Firepower Redux

7th Rejimen Renjer DiRaja soldiers with their RPG-7 launcher as they walk in formation to the parade ground in February, 2017.

SHAH ALAM: In several posts on the Army, there were a plenty of robust discussions on how to boost the firepower of our infantry units. It came mostly from postings on how the Army was looking to boost its firepower as a result of lessons learnt from the Lahad Datu incursion.

And although the Army has deployed mini-guns to some units, we have yet to see that kind of “whoop-ass” for infantry units apart from the issuance of 7.62mm Colt CM901 rifles to some.

On Feb.1 courtesy of Berita Tentera Darat Malaysia online (the Army online news) we have some inkling of the extra firepower. At an inspection at the Mentakab camp, attended by Army chief Jen Zulkiple Kassim, soldiers of the 7th Ranger Regiment (Mechanized) were photographed carrying RPG-7s apparently as their secondary weapons.

7 RRD soldiers walking in formation to the inspection ground with their M4 Carbines and RPG-7s.

From the picture (below) we could assumed that only the riflemen are issued with the RPG-7s while those carrying machine-guns (GPMGs and LMGs) are not as it should be as they also carry the M4 Carbine as their secondary weapons.

The 7th Rangers soldiers at ready for the inspection. Note the RPG launchers on the ground with their packs and the machine guns.

As the media was not invited to the inspection, Malaysian Defence could not confirmed at present whether the RPG-7s are a permanent feature of the army’s infantry units. We have seen other infantry units on parades with soldiers carrying the RPG-7 (or other weapons like the Carl Gustav) as their secondary weapons but their numbers are usually small.

7th Ranger soldiers on senang diri at the inspectiong ground. Note the portruding nozzles of the RPG-7s on the ground next the soldiers packs.

According to the BTDM online posting, the Army chief visited the 7th Rangers – the Ready to Deploy Battalion of the Army – to check whether the unit was ready for an inspection from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operation on Feb 13 to Feb 17.

Panglima Tentera Darat, Jen Dato’ Sri Zulkiple Hj Kassim melawat Batalion Siap Sedia Tentera Darat (BSS TD) hari ini di Batalion Ketujuh Rejimen Renjer Diraja Mekanize bagi tujuan memastikan segala persediaan dan persiapan BSS TD berjalan lancar sebelum wakil dari United Nation Department Of Peacekeeping Operation (UN DPKO) datang melakukan pemeriksaan pada 13 hingga 17 Feb 2017.

Checks with RMN chief Admiral Kamarulzaman Badaruddin (he was the acting Armed Forces chief as the PAT is away) in Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday, revealed that Malaysia was not deploying to any UN peace-keeping operations. He said the Armed Forces had always have ready to deploy units for internal and external emergencies.

Zulkiple checking the equipment for the Adnan.

For the record, the government had previously pledged a battalion strength task force for UN peace-keeping operations apart from the unit already deployed to Lebanon under UNIFIL – Malbat 850-4. And as any peace-keeping deployment (even emergency ones) will take several months to be approved, it’s likely that the requirement for the pledged UN task force is also part of the tasking for the Army’s own RTD battalion.

Some of the other soldiers assigned to the RTD battalion.

By assigning other units to the RTD battalion – Special Forces, medical, logistics and others, the unit becomes a full-fledged task force ready to be tasked with any peace-keeping deployment.

Weststar GK-M1 vehicles at the inspection parade. Its likely that these communication vehicles based on the antennas on them.

It likely that some 850 soldiers are assigned for the UN tasking, the same number of personnel deployed for Malbat 850-4. It could be higher of course.

* All the pictures posted here are from BTDM Online.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

42 Comments

  1. Those Ruag rounds for the RPG-7s still remain elusive don’t they Marhalim? We still haven’t seen them. The initial order – according to POF – was about 25,000 rounds. I’m not surprised if we ordered the same quantity or more from the Romanian company. On average RPG rounds have a shelf life of about 10 years but have been known to last longer, depending on how they’re stored.

  2. The picture with panglima angkatan tentera is a kifv. All other pictures are adnan though.

    As 7rrd is a mechanized battalion, not a normal infantry one, probably the individual section armament is different as well.

  3. The problem isn’t how to increase the firepower, but how to make it organic to existing BMS structure

    The army, however, could get better armament to replace/complement existing heavier weapon, like NLAW

  4. My guess and I could be wrong, is that the troops in the photo were part of the Support Company; hence the RPGs in large numbers. No doubt the army learnt several vital lessons from Lahad Dato – whether or not a lack of ”firepower” was an issue is something I can’t say for certain but on the surface the main issue appeared to be that of finding and fixing them [in a very large area with thick vegetation]; not a lack of ”firepower”. Then again the army could be using Lahad Dato as an excuse or pretext to get funding for certain types of gear.

