination of western DAGOR and chinese ZBD-03 would greatly enhance the 10 Para’s capability, whether it is deployed by parachute, airlifted, amphibious or by ground. As it is i am the only one to see any benefit from this in our operational circumstances, but I hope that those in uniform would see the benefits too.

  59. @ … “You never counter mechanized infantry with paratroopers! What makes you think that is the mission? The logical adversary would be infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support, events such as Lahad Datu, Marawi, Mali.”

    Because that size of response is the kind that armies maintaining relatively large numbers of paras are prepared to fight. US and UK Paras’ role is to respond quickly to Russian aggression and they carry Javelin ATGMs to deal with tanks.

    But if a quick-reaction counter-insurgent response is the mission then the army really has to weigh the expense of maintaining 4 para-qualified battalions on rotation versus the likelihood of actually using them. Does this mission warrant a response size up to 1 full battalion? Would perhaps 2 companies be enough to support another company drawn from Special Forces? (That would cut the para brigade by half.)

    @ … “USA, russia and china is investing to upgrade their paratropper capabilities with new systems (parachutes, weapons, vehicles etc). Other western forces are being cut across the board, UK for example is cutting everywhere, the marines, armour, para, helicopter carriers the lot! So it is not a sign of parachute forces are no longer relevant.”

    I did point out to you the US has downsized its para units. And consider that the US 82nd Division (and the independent 173rd Airborne Brigade) is less than 10% the size of the whole US Army not counting National Guard, whereas our 10th Para makes up what percentage of the army? And even so, they are kept that size because they are intended to fight against a true peer enemy… again, is that the mission we are training for?

    China is something else. Russia’s true readiness is a whole nother topic. And you were the one who brought up UK and France yourself, are you now disqualifying them?

    @ … “BTW every single infantry battalion is “air transportable”, by C-130, A-400 or even airasia! We have been deploying soldiers from helicopters since the 60s, so there is also nothing special about that.”

    There is something a little special about that; most armies train units specifically for heliborne ops. There IS distinction between the Para Regiment and 101st Airborne from the rest of the army. They work closely with air support and attack helicopter assets (which we don’t have). Regular units are only expected to fly in like passengers and spend a few days assembling their equipment; these units are prepared to disembark from tactical lift straight into battle within a matter of minutes.

    @ … “The concept of operations for 10 Para should be something that normal infantry battalion cannot do, which is rapid deployment to places where normal transports cannot go.”

    So back again to my previous question, does 10 Para have the deployability and support arms to do the things a full battalion-sized reaction force is supposed to do? And is the rest of the Army capable of backing that up subsequently? If that is not its mission, then is it oversized for its actual mission of insurgent-chasing? One might say that it is nice to throw a full battalion of elite paratroops at an insurgent force, but at what cost to your budget and other capabilities?

    @ … “As i said the parachute rapid reaction force is always a lightweight force mainly to strike fast and hold ground (ie buying time) until a bigger force arrives, so it is a tool for a specific situation.”

    If this “specific situation” is an insurgency then frankly 10 Para is oversized. It is currently sized more for a fight against peer enemies. But NOT equipped as such.

    @ … “As with the Mali operation. This is the 1st time i hear that the operation is a sign of shortcomings of a parachute deployed force. Most study it as an example of scalable rapid deployment force, by parachute, ground self deployment, sea and air transport.”

    The main criticism of Serval relevant here is that the French had insufficient airlift capability. The French force was mainly transported by, as you say, “C-130, A-400 or even airasia!” (as well as LPD), and they had to borrow UK and US transport aircraft to do it. The majority of forces not airlifted in came from wheeled French units in Africa or landed by LPD. Their logistics was also in shambles, mostly operating on 24 to 48 hours of supplies – which would have gotten them in deep trouble if they had encountered really tough resistance like ISIS or AQ.

    Only 2 companies of infantry actually deployed by parachute, mainly from the special forces unit 2 REP. Nor did they parachute in because they were the first to respond; the first units were actually wheeled and heliborne units already in Africa at the time. They made 2 tactical drops, in 1 of them taking an airfield and holding it for heliborne forces to land. Subsequently an air-dropped engineering squad cleared the runway for other forces to airlift in.

    Summing up – the French didn’t see the need to employ a strategic battalion-sized paradrop capability. Almost all of the airborne assaults made save for 2 exceptions were done by heli-assault or airlift. Not parachute. The parachuting unit was actually Special Forces, not regular paratroops. The regular “paratroops” instead were already in theatre or airlifted in and drove in wheeled armoured vehicles, or made heliborne assaults. Not parachute.

    The same applies for Lahad Datu or Malaysian Marawi or any other likely scenario. What is needed in terms of paratroopers is mainly a special forces unit that can seize an air-head at very short notice, and airlift capacity to reinforce them with more troops very quickly. The bottlenecks for us to complete a Mali-like mission are tactical air, airlift, sealift capacity, and enablers like CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR support – in short we don’t have the assets to cater for a full battalion-sized capability. So why continue to train a full battalion’s worth of bodies for parachuting when we can’t support them subsequently?

    @… “Your idea is basically to just give up the parachute capability, which basically makes the force no different than a normal infantry battalion. Then there is no reason for 10 Para to even exist. Is that actually better?”

    Understand the difference between elite light infantry and parachute-trained infantry. By this logic I suppose the Marine Corps and Royal Marines are not “elite” because they are not parachute-trained? Azlan and I want elite infantry, but not necessarily parachute-trained elite infantry. Geddit?

    @… “Malaysia OTOH has invested in expensive A400Ms. It can transport and land troops, it can paradrop troops too. As we now have that capability, then why not enhance it, instead of killing the capability alltogether? It is not like i am saying that we absolutely have to deploy them by parachute, but it should still be a very capable option for our leaders to exercise. That is my idea.”

    Preserving options costs LOTS of money, bodies and effort. Why stop at battalion? Why not invest like the US in deploying if need be a full air-droppable infantry brigade? Options cost.

    And what Azlan and I are saying is that you can keep some jump-qualified troops but you don’t need the whole brigade to be jump-qualified, not when you mainly expect them to airlift in most of the time.

    @… “Even if landed conventionally at an airport or dirtstrip, landed on the beach from a LCT or LCAC it is better to ride in a DAGOR and ZBD-03s rather than walking right? And to get those capability does not cost hundreds of millions. I calculate somewhere around usd 50 million could get us 100 DAGORs and 36 ZBD-03s.”

    It depends entirely on what you want them to do, and what it costs to bring in those ZBD-03s. For example if you want, those A400Ms can even bring in Puma IFVs.

    But how many A400Ms do you need to buy to deploy all those vehicles? Over how many sorties? Over how long a duration? At what distance? You yourself said you want “a company-sized spearhead force on air-droppable vehicles (110men on 10 Polaris DAGOR + 4 ZBD-03 IFV deployed from 3 A400M)”. How did these balloon to an acquisition program for 10 times the DAGORs and 9 times the ZBDs?!

    Think about the strategic picture. Will we be sending a battalion of parachute infantry for very-high-readiness overseas kick-in-the-door action at any time? No. We don’t have the strategic lift and battlefield enablers to paradrop a battalion-sized unit into a hostile airport or port and force the door open for an expeditionary brigade. Not even Mali was that kind of operation. Conversely if the mission is insurgent-hunting we have no need to maintain a battalion-sized high-readiness motorised parachute force. You talk about Marawi and Lahad Datu, frankly there are only 2 real options for us:

    1) We airlift (NOT drop!) airborne troops into a friendly city with ports and airports, and build up a task force slowly… over a few weeks at best, cause its not like ATM is set up to be highly expeditionary.

    2) We paradrop a company of Special Forces augmented by a company-plus task force of parachute troops near the crisis zone, while other motorised forces in theatre gear up. This option is far more likely when talking about any future Lahad Datus. As such our focus shouldn’t be on spending to acquire more types of vehicles, but on enhancing troop readiness and capabilities in East Malaysia.

    I can see the benefit of keeping an air-droppable Para/Spec Ops company motorised on light vehicles. Equip them with .50-cals, 40mm GMGs or even ATGMs – for this the French keep a company of Panhard VBLs parachute-qualified. That would actually be my choice: it even has a variant with an Ingwe turret!

    http://tanknutdave.com/images/vbl/ingwe.jpg

    But all we need to do that is a company-plus set of vehicles and ONE battalion of Paras on rotation. And if I may criticise my own idea, what is the CONOPS for this unit – is it meant to take fire? If so then it should have better armour. If not meant to take fire and the purpose is merely to motorise them and enable them to carry supplies and support weapons, then hell, even Humvees are air-droppable… in fact we have the ATMPs which was designed for this function in the first place!

  60. @ Chua

    ” Would perhaps 2 companies be enough to support another company drawn from Special Forces? (That would cut the para brigade by half.) ”

    The problem is – you never deploy a company of special forces at 1 go. They excel in small teams and in secrecy, not full on frontal actions. “maintaining” 4 para qualified battalions does not mean all 4 battalions are qualified to go at the same time. If you just assign 2 battalions, you don’t just go to train 1/2 of the battalion only at 1 time. The soldiers also need time off from deployments, etc etc

    ” whereas our 10th Para makes up what percentage of the army? And even so, they are kept that size because they are intended to fight against a true peer enemy… again, is that the mission we are training for? ”

    We have 14 operational brigades, so that is 7% of the army. Hmm peer army… see that term a lot in US publications eh? What does that means actually? is China a peer army to us? of course no. A peer army is a force similar in size and strength and capability to our own, and that is not the same as US or Chinese peer armies.

    ” And you were the one who brought up UK and France yourself, are you now disqualifying them? ”

    I am just saying that UK force reductions has nothing to do with not needing parachute forces anymore. And when did i disqualify France?

    ” They work closely with air support and attack helicopter assets (which we don’t have) ”

    So you suggest we transform 10 para to use a concept that we don’t have the assets for? Or you suggest we disband 10 para alltogether and use normal infantry instead?

    ” So back again to my previous question, does 10 Para have the deployability and support arms to do the things a full battalion-sized reaction force is supposed to do? And is the rest of the Army capable of backing that up subsequently? ”

    With our current airlift assets, yes. We are more than able to deploy a full battalion-sized reaction force and airlift other normal infantry battalions later.

    ” One might say that it is nice to throw a full battalion of elite paratroops at an insurgent force, but at what cost to your budget and other capabilities? ”

    Would you want a prolonged insurgency like Marawi, or a quick ending like Lahad Datu? Is the possibility of ending an insurgency crisis quickly not as important as the capability to fight conventional wars?

    ” It is currently sized more for a fight against peer enemies. But NOT equipped as such. ”

    Again our peers is not the same as US or even China.

    ” The main criticism of Serval relevant here is that the French had insufficient airlift capability ”

    And how that criticism can arrive to your conclusion that is a shortcoming attributed to parachute forces? And that is not applicable to airlifted forces too?

    ” Only 2 companies of infantry actually deployed by parachute, mainly from the special forces unit 2 REP ”

    2 REP has exactly the same function as battalions in 10 Para. It is 1 of 4 regular parachute battalions in french 11 Para Brigade.

    ” The bottlenecks for us to complete a Mali-like mission are tactical air, airlift, sealift capacity, and enablers like CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR support – in short we don’t have the assets to cater for a full battalion-sized capability. So why continue to train a full battalion’s worth of bodies for parachuting when we can’t support them subsequently? ”

    Mali mission is in the size of a brigade, not a battalion. We are more than able to support a battalion sized parachute force as it is right now.

    ” By this logic I suppose the Marine Corps and Royal Marines are not “elite” because they are not parachute-trained? Azlan and I want elite infantry, but not necessarily parachute-trained elite infantry. Geddit? ”

    They are elite because they are amphibious trained. Can we do that? We dont have amphibious assets. So what kind of specialty you want to give this “elite infantry” counting out parachute capability? Amphibious-trained? We don’t have the ships. Heliborne airmobile-trained? Can we reasonably collect all our helicopters at 1 place and move a battalion sized force? Nope. That left us with what? Can we invest in those 2 capabilities cheaper than maintaining our parachute force? i don’t think so.

    ” But how many A400Ms do you need to buy to deploy all those vehicles? Over how many sorties? Over how long a duration? At what distance? You yourself said you want “a company-sized spearhead force on air-droppable vehicles (110men on 10 Polaris DAGOR + 4 ZBD-03 IFV deployed from 3 A400M)”. How did these balloon to an acquisition program for 10 times the DAGORs and 9 times the ZBDs?! ”

    As i said, 1 sortie of 3x A400M or 2x A400M and 2x C-130H to deploy a company-sized spearhead force on air-droppable vehicles (110men on 10 Polaris DAGOR + 4 ZBD-03 IFV deployed from 3 A400M). Range with A400M 4500km. Range with Herc combo 3500km.

    Reread my previous posts. You need those numbers to have.
    – Ready company-sized deployable equipment on standby at Subang AFB. For very quick reaction, packed ready to put into airlifters. Can be deployed by parachute if needed.
    – Ready battalion sized equipment with the battalion that is on operational standby. If need to deploy in 1 battalion size, by ground, airlift, or amphibious.
    – Company sized training equipment for 3 other battalions
    – 2 squadron (1 squadron of 16 IFVs) of equipment for the Para Armor Regiment. 1 squadron of equipment ready to deploy.

    ” As such our focus shouldn’t be on spending to acquire more types of vehicles, but on enhancing troop readiness and capabilities in East Malaysia. ”

    That should be a separate discussion to the paratroop issue we are discussing.

    ” I can see the benefit of keeping an air-droppable Para/Spec Ops company motorised on light vehicles. Equip them with .50-cals, 40mm GMGs or even ATGMs – for this the French keep a company of Panhard VBLs parachute-qualified. That would actually be my choice: it even has a variant with an Ingwe turret! ”

    It is called Reconnaissance and Support Company in french para battalions. But it is more like a fire support team. it has around 12 VBLs. It is not the size of 1 infantry company. VBLs can only carry its 3 crew, so no dismounted operations possible.

    So lets see –
    VBL company – say 15 VBLs. 60 tons, 45men.
    DAGOR + ZBD-03 company – 10 DAGOR, 4 ZBD-03. 58 tons, 110men.
    VBL company is more of a support function. DAGOR + ZBD-03 company is a motorized parachute infantry company.

    ” But all we need to do that is a company-plus set of vehicles and ONE battalion of Paras on rotation ”

    Isn’t that my idea all along? And your key word, on rotation. That is why there is 4 parachute battalions now. To have 1 battalion always ready to go you need at least 3 assigned for the task (1 ready to deploy, 1 training, 1 on rest after deployment). But i guess 4 is because 1 ready to deploy, 1 deployed on regular taskings, 1 on training, 1 on rest after deployment.

    ” in fact we have the ATMPs which was designed for this function in the first place ”

    ATMPs are challenging to drive and barely have any suspension travel. More suited to carry cargos than people. It has its place in Para force (a logistic support enabler), but better vehicles like the DAGOR would be more suitable as a personnel carrier and fire support platform.

  61. Breaking news

    Looks like all 6 Kedah class OPVs will be based in east malaysia.

    Now
    – KD Kedah, KD Perak
    This year
    – KD Selangor, KD Kelantan
    Next year
    – KD Pahang, KD Terengganu

    So whats left in Kuantan after this? Leaving it to MMEA as the main operator in peninsular’s east coast?

    Reply
    Yes, likely, anyhow its a gunboat paradise then….

  62. …. – ”Your idea is basically to just give up the parachute capability”

    When and where did I say that?

    I suggested making the unit more relevant [beyond just adding hardware], I suggested perhaps downsizing the unit or ”tweaking” to make it more manageable, I suggested improving its organic command, logistics and signals elements and yes I kept reinforcing the fact that although many armies doesn’t place as much importance [for various reasons] on jumps units compared to the past, that we still have a need for a rapid deployable unit able to deploy by various means and just as importantly, able to sustain itself independently for a brief period should the need arise.

    …. – ”It is because the Australian army is shaping itself to be an amphibious force”

    It’s also because, amongst other things, they see more practical, efficient and safer ways of deploying units and sustaining them in the field. Same with many NATO armies which have in recent years placed less emphasis on dedicated jump units. Even in the 1980’s and 1990’s when they already had an expeditionary role; the Australians only had a small jump element. If I’m not mistaken one of their regiments lost its para capability years ago [it did a joint jump with 10 Para during a Soutern Tiger exercise] and only a commando unit at present has a jump capability.

    … – ”Nope, that was also brand new

    All were ex RAF and I have their RAF serials.

    …. – ”Malaysia OTOH has invested in expensive A400Ms. It can transport and land troops, it can paradrop troops too.”

    Malaysia has the needed assets but so do many countries. Having the needed assets doesn’t automatically mean one actually have or needs the capability to deploy and sustain forward deployed units in times of conflict or sustain those units when someone is trying to prevent the deployment of those units or preventing them from being resupplied. Even deploying a battalion and its support elements, plus its ammo and other gear will take quite a number of sorties and quite a number of aircraft to be available for the tasking. Also, how we utilise our assets and their capabilities are based on our requirements; not on all the capabilities assets can offer. Some capabilities we won’t need, some we’ll need but more so than other capabilities a particular asset offers.

    Luckily for us, there will hardly be scenarios where the unit will have to be forward deployed too far away from the nearest friendly troops, port, base and airport. Also as I’ve pointed out before, in the future there will be less need for the unit to rapidly deploy ”light” in out of area forward locations as troop strengths in Sabah [already increased under ESSCOM] will be better once 4th Division is fully raised in the coming years.

    … – ”As it is i am the only one to see any benefit from this in our operational circumstances”

    No. Years ago we had a discussion here on how stuff like Weasel, Fennek and BMD could benefit the unit. In fact someone actually tried to interest the unit with Ukranian IFVs years ago but there wasn’t any interest. 10 Para actually had a need in the past for a small [non air dropable] armoured vehicle; not as a means of maneuver per say but for recce/fire support – as a stop gap option it got the less than ideal Scorpions and Stormers.

    Incidentally an attempt was made to sell Weasel for KOSTRAD’s jump units in the 1990’s but the deal didn’t go through. It’s also telling that after the Sheridan was retired the U.S. army saw no need for an airdropable AFV for many years [a few years ago it started looking at options] and the Brits, French and Italians don’t have one. The Russians and Chinese do of course but they see their units performing very different roles.

    … – ”I hope that those in uniform would see the benefits too.”

    As it stands there is at present no paper or actual requirement for an IFV – we know this from various interviews done with the head of MAF, army and 10 Para in several publications over the years and conversations had with people in uniform and the industry. What the unit does have a requirement for [for years actually] are high mobility platforms, new comms, NVGs and other gear. Those are its priorities at present.