    One way of having extra ”firepower” is to have a GPMG at section level but the problem here, apart from the weight of the GMPG, is that every man in the section will have to carry belts of 7.62mm [as was the case with late war German sections in WW2; some even had 2 MG-42s resulting in everyone having to carry ammo for it]. A more practical way could be to increase the number of GPMGs in the Support Company in order for guns to be parceled out when the need arises. It goes without being said that ”firepower” by itself accomplishes nothing if there is no maneuver [not always possible] and the ability to re-supply troops with large quantities of ammo on time.

  5. The Weststar GK-M1 seems a bit different from previous pictures of it. Is it up-armoured? The front part seems different or is it just me.

    Reply
    Yes the front end looks more rounded than the first vehicles we saw. I doubt its uparmoured though as got a lot of feedback that the vehicles are under powered even the ones without the full cabin

  6. Yes something like NLAW would be perfect to replace Metis and also Eryx [assuming it hasn’t already been retired]. Unless we’ve bought new rounds or have had them reworked on; the Bakhtar Shikans would be approaching the end of their shelf lifes. Our medium range needs will be met by the 54 Ingwe AV-8 variants. What’s needed next is shorter range, lighter system for infantry use. The problem is how much will NLAW cost? A few years ago the British army paid 20,000 pounds for each Javelin.

  7. “My guess and I could be wrong, is that the troops in the photo were part of the Support Company; hence the RPGs in large numbers.”

    That would surprise me, I have always thought the support company’s job is to field crew served weapons that the other companies do not have such as the Carl Gustav, M2 HMG, mortars and ATGM, not more of the RPGs. My guess is the pic shows an inspection of all the weapons the battalion has, including spares ie that is not a representative combat configuration.

  8. Pic GK-M1 camo pattern and tone is different from what I had seen. Underpowered? Maybe they need to see whether to replace that Hilux engine with a bigger cc like the Land Cruiser engine. Bigger cc, more power and bigger POL allocation.

  9. @ azlan

    “What’s needed next is shorter range, lighter system for infantry use”

    That is exactly what the rpg-7 is for. And a lot cheaper too. Although i won’t put “accurate” as a part of rpg-7’s description. But as is the ubiquitous “m-16” platform that is still being used, why change the wheel when the the rpg-7 (and m-16/m4 too) is great for the task?

    @ am

    my opinion of the troops in the photo, those in the front row is probably the one’s that is carrying the gmpg or rpg-7. For the normal BIS, every 8 person section would have 1 gmpg and 2 rpg-7; with another 2 person carrying extra rpg-7 reloads. for the 3 other person, 1 carries a granade launcher, 1 radioman, 1 section leader. Probably the granade launcher is replaced by rpg-7’s too in 7 rangers?

    i would like to correct myself. that pic is a comand post version of the adnan, but weirdly with kifv front shield installed. those bags on the side is to carry the poles for a tent behind the vehicle when in stationary command post mode. There is a front picture in marhalim’s previous posts on this exact vehicle in a merdeka parade..

    Reply
    Personally I prefer the latest variant of the LAW from Nammo. But I guess the RPG-7 is much cheaper so no need to reinvent the wheel

  10. “On average RPG rounds have a shelf life of about 10 years but have been known to last longer, depending on how they’re stored.”

    Ammunition lasts longer at the recommended storage temperature. A metal roofed shed was the standard in the pre war days but has a higher temperature and greater fluctuations in our climate (no excuse for it nowadays especially since we like to give out civil engineering contracts so much) than a more modern earth covered structure.

    Also if the packaging is airtight and not opened and resealed, the metal parts won’t corrode or form deposits over time. Proper packaging can deal with moisture and oxidation but does nothing for temperature.

    Ammunition packaging varies widely by manufacturer. Some come in lightweight plastic boxes with proper handles, many come in nailed wooden containers which are bulky and heavy. Wooden boxes typically don’t stack securely and can also stink from the chemicals used to treat the wood against pests. But many manufacturers use them for cost reasons and because they can be made quickly to fit the ammo.

  11. ….. – ”That is exactly what the rpg-7 is for.”

    No…..

    I was referring to a system whose primary purpose is to destroy MBTs; in other words a ATGW [to replace Metis and Eryx] as opposed to a shoulder fired weapon/rocket such as the RPG – 2 completely different things here.

    The RPG is unable to defeat most MBTs frontally and in addition to being cheaper to issue in numbers; will also be used for roles that are ”normally” not performed by ATGWs [for financial and practical reasons]; such as anti-personal work and other roles.

    AM,

    You are right but there are anti-tank platoons in certain units which are part of Support Companies. Depending on the requirement one can choose to equip these anti-tank platoons with shoulder fired weapons for use in certain conditions that would allow for close engagements.

  12. surplus mosin nagant “spam can” ammo container from WW2 still found its way to the US and they still shoots well, despite being corrosive (prolly due to older propellent used).