    The question is really not about the benefits of having an IFV but whether the unit wants or needs IFVs, how IFVs fit in with the unit’s requirements and present support elements and whether the role can better be performed by another type of vehicle other than an IFV. Nobody here has totally dismissed the idea of IFVs. For every compelling argument you make to justify IFVs; anyone here can make an equally compelling case for other types of gear which [based on their opinions] the unit needs more. For me, if indeed the unit ever sees a requirement for an IFV, I would argue that something bigger [more internal space and better protection levels] is needed and for us the fact that we don’t need an airdroplable IFV and that the unit’s ”heavy” gear will be deployed to a port or airport/air base rather than being dropped on a DZ; simplifies things.

    … – ‘The ZBD-03 has been shown for export”

    It’s a great vehicle. You’ve pointed that its ”airdropable” and ”amphibious” and can carry various weapons/sensors but I’ve pointed out why being airdropable” and ”amphibious” might not be too relevant for our needs and why ”airdropable” and ”amphibious’ whilst being useful; must never be the main criteria in selecting anything as it [again] depends on ones operational requirements. The BMD/ZBD-03 were made with the requirements of the VDV and PLA’s jump units in mind; a small easy to deploy, air dropable [in the case of the BMD the crew were actually inside it when air dropped] platform – the penalty was a ”light” vehicle with limited protection and internal space but these were judged to be penalties worth incurring in line with the roles these vehicles were/are expected to perform. In our context my main gripe with the ZBD-03 is its size which in turn determines its protection level and internal space. Doesn’t mean I have anything against the ZBD-03 or that I’m suggesting that 10 Para will never have a need for IFVs to equip as least part of the unit.

    Personally, in addition to improving its command, signals and logistical elements; I’d like the unit to have an organic bridging capability [doesn’t have to be air dropable] and improved combat engineering assets to improve the unit’s ability to deploy what it currently has and for the unit to be more self supporting without relying on others. One way of doing this would be to convert a small element/part of the unit [whilst retaining the jump capability] into combat engineers. I’d also like the unit to have a UAS capability; even if it’s a short range, mini UAS [whether for local surveillance or artillery/mortar spotting] – I know this is asking too much as at present the only MAF unit with an organic capability is the army’s intel battalion.

    In light of present requirements and threat perceptions; as well as how the threat environment might evolve in the coming years and the fact that the unit’s TOE hasn’t change much since the mid 1990’s; great thought has to be given as to how to ”tweak” the unit; which goes way beyond just getting hardware. We’ve had the capability to air drop troops since the late 1980’s, before 10 Para was even raised but now we have to also focus on deploying them via other means even if at present we may not have the actual lift assets [whether an MPSS or sufficient helis] in hand and also to find new ways of how the unit can better do what it’s supposed to do. In short, whilst the raison detre of the unit hasn’t changed [a light rapid reaction, strategic reserve deployable by various means]; the circumstances in which it would rapidly deploy and operational circumstances likely to be encountered has somewhat changed since 1994 when the unit was declared operational.

    Also note that just because 4th battalion was added doesn’t necessarily mean that there actually was a requirement for a 4th jump unit. It could have been due to reasons other than operational ones. For me actually the question is whether Brigade HQ was enlarged to cater for this extra unit and whether the support elements were also enlarged. A 4th unit means a few hundred more people who have to make several jumps a year to maintain their wings. It also necessitates the need for improved support elements.

    … – ”So whats left in Kuantan”

    It will still be the HQ of HQ Naval Region 1 and I guess the only assets home ported there will be Perdana and Handalan class. The question also applies to Langkawi, in terms of assets. What will happen after all the Kedahs go east? At the moment the only ships homeported in Langkawi are a couple of Kedahs.

  63. @ azlan

    ” I suggested perhaps downsizing the unit or ”tweaking” to make it more manageable, I suggested improving its organic command, logistics and signals elements ”

    Your suggestions, are you saying right now the capability is “not manageable”? The current command, logistics and signals are lacking? What kind of lacking is there right now? Describe the issues then we can describe the solutions.

    ” it’s also because, amongst other things, they see more practical, efficient and safer ways of deploying units and sustaining them in the field. ”

    It is also because they have the budget to deploy their troops by other means (ie. amphibiously)

    ” All were ex RAF and I have their RAF serials. ”

    I stand corrected. Previously i had some info that all 24 was brand new, but after more research it looks like most are used RAF T1 models.

    ” Even deploying a battalion and its support elements, plus its ammo and other gear will take quite a number of sorties and quite a number of aircraft to be available for the tasking. Also, how we utilise our assets and their capabilities are based on our requirements; ”

    Yes rapidly deploying a battalion, by any means is a big task. It is said that it would need 3 CDS bundles every 48 hours to resupply a combat company with food, water and ammo (1 C-130H-30 can carry 24 CDS bundles). A rapid deployed battalion would usually bring with them at least 72 hours of rations with them. With a total of 14 C-130 and 4 A-400M, logistically supporting a battalion sized force anywhere in Asia pacific is within our capability. Do also take into consideration by rapidly intervening a situation at an early stage, the situation could actually be under control (preventing it from escalating into a bigger situation) before the deployed battalion is even needed to be resupplied, and follow on forces could replace the rapidly deployed forces.

    ” Luckily for us, there will hardly be scenarios where the unit will have to be forward deployed too far away from the nearest friendly troops, port, base and airport. ”

    For scenarios in Malaysia, yes. But what about outside of Malaysia? Lets say Timor Leste (recent chatters that the situation there is heating up), Philippines?

    ” For me, if indeed the unit ever sees a requirement for an IFV, I would argue that something bigger [more internal space and better protection levels] is needed and for us the fact that we don’t need an airdroplable IFV and that the unit’s ”heavy” gear will be deployed to a port or airport/air base rather than being dropped on a DZ; simplifies things ”

    For something to be deployed by aircraft (does not matter paradropped or landed), it need to be small and light. Yes you could airlift a Gempita, but you can only carry 1 at a time.

    ” I’d like the unit to have an organic bridging capability [doesn’t have to be air dropable] and improved combat engineering assets to improve the unit’s ability to deploy what it currently has and for the unit to be more self supporting without relying on others. ”

    As the PARA unit is usually deployed around battalion size, and it is to be a light and rapid force, engineering assets are very difficult to be attached to such a small and light unit. Organic bridging capability? For Mechanized brigade maybe. To improve the units ability to deploy and self supporting? Improve its tactical mobility and increase its rations and ammo reserves. But it would be good for quick HADR missions to have a stand alone engineering asset capable of deploying by air, for example typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes in neighboring countries, but would that be more of PARA or units such as SMART tasking?

    ” In short, whilst the raison detre of the unit hasn’t changed [a light rapid reaction, strategic reserve deployable by various means]; the circumstances in which it would rapidly deploy and operational circumstances likely to be encountered has somewhat changed since 1994 when the unit was declared operational. ”

    It all depends on the country’s leadership, whether to decide decisively or not when a situation corps up. But right now the world is a more unstable place than in the 90’s, with many non-state actors with potent firepower that could cause trouble. There are also more malaysian interests and citizens worldwide, which meant a rapid reaction force to rescue them is still needed. So far there is no need for the force to be deployed in anger, but isn’t it good to know that it is there when the nation needs it? What it can be used :
    – A rapid blocking/flanking force to support a conventional force. Attacking from time/direction that is not predicted by the enemy.
    – Rapidly securing a remote strategic asset from falling into enemy hands, hydroelectric sites, bridges, border pass, military installations etc locally and internationally.
    – Large scale civilian rescue
    – Quick support to friendly countries at a remote place.
    – Deploying to a place where the ports/airports are controlled/destroyed by the enemy

  64. …. – ”Your suggestions, are you saying right now the capability is “not manageable”?”

    It hasn’t changed much since 1994 in terms of organisation. When I say ”manageable” what I mean is making it ”leaner”; making it easier to deploy, making it easier to support when deployed and decreasing its support/logistical footprint whilst making it ”more” capable. One way of increasing its present capability is to look at its command, signals and support elements because everything ultimately will be dependent on these. No point increasing its strength or adding hardware if the unit’s support elements are not up to the task. Again, we added a 4th battalion but were support elements expended to accommodate that extra battalion? It’s easier to add an existing infantry unit to the brigade [even that will be time consuming and will involved bureaucratic issues] but adding support elements will be harder because they have to come from somewhere and are not numerous to begin with.

    Not sure if the signals and engineering elements have been expended but if not; they still consist of just a squadron each of signals and engineers, as well as a single supply platoon. It’s fine if we only have to deploy a single battalion at any one time [which is what we plan or hope for] but if [for whatever reason] we had to deploy more than 1 simultaneously [to different locations] would that single signals and engineer squadron and the supply platoon be up to the job?

    … – ”For scenarios in Malaysia, yes. But what about outside of Malaysia? Lets say Timor Leste (recent chatters that the situation there is heating up), Philippines?”

    Unlikely but in the event the unit deployed out of Malaysia it would not be deploying on ”unfriendly” territory per say but in cooperation with the government of those countries and the unit will not be [mainly] deployed by parachute. It may fly in ”lightly”[whether by Charlie or A400Ms] but follow on elements will soon follow by aircraft or other means and no one will contest the landings. East Timor in 2006 is indicative of likely ways the unit will deploy in the future, by aircraft to an airport and by ships to a port in a ”friendly” place and the mission will likely be to help with civil unrest or something similar; not land to engage a peer or near peer adversary who will attempt to contest our landings.

    As for the Philippines, no matter where you are in Mindanao, you are never too far away from a nearest airport and we’ll never land there [or anywhere for that matter] without the cooperation of their government or in a scenario where advanced elements will not be supportable due to the absence or unavailibility of a base or airport to support forward deployed units.

    Something else comes to mind, the 7th Rangers was designated a ”Ready To Deploy” battalion, why wasn’t an existing 10 Para unit selected instead? After all the Brigade has 4 battalions and they train to deploy rapidly at short notice; its raison detre.

    … – ”Organic bridging capability? For Mechanized brigade maybe. To improve the units ability to deploy and self supporting?”

    At the moment even our brigades don’t have a organic bridging capability so giving one to 10 Para is asking too much but given that the unit – amongst other things – trains to be deployed and self supporting for briefs periods, in out of area places with limited friendly support or presence; a bridging capability will do no harm.

    …. – ”isn’t it good to know that it is there when the nation needs it?”

    Oh yes, no doubt here but at the end of the day there must be a realistic assessment and understanding of what the unit can or can’t be reasonably expected to do based on various factors.

    …. – ”it need to be small and light.”

    Advantages with ”small and light” but penalties as well. It also can be pointed out that a heavier IFV [offering superior protection, mobility and internal volume] can be transported by sea. Plus and minus. Even if we had a ”small and light” IFV it’s very uncertain as to how many can be rapidly air lifted given that a lot of other things will also have priority.

  65. @ azlan

    ” they still consist of just a squadron each of signals and engineers, as well as a single supply platoon ”

    A squadron each of signals and engineers is good enough IMO, but i think we need at least a supply company. One is people to prepare logistics to be packed into aircrafts, another is the support elements on the ground supporting the deployed troops. As for resupply, emerging technologies of GPS-guided parachutes (multiple companies now supplies such systems) means that the resupply aircraft does not need to fly over the drop zone, with supplies can be dropped into smaller clearences, and not affected by wind over the drop zone. The PARA force is designed to be rapidly deployed to one place, not two, but a normal deployment of one with another still on standby for rapid deployment is probably why we have an extra battalion now. The deployed battalion supported by existing logistics in place at the deployed location (esscom for example), with the brigade’s logistics still on stanby for rapid deployment.

    As for signals, a lightweight satcom capability is something that we could get.

    ” Something else comes to mind, the 7th Rangers was designated a ”Ready To Deploy” battalion, why wasn’t an existing 10 Para unit selected instead ”

    It is designated as a UN ready to deploy battalion. Ready to deploy might not mean rapid deployment. It might just mean that its equipment and personnel is in tip top shape for UN to assign a task when needed. And UN mission set probably needs mechanized elements for an extended time on location.

    ” the unit – amongst other things – trains to be deployed and self supporting for briefs periods ”

    It is mainly a parachute light infanty unit, and it does not just train to be deployed, it trains to be rapidly deployed, a distinct difference between the two. I don’t think there is any infantry unit, even motorized ones, given an organic bridging capability.

    ” Oh yes, no doubt here but at the end of the day there must be a realistic assessment and understanding of what the unit can or can’t be reasonably expected to do based on various factors. ”

    IMO for now the brigade is practicing in exercises what it is reasonably expected to do. And little things like my idea of DAGOR + ZBD-03 combo is something not to big an ask to give it some advantage in doing what it is expected to do now, taking into consideration our current logistics capability.

    ” Advantages with ”small and light” but penalties as well. It also can be pointed out that a heavier IFV [offering superior protection, mobility and internal volume] can be transported by sea. Plus and minus. ”

    The PARAs needed to be small (a battalion small that is) and light to enable them not just to deploy, but to be rapidly deployed. Each unit has its own advantage and penalties yes I understand. If you want protection, send your mechanized units. But you cannot expect a mechanized battalion to be in Timor Leste in 48 hours. That is why we have various units for various situations. We have our SF, we have mechanized units, we have the PARAs, we have the general infanty units. Each have their own advantage for different situations.

  66. Uhmm organic bridging capability for 10 Para? Maybe possible to drop bailey bridge parts from Charlie? Has someone recently done that?

    AFAIK USA did that, korean war, literally airdrop bridge parts for a retreating formation in NK. Not mistaken Chosin Reservoir area, using Boxcar.

  67. @… “If you want protection, send your mechanized units. But you cannot expect a mechanized battalion to be in Timor Leste in 48 hours. That is why we have various units for various situations. We have our SF, we have mechanized units, we have the PARAs, we have the general infanty units. Each have their own advantage for different situations.”

    Just bear in mind that basically you are expecting to deploy 1 battalion of Paras (and potentially more) into a nominally-hostile foreign country without the capability to follow up with a stronger (mechanised) force within at most 1 week.

    Think about the strength across all military arms needed to kick open a beach-head, force open a landing corridor, rapidly deploy supporting combat units, and relieve the Paras within that week… is Malaysia able to mobilise that strength?

    And while you’re at it consider if the Paras have the personal equipment to even match a UK or US Para battalion, before thinking about IFVs and vehicles.

    @… “So you suggest we transform 10 para to use a concept that we don’t have the assets for?”

    I suggest not buying assets in order to transform 10 Para to use a concept we don’t have the assets for.

    @… “With our current airlift assets, yes. We are more than able to deploy a full battalion-sized reaction force and airlift other normal infantry battalions later.”

    Really? Is airlift the only assets needed?

    @… “a quick ending like Lahad Datu?”

    Really? What did Lahad Datu accomplish by parachute that was not accomplished by airlift/sealift? Speaking of which, have you compared the reaction time from alert to engagement of Marawi and Lahad Datu?

    @… “Mali mission is in the size of a brigade, not a battalion. We are more than able to support a battalion sized parachute force as it is right now.”

    Really? With CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR, everything an independently-operating parachute infantry battalion needs inside hostile territory?

    And does ATM have the ready strength to push the Paras and its supporting forces into such a situation against our peers? You mentioned potential intervention into, e.g., Timor Leste. In such a scenario what force do you think, e.g., Indonesia can bring to bear on the Paras until they can be reinforced?

  68. @ Chua

    ” Think about the strength across all military arms needed to kick open a beach-head, force open a landing corridor, rapidly deploy supporting combat units, and relieve the Paras within that week… is Malaysia able to mobilise that strength? ”

    Why do you bother to kick down another door when the PARA is already in the house? 1 whole battalion can be moved with 4 C-130H-30. In 2 days with 2 sorties of 4 planes per day, we could have moved a whole brigade to support the para force.

    ” And while you’re at it consider if the Paras have the personal equipment to even match a UK or US Para battalion, before thinking about IFVs and vehicles ”

    Our soldiers personel equipment and weapons is the least of our concerns. With improvements in webbing, armoured vests, helmets, radios and good firepower with the supplied RPG-7s.

    ” I suggest not buying assets in order to transform 10 Para to use a concept we don’t have the assets for. ”

    We don’t have assets? 14 hercules and 4 A-400M is not assets? And you suggest to transform it into airmobile units using paper helicopters is it? Then please tell me what concept would it be perfect for, that is not applicable to other units.

    ” Really? Is airlift the only assets needed? ”

    Then tell me otherwise. Would using other concepts have more readily available asset than the current parachute concept.

    ” Really? What did Lahad Datu accomplish by parachute that was not accomplished by airlift/sealift? ”

    The parachute capability was not used. What can be accomplished? Quicker reaction time. Our politicians hesitated in the begining to use the military force (as the kirams was actually close to the ruling party before). The PARA force was ready to go but the green light was never given to them. Only after they dont want to stand down (after nearly a month of negotiations) and the police force was overwhelmed was the decision to use the military on them.

    ” Really? With CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR, everything an independently-operating parachute infantry battalion needs inside hostile territory? ”

    Does our other forces have the CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR capability to operate inside hostile territory that the PARA forces don’t have?

    ” You mentioned potential intervention into, e.g., Timor Leste. In such a scenario what force do you think, e.g., Indonesia can bring to bear on the Paras until they can be reinforced? ”

    The situation right now in timor leste is mostly internal. Unless indonesia is bent on annexing Timor Leste for the 2nd time, if there is indonesian forces at the same time, probably we will work together with them to restore order, not against them.

    OK then please tell me what really do you expect the PARA to do things that other units cannot readily do?

  69. @ azlan

    On the engineering assets. After looking at what the french para has, and what they did in operation serval, i think more engineering equipment would be a good addition to the force. Not as a force that follows the first wave, but as a preparation force after the objective is secured, to prepare landing areas etc for more follow up forces to come.

    The french para engineers (sappers) are a battalion in strength, as they are mainly a big demining force, with other engineering capabilities such as airport/airstrip preparation, electrical, civil, underwater specialists.

    After lessons in operation serval, they designed a special bulldozer for paradrop operations, called the TNA. It weighs just 6.5 tons and the whole paradrop package weighing 8 tons. It is specially designed for airdrop (can windstand 50G drop force) and armoured too.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Tracto-niveleur_aérolargable.jpg

    http://forcesoperations.com/un-nouveau-chenillard-aerolargable-pour-les-paras-francais/

    That would be a great capability for our PARA force, along with small backhoe such as the JCB 1CXT (weighs around 4.5 tons)

    http://cloudlakes.com/data_images/models/jcb-1cx/jcb-1cx-03.jpg

  70. …. – ” Ready to deploy might not mean rapid deployment.”

    The question remains : why not use an existing 10 Para unit? It’s not as if all 4 battalions are very busy and after all, they are our strategic reserve. Having 7th Rangers a ”ready to deploy” for UN unit sounds great but it’s a distraction for the unit. Also, ”ready to deploy” does mean to a certain extent, that the unit is more ”ready” than other units and trains fore the eventuality.

    … – ”But you cannot expect a mechanized battalion to be in Timor Leste in 48 hours. ”

    No you can’t but even if we had to airlift ”light” armour there is nothing to say that we can lift all the needed men, gear and armour [even say at squadron strength] within 48 hours either. Also, it depends on whether we need ‘x’ or ‘y’ level of deployment in 48 hours – depends on the urgency, threat, politics, etc. There may be instances where due to politics the unit will deploy ”light”.

    … – ”The PARA force is designed to be rapidly deployed to one place, not two,

    On paper yes but like you giving out scenarios, I’m doing the same. What happens if we’re faced with such a situation? If we can’t deploy elements of the unit to more than 1 place simultaneously [in a non high threat environment with nobody contesting our deployment] then why even bother to have a 4th battalion in the first place? If we only have barely enough signals or engineering assets to support one battalion in the field at any one time then why bother to have 4?

    …. – ”and it does not just train to be deployed, it trains to be rapidly deployed, a distinct difference between the two. I don’t think there is any infantry unit, even motorized ones, given an organic bridging capability.”

    Nothing I’ve written so far indicates I can’t make the distinction between both and yes, as I’ve said, no brigade in the army currently has an organic bridging capability. Having an organic bridging capability however [not as sexy as IFVs or artillery but in many ways more important, offers various advantages]. The bridging can also be used in HADR ops like how existing stuff has. No point having ”amphibious” IFVs if everything else can’t wade/swim, necessitating the need for a bridge and no point having amphibious IFVs if the banks of the river are to steep or too muddy, which will necessitate the need for engineers.

    … – ”It is also because they have the budget to deploy their troops by other means (ie. amphibiously)

    It boils down to requirements/doctrine rather than funding. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s when they had less funding and less lift assets they still didn’t have large numbers of jump units when on paper, they had a need for such units. Today when they can afford both, all they have is a jump capable commando regiment. That is telling and goes back to what I’ve said : like many others, the Australians just see less utility in having jump units when they can rapidly deploy and sustain units in a more efficient, safer and practical manner. It is for these reason that the bulk of armies, with the key exceptions of Russia and China, are not expending their jump units and why armies are ”tweaking” their jump units to make them more flexible and relevant. Even India, a large country with a big budget and large army, only has several dedicated jump units; having converted the rest into jump capable special forces/commando units.

    … – ”a lightweight satcom capability”

    We’ve had that since the 1990’s. What we need is to ensure we have sufficient signals assets to cater for the expansion of the unit and for contingencies. The unit’s signals, engineering and supply elements remain the same since 1994.

    … – ”supplies can be dropped into smaller clearences, and not affected by wind”

    In the context of our discussion I’m worried more about the availability of having the needed lift assets when we need them; especially given that aircraft will also be doing other things. In our context also, no doubt we train for eventualities where the only means to supply the unit will be from air but in reality the chances of us getting in such a situation is slim. In the real world we’re highly unlikely to deploy to ”hostile” territory where there are no means of supply. Granted, we train for various contingencies but in event of 10 Para deploying abroad it will be in cooperation with a foreign government and there will be various means in place to sustain the unit.

    … – ”Each have their own advantage for different situations.”

    And each will complement each other, e.g. in East Timor the Paras rode in Condors and [getting back to the signals element and the need to expend it] had extra signals units deployed.

    … – ”A squadron each of signals and engineers is good enough IMO”

    I can’t say for sure if it’s ”good enough” but I’m making a safe assumption by saying that adding a 4th battalion to the unit will also necessitate the need for the HQ, signals, engineering and logistics elements to be expended. The fact remains that to cater for the unit’s expansion and other eventualities we can’t expect the unit to have the same level of support assets its had since 1994. Rather than just adding a 4th battalion, which does the same as the existing 3; we could have done something like converting parts of it into a combat engineer unit or something like what was done with 1 Para. This would offer far more tangible benefits [in terms of operational flexibility/utility] rather than just adding a 4th unit that does the same as the existing 3.

    …. – ”If you want protection, send your mechanized units.”

    You can have something offering way superior protection and internal volume than the ZBD-03 without needing mechanised units. Something that will still fit in a A400M and something that can be flown in [doesn’t have to be in numbers] should a situation call for it.

    …. – ”The parachute capability was not used”

    Nor was it needed. When it did deploy, 10 Para [as you’re aware] deployed by Charlie.

    … – ”14 hercules and 4 A-400M is not assets?”

    Plus 6 CN-235s.

    It’s a question of not how many assets we have on paper but a question of how many assets will be operational for the tasking as short notice.

    nimitz – ”Maybe possible to drop bailey bridge parts from Charlie?”

    The Parachute Regiment use to have the capability.

    Chua – ”Really? With CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR, everything an independently-operating parachute infantry battalion needs inside hostile territory?

    We train for various eventualities but just like marching to an objective 35km away; there was never any intention for the unit to operate deep inside hostile territory or to deploy by itself, too close to ”heavier” hostile units. Similarly, there was never the intention to deploy the unit anywhere [in Malaysia or otherwise] where it was too far away to be supportable by the nearest port, base or airport.

    The days [as you’re aware] when armies deployed jump units deep in an enemy’s operational depth; whether as a blocking force or for other reasons, are largely over. Only the Russians and Chinese still train for this and in the case of the Russians, their units are mainly as quick reaction, strategic level units which deploy at brigade strength. Even at the height of the Cold War the Soviets never had enough air lift to deploy more than 1 of the 7 divisions they maintained; and that wasn’t in a single airlift. The Chinese see their units operating independently against India on the Tibetian plateau or inside Taiwan; hence their need for ZBD-03s and SPHs.

    Compared to our neighbours, mainly Indonesia, we got into the ”airborne/para” club late and we got into it because we had a need to rapidly move troops to Sabah [yes other areas too but Sabah was our main concern. Anyone who says the Spratlys can be included, is being silly as with the exception of Layang-Layang all our reefs are the size of a basketball court]. Formerly there was the Malay Regiment mafia that had a lot of pull/influence, now it’s the ”airborne/para” mafia. Over time , like many other armies, being ”para” resulted in a certain prestige and camaraderie coming along with it [nothing wrong here] but over time, I hope that the army will look at ways to ”reinvent” the unit, to make it more flexible to cope with current and future needs. The fact remains that the unit hasn’t change much since 1994 when it was declared operational. The problem is that in many ways the army [like many others] is resistant to change and believes that if something works, it shouldn’t be changed. The problem is we’ve never really been presented with a scenario which truly tests whether what we have and how we do things really ”works” – until that day come we won’t know for sure.

    Lahad Dato was a wake up call and showed that various improvements have to be made, hopefully we’ve learnt the rights lessons and luckily [history has shown however that sometimes the wrong lessons are learnt], the opponents were mostly small groups of lightly armed men – the problem was not in how to deal with them but in finding them. The next time it might be larger groups of men, playing by different rules, better armed and more visible. Or it might be a threat of a completely different nature.

    At the end of the day, no matter how much we debate or discuss the issue of what the unit needs or what it should get; it is logistics and support elements that determine what the unit can or can’t do; rather than firepower, hardware or numbers. It can can have 5 squadrons of IFVs, 2 artillery regiments and a mortar battery but if the support elements are not up to the task ….

  71. @ azlan

    ” The question remains : why not use an existing 10 Para unit? ”

    Because a UN mission is not considered a serious situation that affects malaysian security that warrants the use of 10 PARA?

    ” there is nothing to say that we can lift all the needed men, gear and armour [even say at squadron strength] within 48 hours either. Also, it depends on whether we need ‘x’ or ‘y’ level of deployment in 48 hours – depends on the urgency, threat, politics, etc. There may be instances where due to politics the unit will deploy ”light”. ”

    A squadron/company of my suggested 10 DAGOR and 4 ZBD-03 (with 110men) can be fitted into 3 A-400Ms or a mix of 2 A-400Ms and 2 C-130H-30. With prepositioned hardware ready to go in subang AFB, 48 hours from the green light to wheels/tracks on the ground is achievable. I planned that size specifically as that is the reasonable size of a wheeled force supported by armoured fire support/recce that can be flown out in 1 sortie that is capable by our current airlift assets. If want a “light” option, ther is still the current on foot setup that we can have, and that is a battalion sized unit that we can deploy anywhere within 48 hours.

    ” If we can’t deploy elements of the unit to more than 1 place simultaneously [in a non high threat environment with nobody contesting our deployment] then why even bother to have a 4th battalion in the first place? ”

    You missed out the main reason for the 4th battalion. It is there so that pre-planned taskings like security in public places like KLIA and deployment to ESSCOM can be done without affecting its capability as a stanby rapid deployment force. It now can be deployed to more than 1 place, but 1 must be a pre planned (not sudden emergencies) and another is still with its rapid deployment task. Those on planned deployment would be supported by elements already in place at the locations. The PARAs organic support elements is there to support them during those emergency rapid deployments. With the new setup, all battalions will be rotated to deployments like ESSCOM, giving them operational experiences.

    ” You can have something offering way superior protection and internal volume than the ZBD-03 without needing mechanised units. ”

    That is very interesting concept. Care to share some examples of that kind of vehicle? Can it go off road along with the DAGORs? Is it useful in fire support and recce?

    ” Nor was it needed. When it did deploy, 10 Para [as you’re aware] deployed by Charlie. ”

    Yes i am aware. It was a political decision not to use them. They were ready but the green light was never given. For the 1st few days (after 1 month of negotiation) the only forces engaging them is the police.

    ” It’s a question of not how many assets we have on paper but a question of how many assets will be operational for the tasking as short notice ”

    As we have been having 10 PARA for nearly 3 decades now, surely 1 of TUDMs operational requirements is to always have airlift assets to fly the 10 PARA out always on stanby. Surely that was the reason we got the additional hercules in early 90s. Now with even more assets in the form of A-400M, it is not something that we are lacking. My plan for the DAGOR/ZBD-03 needs only 50% of the A-400M, and 15% of the C-130 fleet to deploy.

    ” it is logistics and support elements that determine what the unit can or can’t do; rather than firepower, hardware or numbers ”

    I agree with you on that but the idea of the current logistics and support elements is lacking is something i don’t agree. The mission set has always been the same (rapidly deploy 1 battalion), even with the added 4th battalion. But improvements (like my idea for DAGOR/ZBD-03) could be suggested.

    My idea for logistics and support elements
    – prepositioned equipments in Subang. Ready sets for jungle, desert and cold weather. (10 PARA has been training for desert operations in UAE and saudi recently so it should be expected that desert would be one of its possible missions)
    – GPS guided parachutes for resupply missions.
    – get the TNA tractor and the JCB 1CXT for airborne engineering capability.
    – training more JTAC/FAC elements within the battalions to enable smooth and safe CAS. Lessons from Marawi, inexperienced troops calling in CAS causes fracticide. Pilots cannot read your mind basically so both must have the same idea on what is needed to be done.

  72. …. – ”You missed out the main reason for the 4th battalion.t is there so that pre-planned taskings like security in public places like KLIA and deployment to ESSCOM can be done without affecting its capability as a stanby rapid deployment force.”

    Maybe but you’re assuming that the 4th battalion was added for purely operational reasons. I’m saying it could have been done for other reasons – stranger things have happened. You don’t need to add a whole extra battalion for the roles you mentioned [public security type duties]; roles that can be undertaken by other units. Also, you can have a 4th unit which is not wholly jump capable; just one that trains to be on short readiness and trains to deploy light and rapidly. With the unit already having 3 jump units; adding a 3rd which also trains to rapidly deploy but is not jump capable doesn’t seem far fetched. It adds to the capability of the unit but in a slightly different way.

    At the end of the day, the fact remains that adding another battalion means a few hundred more people who have to earn their wings and maintain them via several jumps a year; fully dependent on funding and the availability of aircraft – that is what I mean when I mention ”resource intensive”.

    Also politics are always at play. We might be faced with a situation that calls for troops to be rapidly deployed by other means other than parachute but a decision instead [because the ”paras” have strong pull within the army and MAF HQ ] is made to have the troops jump so that amongst other things the unit can stay relevant and justify added funding. What I’ve described has happened before BTW [elsewhere] and no, I’m not suggesting that having para trained units is something we don’t need at all.

    … – ”surely 1 of TUDMs operational requirements is to always have airlift assets to fly the 10 PARA out always on stanby. ”

    You’re looking at best case scenarios. In reality we always have to have some on standby for stuff like mercy flights and a host of other reasons. Having some on stand by 24 hours all year round may be an issue as at any one time some will be busy doing various stuff and others will be at AIROD or undergoing squadron level maintenance. Sure, we try to ensure some are constantly ready and others can fly at short notice but whether we always can is debatable.

    …. – ”Now with even more assets in the form of A-400M, it is not something that we are lacking.”

    It is not something we’re lacking on paper. Having something on paper and the actual number one has operational, on average at any given time is a different issue altogether.

    … – ”I agree with you on that but the idea of the current logistics and support elements is lacking is something i don’t agree.”

    Feel free to disagree but the idea that a unit, one that was light in the very first place and has limited support assets; doesn’t need to enlarge its support assets or HQ element to accommodate a whole extra battalion is to me strange …. Note that during exercises and the East Timor deployment; extra support elements had to be allocated to compensate for the unit’s shortcomings. Also note that if we cant deploy more than one element of the same unit to 2 different places simultaneously because the HQ or support elements can’t cope, it defeats the whole purpose of having a 4th battalion in the very place.

    …. – ”Because a UN mission is not considered a serious situation that affects malaysian security that warrants the use of 10 PARA?”

    Right so we take an existing unit and make it ”ready to deploy” and by doing so distracts it from stuff it already has to do. This in an army which already has 4 jump capable units, already has transferred several units to ESSCOM, is in the midst of finding the needed manpower to raise a 4th division and has existing units which are already below strength …

    …. – ”But improvements (like my idea for DAGOR/ZBD-03) could be suggested.”

    There are various improvements that can be applied or suggested but we have to start at the core basics. Any unit’s ability to function and to absorb extra manpower or gear will always be dependent on the unit’s HQ and support elements to cater for the fact. Like I said, the unit as a whole hasn’t evolved much since 1994 when it was declared operational. Adding vehicles is great but are we also ensuring supply elements can cope with the extra number of vehicles that need to be refueled and maintained in the field?

    … – ”10 PARA has been training for desert operations in UAE”

    Yes and Gerak Khas received high altitude training in Pakistan and cold weather training in Canada but it’s not the unit’s core mission sets, it was just something we decided to have basic skills and knowledge on. Any desert training 10 Para received in the desert was very minimal/basic to begin with …. For a start, we don’t even have enough desert or cold weather gear to even equip a company at short notice. The plain fact remains that we don’t have worldwide tasking and we shouldn’t even seriously look at it, as it distracts us from the stuff we should be focusing on.

    … – ” training more JTAC/FAC elements within the battalions”

    First ask how many people are actually trained in the unit, as well as others, to ”talk” and coordinate with aircraft.

  73. … – ”After looking at what the french para has, and what they did in operation serval, i think more engineering equipment”

    The French view of airborne units is very much coloured by experiences in Indochina. They had a large area to cover and few troops; so jumps units played a very vital role, whether to rapidly reinforce troops [such as in Dien Ben Phu] or during operations launched to disrupt Viet Minh rear areas along the border with China. Same in Africa, whether it was in Kolwezi in 1978 or more recently in Mali; ‘paras’ were the ideal tool for the job but the overall circumstances favoured their use.

    The Indonesians also have vast experience conducting para jobs; with mix results. They were used in Sumatra against rebels and during the East Timor invasion [several drowned in the sea]. Unsurprisingly, of all ASEAN’s original members Indonesia has the largest number of jump capable units but for some reason we haven’t done a joint drop with them for a long time. The last I believe was when TNI-AU C-130s dropped troops in Johore in 1998. We did a joint jump in Australia in 1997 but that was at time when Australia still had a jump unit.

    The problem with enlarging or improving’s 10 Para’s engineering capability is that the army as a whole also needs improvements in this area. Our bridging capability at present consists of only 3 BR-90s and some Bailey bridges [brought new from a Brit company] and these are deployed on an ad hoc basis, not distributed organically [for that matter 10 Para is the only army unit with an organic MANPADS capability]. Not only that but there is also a need to convert some existing engineer units into ”combat” engineering units. Personally, something else I think we should have bought from Bumar Laberdy were MT-LB engineering vehicles.

  74. Okay Thanks Azlan for info Parachute Regiment used to have bridging stuff in their inventory.

    Who run the FAC School, Army or TUDM? I don’t know anyone outside the special forces who are FAC in MAF.. Learning from literature of Darurat and recent writeup on past EXs, troops on the ground doesn’t have verbal comms to aircraft, relying on visual signals. Sometimes having special forces/TUDM personel attached in the ground task force to enable commanders talk to pilots.

    How about ground commanders “talk” directly to their supporting TLDM ship?

    Reply
    I believe the FAC school resides with Paskau. At Lahad Datu it was Paskau which communicated with the close support aircraft as were the case in recent exercises. One of the operators during Lahad Datu was the current RMAF Command Sergeant Major. I believe Paskal are the troops involved in NGFS though I am not aware of any recent exercises for such capability. That said I am not saying it had not happened recently just that I am not aware about it. Joint Force Command was supposed to be the entity to integrate such FAC but it still remained service centric. My guess is that with Army operating MD530G they will also have FACs soon

  75. @ azlan

    ” that is what I mean when I mention ”resource intensive”. ”

    Actually not that much. It justs add another point in the cycle. Each cycle is still the same in “quantity”, and for the same amunt of time (say each cycle is for 6 months).

    Previously – 3 battalions. With 3 cycle of ready to deploy, rest, work up training. Full cycle 18 months.

    Now – 4 battalions. With 4 cycle of ready to deploy, deployed, rest, work up training. Full cycle 24 months.

    So there is still only 1 battalion to train for parachute operations every 6 months, whether it is 3 battalions or 4. The advantage now is all the personnel in the brigade would experience deployment every 24 months (instead of just standby and stand down), and there would still be a full force of 1 battalion on stanby even if there is elements already deployed.

    ” Sure, we try to ensure some are constantly ready and others can fly at short notice but whether we always can is debatable ”

    The reaction time is not 30 minutes like QRA missions. It is more like 48 hours. You just need at least 50% of the fleet in operational condition. It can be in operation to labuan or anywhere, and be back to subang in 1 day. A whole battalion could probably be airdropped with 4 hercules. And to sustain a battalion you would need 1 hercules every 2 days to paradrop supplies, for a 1 week operation that just means 2 resupply sorties. Basically the logistics is achievable with the current resources.

    ” Right so we take an existing unit and make it ”ready to deploy” and by doing so distracts it from stuff it already has to do. ”

    What is the stuff it already has to do actually? For last year the UN readiness was actually 7th rangers core mission (that is why it was given all the brand new stuff like helmets). I don’t think we have ever deployed a battalion worth of PARAs on preplanned UN deployments. Most of the deployments involve infantry and mechanized battalions. Timor Leste was considered an emergency, but even that we only deployed half a battalion of the PARAs (around 200men).

    ” Adding vehicles is great but are we also ensuring supply elements can cope with the extra number of vehicles that need to be refueled and maintained in the field? ”

    My plan is for DAGORs and ZBD-03 to replace all the existing G-wagens, defender HCPU and scorpion/stormer, with the legacy vehicles handed over to other units or retired.

    ” The plain fact remains that we don’t have worldwide tasking and we shouldn’t even seriously look at it, as it distracts us from the stuff we should be focusing on ”

    As for the desert taskings, how many times can our politicians take arab “gifts” without being asked to return favour? IMO it is a matter of when and not if. Not going to delve more on this topic. My personal opinion, yes 10 PARA should concentrate its readiness on asian deployments, rather than worldwide.

    ” First ask how many people are actually trained in the unit, as well as others, to ”talk” and coordinate with aircraft ”

    Outside of PASKAU, probably none. And that needs to be addressed.

  76. @ azlan

    ” The problem with enlarging or improving’s 10 Para’s engineering capability is that the army as a whole also needs improvements in this area ”

    Well other then the BR90, we also have some CNIM PFM and PMC LEGUANS (this is organic to 11KAD)

    https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3694/9947938406_d688b851ab.jpg

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_En-sxfOkXP8/TIuX9GGWGEI/AAAAAAAAG38/jBXyk1G9i1c/s400/PMC-90+ALVB

    For engineering, we have the MID-M based on the PT-91. MT-LB is a soviet APC.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_En-sxfOkXP8/TIuX8ihbhPI/AAAAAAAAG30/x-niL4Ygj1k/s400/WZT-4

    Some equipment that would be ideal for combat engineering

    – JCB 4CXM military
    – Jonyang GDG130 (china)
    – Pearson PEROCC
    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/al_datr/31048754/476308/476308_900.jpg

  77. ….,

    For the sake of discussion. Putting aside personal preferences for a moment; once inserted, what can 10 Para do that 21st and 22 Commando can’t in terms of skill sets? Granted, 10 Para can jump at company/battalion level and has an organic artillery regiment and armoured squadron but once on the ground Gerak Khas actually offers a whole range of skill sets, some 10 Para can do and some it doesn’t, like long range recce, sabotage, seizing key objectives, etc. As such rather than adding the 4th battalion and just duplicating what the existing 3 can do, wouldn’t it have been better to ”tweak” this battalion to also perform other roles in support of larger objectives the unit as a whole is performing?

    …. – ”Actually not that much.”

    That’s your personal opinion but it’s exactly for that precise reason that many armies just don’t see the point.

    …. – ” Each cycle is still the same in “quantity”, and for the same amunt of time”

    Who’s talking about ”quantity”? Whether it’s 500 or 1,200 men; all have to earn their wings and all have to jump several times a year to maintain their wings : requiring funding and the availability of transports. Then there’s the required annual exercises the unit does and the various skill sets that have to be maintained – in short giving this unit an ability that other unit’s don’t comes at a price. We accept this penalty but others don’t.

    …. – ” A whole battalion could probably be airdropped with 4 hercules.”

    Yes it can but again you’re looking at a best case scenarios where the aircraft are actually available at short notice and overlook that additional sorties will be needed to drop other stuff.

    … – ”You just need at least 50% of the fleet in operational condition”

    It’s not as simple as you make it out to be for various reasons. Even if it’s just 50 percent available who’s to say that the needed aircraft out of that 50 percent will be available at short notice.

    …. – ”MT-LB is a soviet APC.”

    It is a Soviet era designed APC also extensively used as an engineer vehicle and bought in bulk by India from Bumar Laberdy.

    …. – ”What is the stuff it already has to do actually?”

    Emm… Stuff other battalions do like maintain training cycles, deployments or rotations to the Thai border and elsewhere; being available for exercise, undergo inspections, etc,etc. Making it a ”ready to deploy” unit just adds to what it currently has to do and is a distraction.

    Google ”Does the Army need airborne?”. Very interesting discussion on the subject with opposing views in the U.S. context but also contains stuff that is highly relevant to other countries as well.

    Some excerpts –

    ””(The) current composition of the airborne forces appears more a product of the airborne community’s lobbying efforts in favor of their own size and autonomy than cold calculations about national interests or military requirements”

    ”But does the Army need four-plus brigades – from combat troops to cooks to public affairs officers – training for low-altitude, low-speed static line jumps with ever-tightening budget restraints? (Anderson said airborne brigades costs about 10 percent more in maintenance than standard light infantry, but still roughly a third as much as an armored unit.) And given a paucity of use that spans wars and decades, what is that tactic’s true place in a modern battlefield?”

    ”MacGregor does not see significant tactical need for a mass combat jump of infantry forces. He says even basic air defense renders an airborne attack suicidal.”

    ””Airborne requires fixed-wing airlift. These forces cannot ‘get in under the radar’ against a major theater power’s defenses,” the unapologetically blunt West Point graduate said. “As seen repeatedly in Eastern Ukraine, anything flying low and slow, especially in the large numbers that are needed to move a militarily-useful conventional ground force, is toast in a real war.”

    ”The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, part of U.S. Army Europe, jumped into Northern Iraq in 2003 – albeit into an area already held by Special Forces and Kurdish allies. DeVore, who spoke to Kurdish forces for unrelated research, said the Iraq jump came in an area where Saddam Hussein’s army hadn’t operated for many years.

    “The Peshmerga was laughing at it as this great publicity stunt,” DeVore said.”

    ”Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a former 101st Airborne Division artillery officer, sees airborne as vital. The former Army War College Commandant with a PhD in history from Duke University said criticism of airborne stems from pushback in a “perennial, inside-the-beltway debate,” in which defenders of amphibious forced-entry (i.e. Marines) attack airborne. He said between beach landings and airborne, airborne is more cost-effective and useful – both by a huge degree of magnitude.”

    An interesting read. Like I’ve repeatedly said, there is no doubt that there is still a need for jump capable units. As many armies have found however, parachuting as a means of entry is just not as applicable as it was in the past and this is reflected in what many Tier 1 armies are doing and are not doing with their jump units and reflected in the debate on jump units and where exactly they fit in the large scheme of things.

    …. – ”CNIM PFM and PMC LEGUANS ”

    I didn’t include the Leguans as its not organic to the Engineers and didn’t include the PFM pontoons as their use is subject to stuff like currents and can’t be used [for obvious reasons] to ferry things as fast.

  78. @ azlan

    ” once inserted, what can 10 Para do that 21st and 22 Commando can’t in terms of skill sets ”

    10 PARA is a conventional infantry force, with the firepower and mass that comes with it. But with a higher state of rediness and can be rapidly deployed, other than that and the organic support units, it is similar to a normal infantry unit. Commandos are basically experts in guerrilla and unconventional warfare. They usually strike and fade back, not tasked to hold objectives etc.

    ” Who’s talking about ”quantity”? Whether it’s 500 or 1,200 men; all have to earn their wings and all have to jump several times a year to maintain their wings ”

    Not all 4 battalions need to maintain their qualifications all the time. Only for 2 cycles, those training to work up, and those on standby for rapid deployment need current jump qualifications. Those already deployed on esscom or public missions (not by parachute) and those on rest after deployment don’t need current qualifications. That is why there is the rotations.

    ” Making it a ”ready to deploy” unit just adds to what it currently has to do and is a distraction. ”

    Nope. When it is designated as such, that is its only task for like 12months. After that it would no longer be the ready to deploy battalion. There are other battalions that have special tasks too. In the army there is a battalion that is designated for tests, like the battlefield network systems (12RAMD Mek), and it would not be given any other tasks as long as it is doing the NCO R&D.

    ” Very interesting discussion on the subject with opposing views in the U.S. context but also contains stuff that is highly relevant to other countries as well. ”

    Is the opposing views relevant to malaysia?
    – Does the US Army now really doing away with airborne troops? Why it is now upgrading them with new parachutes, new backpacks? Why are they now given air droppable light vehicles? Why are they officially looking at having an airborne capable tank again?
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-us-army-searching-new-light-tank-23151
    – does malaysia have thousands of helicopters to do air assault instead of airborne like USA can? Can we rapidly deploy a whole battalion in 1 sortie with our helicopters, considering current taskings, maintenance etc.?
    – does malaysia preposition its troops in potential conflict areas like east europe, korea, japan, djibouti, qatar like USA?
    – does malaysia have a ready prepositioned at sea marine unit that can be a rapidly deployed in emergency situations like USA has?

    ” Anderson said airborne brigades costs about 10 percent more in maintenance than standard light infantry, but still roughly a third as much as an armored unit. ”

    Just 10% more than standard infantry, but only 33% cost of an armored unit. That 10% more gives it a rapid deployment capability. So it is really worth the cost.

    ” He said between beach landings and airborne, airborne is more cost-effective and useful – both by a huge degree of magnitude. ”

    It is the most cost effective and useful rapid deployment option.

    So let it put to rest, and lets agree to disagree.

  79. @… “In 2 days with 2 sorties of 4 planes per day, we could have moved a whole brigade to support the para force.”

    A whole brigade of what? Light infantry? With the ability to fight who/what? With supplies to last them how long? That is what I invite you to consider.

    Only 4 sorties of 4 planes per day is needed, with no further considerations? Then with all the C-130s, C-17s and C-5s at hand it seems the US Army can easily move entire corps by air… wonder why they don’t do it?

    @… “Our soldiers personel equipment and weapons is the least of our concerns. With improvements in webbing, armoured vests, helmets, radios and good firepower with the supplied RPG-7s.”

    Really? How does that compare to what a UK and US Para battalion employs?

    @… “Then please tell me what concept would it be perfect for, that is not applicable to other units.”

    Currently nothing other than parachute-trained light infantry.

    @… “Then tell me otherwise. Would using other concepts have more readily available asset than the current parachute concept.”

    I gave you a list of tactical requirements – CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR, precision artillery. I also gave you a list of strategic requirements – kick open a beach-head, force open a landing corridor, rapidly deploy supporting combat units, and relieve the Paras within that week.

    If the MAF or Malaysia cannot meet these requirements, then they should tailor the army to accomplish missions which they are willing to pay for.

    @… “The parachute capability was not used. What can be accomplished? Quicker reaction time. Our politicians hesitated in the begining to use the military force (as the kirams was actually close to the ruling party before)”

    Exactly. So “a quick ending like Lahad Datu” was not that quick, did not involve the Paras making a parachute jump, nor was their readiness needed, because the Msian Govt is not prepared to use them. So it is totally irrelevant to your previous assertions.

    @… “Does our other forces have the CAS, engineering, logistics, ISTAR capability to operate inside hostile territory that the PARA forces don’t have?”

    Exactly. So to recap, you want to train a big para brigade and buy lots of assets for this big para brigade in order to fulfill the mission of quickly responding in 48 hours to operate inside hostile territory without CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistics and knowing that the rest of the army can’t support them with these things either.

    @… “OK then please tell me what really do you expect the PARA to do things that other units cannot readily do?”

    What I DON’T expect the Para Brigade to do is jump. Let them do all they do now, except JUMP.

    @… “10 PARA is a conventional infantry force, with the firepower and mass that comes with it.”

    Really?

    @… “Does the US Army now really doing away with airborne troops?”

    Yes, because as I highlighted earlier they now have downsized to only 4 jump-capable brigades. They’ve always had an “air-droppable light vehicle”, its called a Humvee.

    @… “– does malaysia have thousands of helicopters to do air assault instead of airborne like USA can? Can we rapidly deploy a whole battalion in 1 sortie with our helicopters, considering current taskings, maintenance etc.?
    – does malaysia preposition its troops in potential conflict areas like east europe, korea, japan, djibouti, qatar like USA?
    – does malaysia have a ready prepositioned at sea marine unit that can be a rapidly deployed in emergency situations like USA has?”

    Exactly. As I told you earlier, all these capabilities are highly relevant to the question of jumping troops, because they are needed to rapidly break through enemy lines to reinforce and support the landed troops. Its not as simple as having a bunch of C-130s and A400Ms.

    Since Malaysia doesn’t have these critical support assets, rather than spend money on essentially stranding a battalion-plus of light infantry in hostile places, we should focus our efforts on doing what we can do. In football terms, if you’re good at being a goalie and not at being a striker, stop practising shots at goal and focus on catching.

    @Azlan “The problem is we’ve never really been presented with a scenario which truly tests whether what we have and how we do things really ”works” – until that day come we won’t know for sure.”

    Yeah. ATM and Malaysia have never fought or LOST a war. So the whole country is full of people with smart ideas how to win and the (over-)confidence that we can easily avoid doing what stupider armies like the US, IDF, NATO or Russian armies have done… because we’re so much smarter… in fact, we’re so smart that we can even beat peer opponents with better and more numerous arms and equipment… because we’re obviously that much smarter and better on an individual basis…

  80. @ chua

    ” A whole brigade of what? Light infantry? With the ability to fight who/what? With supplies to last them how long? That is what I invite you to consider. ”

    Of course light infantry. Now im sounding like a broken record. As i said before the logical adversary would be infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support, events such as Lahad Datu, Marawi, Mali. Of course with appopriate sized opponents. Supplies would be bought in by sea for the follow up forces.

    ” kick open a beach-head, force open a landing corridor, rapidly deploy supporting combat units, and relieve the Paras within that week ”

    As i said before, the follow up forces dont need to kick open a beachhead or open a landing corridor, as that would already been done by the paras. You only need to do those if you are the 1st force to go in.

    “a quick ending like Lahad Datu”

    Sorry what i meant is the forces expended meant a quick time from the start of the fighting till the end. No insurgents escaped. We are able to do that cause of the 1 month standoff means plenty of time to move units to surround the insurgents. If a sudden escalation like marawi happened, same amount of force that defeated the kirams could be put in quickly by parachute.

    ” Yes, because as I highlighted earlier they now have downsized to only 4 jump-capable brigades. ”

    They have downsized their whole army, not just airborne. And they are now investing money to enhance their remaining airborne assets. No plans to shut down parachute capability at all like what you want malaysia to do.
    So what is your point actually?

    ” 48 hours to operate inside hostile territory without CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistics and knowing that the rest of the army can’t support them with these things either ”

    It is you that assume we dont have any CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistic support for the PARA, which is wrong. By your logic we should not have any army as their CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistic is also non existant.

    ” Let them do all they do now, except JUMP ”

    Then it is just a normal infantry brigade.

    ” As I told you earlier, all these capabilities are highly relevant to the question of jumping troops, because they are needed to rapidly break through enemy lines to reinforce and support the landed troop ”

    Those capabilities are other options for rapid reaction, not a method of reinforcement. Airmobile and amphibious landings need reinforcements from regular forces just as airbone does.

    ” So the whole country is full of people with smart ideas how to win and the (over-)confidence that we can easily avoid doing what stupider armies like the US, IDF, NATO or Russian armies have done… because we’re so much smarter… in fact, we’re so smart that we can even beat peer opponents with better and more numerous arms and equipment… because we’re obviously that much smarter and better on an individual basis… ”

    What trash are you talking about? Is my suggestion on airborne something that is NOT done ever by US, NATO or russian army? My idea on airborne motorized and armoured mix is something even US airborne is looking to do next. Russian believes in fully mechanized airborne. I believe we could take the middle road with soft skinned DAGORs plus armoured ZBD-03s. IDF is different as all their enemies are with land border with them so they can roll their armor and mechanized force easily, so they dont need airborne. But why are you now talking about the whole army? If you want lets talk about armor, mechanized and artillery. All i suggest is methods that could improve the potential of our current para force, and i am trying to show to you in theory what our para force is capable of with current strength and equipment, that you are putting down as something that is not needed and cannot fight any of its peers.

  81. @… “As i said before the logical adversary would be infantry/insurgent type threats without advanced armor or artillery support, events such as Lahad Datu, Marawi, Mali.”

    Define the event parameters rather than throw out examples which in the end don’t fit what you are trying to say.

    Country – where would the incident take place? Malaysia? friendly neighbour? hostile? Is this a unilateral operation, or bilateral?

    Size – what size of insurgency? Approx enemy troop strength?

    Objective – hold the airport? cut off escape routes? rescue hostages? assault the enemy force?

    @… “It is you that assume we dont have any CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistic support for the PARA, which is wrong. By your logic we should not have any army as their CAS, engineering, ISTAR, logistic is also non existant.”

    What I am saying is that the army should focus on developing these capabilities at home, before even thinking about building up expeditionary forces.

    @… “Then it is just a normal infantry brigade.”

    It can be a light infantry brigade trained to do more complex missions and as a rapid reaction force, but not necessarily JUMP-qualified. That doesn’t necessarily make them any less elite.

    @… “Those capabilities are other options for rapid reaction, not a method of reinforcement. Airmobile and amphibious landings need reinforcements from regular forces just as airbone does.”

    No, they complement and support the jump forces. Airborne now trains mainly to seize LZs for these troops to follow-on. Without them, you’re just stranding light infantry in hostile territory. A small airborne force can only expect to hold out for about 2 days at most. Reinforcements by these other forces are foundational to the airborne concept now… not just an alternative.

    @… “What trash are you talking about?”

    Not necessarily talking about this subject. Just an observation about Malaysian fanboys’ attitude in general.

  82. Slightly off-topic, but tangentially related:

    http://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/georgia-javelin-missiles-and-command-launch-units

    “The Government of Georgia has requested to purchase four hundred ten (410) Javelin Missiles, and seventy-two (72) Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) (includes two (2) Javelin Block 1 CLUs to be used as spares). Also included are ten (10) Basic Skills Trainers (BST); up to seventy (70) simulated rounds; U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance; transportation; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated cost is $75 million.”

    Just sayin’. Can equip 12 battalions with ATGM platoons…

    Reply
    If we did buy the same numbers, it will probably include all of the infantry regiments sans the border ones

  83. Putting in lots of men to surround the enemy does not mean that the terrorist can all be eliminated. The japs have tried to do it. The british have tried. We have tried but everytime the enemy can find a way to escape.
    The jungle is neutral but it will not be if they know how you make use of the jungle

  84. On ATGMs

    We bought Metis-M for usd30 million.

    So far IMO it is used for 7th Infantry Brigade’s support companies, in 5RAMD, 10RAMD and 1RRD. 7th Infantry Brigade is designated to be the motorized brigade. it is usually mounted on G-Wagons (18 units)

    Baktar Shikans are mainly for the 4th Mechanized Brigade (Adnan – 8 units).

    Is there any pics of the Metis-M and Baktar Shikans installed on other than G-wagons and Adnan’s? Any on Vamtacs and GK-M1s?

    RPG-7s is now designated as section weapons for all infantries. Has every battalion now equipped with RPG-7? If every section needs 2 RPG-7 launchers, each battalion probably needs 100.

    M72s are probably for the GGK.

    10 Para is seen with RPG-7, carl gustav and C90 (as late as 2015). Is the M72 really replacing the C90s? Anybody have pics of M72s with 10 Para? Is the Eryx really retired?

    For the future would adding more Baktar Shikans be the way forward? Equipping both additional Support Companies of Infantry battalions and PUTD helicopters? Or putting the heavier Ingwe on helicopters instead of Baktar Shikan? If a totally new type is bought, a top attack javelin or the HJ-12 (also top attack) would be ideal?

    Reply
    The M72s were likely only delivered recently, hopefully we will see it later this year.

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