    In comparison, indian AK ammo is stores in cheap paper box and degrade faster due to incompetent logistics (improper handling, storage and whatnot)

  13. AM,

    In the cardboard tubes Russian RPGs come delivered in; rounds tend to last on average about 10 years, even if not stored in optimum conditions such as outdoors. There have been cases of RPG rounds wrapped in plastic and buried in the desert for years; having no problems when being fired. I’m not sure about non Russian made rounds but Russian rounds are known to be very .robust. and .hardy’.

    Our main problem is the humidity levels. It’s not always practical or possible to store everything in conditions specified by the OEM; as such dehumidifiers are used for some stuff, including aircraft and ships. At times the OEM will recommend against storing stuff in A/C rooms due to moisture accumulating but due to our humidity levels we have no choice but to store some stuff in A/C rooms – we’ve learnt this from hard experience. Same goes with ships, the CICs are freezing [even when the ships are docked]. Not for the crews but the electronics. Over the years we’ve trialed some stuff that came highly recommended and were operated with no complaints by others; during short trials conducted here the stuff just broke down in our conditions.

  14. @ azlan

    for all practical purposes i would leave mbt hunting to bakhtar shikan and ingwe missiles. rpg-7 would be more than adaquate to deal with the more numerous ifv and apc that would be encountered in a conflict.

    I think the army (and police too) move to widely deploy rpg-7 as a support weapon is a good decision. low costs enabling many units (even to the smallest sections) to have their own anti-tank capability. lightweight compared to modern advanced atgw is easier on malaysian soldiers. a relatively low cost answer to increase the firepower of army units across the whole army, not just a selected few. as it is right now, the malaysian army sections has one of the most firepower compared to other regular armies. i see this as the out of the box thinking on the army (and police) part.

    *********

    btw we know the eryx is mostly deployed with the 10para. the metis-m is operated by which formation?

    As for the ingwe, would it be integrated with the little bird helicopters too? i think that would be the best solution rather than having a different atgw for the little birds.

    The nlaw costs euro25k for each system. Indonesia is a user of them in south east asia.

  15. @ azlan

    for all practical purposes i would leave mbt hunting to bakhtar shikan and ingwe missiles. rpg-7 would be more than adaquate to deal with the more numerous ifv and apc that would be encountered in a conflict.

    I think the army (and police too) move to widely deploy rpg-7 as a support weapon is a good decision. low costs enabling many units (even to the smallest sections) to have their own anti-tank capability. lightweight compared to modern advanced atgw is easier on malaysian soldiers. a relatively low cost answer to increase the firepower of army units across the whole army, not just a selected few. as it is right now, the malaysian army sections has one of the most firepower compared to other regular armies. i see this as the out of the box thinking on the army (and police) part.

    *********

    btw we know the eryx is mostly deployed with the 10para. the metis-m is operated by which formation?

    As for the ingwe, would it be integrated with the little bird helicopters too? i think that would be the best solution rather than having a different atgw for the little birds.

    The nlaw costs euro25k for each system. Indonesia is a user of them in south east asia.

  16. So based on what Azlan said. The best item u can get outside of this country might not be a good product to be use in our country’s surroundings.

    If we got money, all infantry rifle section should be equip with 2 Carl Gustaf M4. The multi types of rounds available can help the soldiers in many kind of combat situation. Plus it seems to be lightweight and short in length.

    For support company, under the anti-tank platoon yeah NLAW seems like a good choice with its weight and top attack capability for short range atgm usage by dismounted infantry. For medium range atgm, maybe for logistics sake, we can use the Denel Ingwe IPLS on GK-M1 truck.

    Since both are from Saab maybe we can get a bundle or something.

    Do anyone have any info on any upgrades for the M4A1 for the army?

  17. On the support companies, can we assume they are the ones operating the miniguns? Seen them on Weststars and AV4w but no idea what units they belong to.

    Reply
    It’s the support companies that’s are operating the mini guns for the BIS battalions

  18. “In the cardboard tubes Russian RPGs come delivered in; rounds tend to last on average about 10 years”

    There are a few factors that manufacturers use when packaging ammo, such as the item’s sensitivity to electromagnetic energy and impact. Mortar rounds are delivered with the fuses attached which is an increased risk, plus their incremental charges have to be protected from humidity. The cardboard tubes are the bare minimum. Arty rounds have thick casings and don’t have fuses attached so are not packaged, but their incremental charges are packed very securely. And if your small arms ammo is exposed to air and moisture the brass will turn green, but temperature is not a major concern. I suppose Russian RPG ammo has the properties of small arms rounds- undemanding to store but as you pointed out, keeping it in a humid environment might be a problem unlike in desert areas.

    Do you know if ships’ main gun magazines have salt or humidity control measures? Those rounds have a huge brass casing.

  19. ………. – ”leave mbt hunting to bakhtar shikan and ingwe.”

    As pointed out before it depends as there are no fix rules ……
    In restricted terrain or in urban areas there will be many opportunities for shoulder fired weapons to hit the top of MBTs or other lesser protected areas such at the flanks or engine decks. Which is why some see the need for a ”heavy” rocket that can also defeat some MBTS frontally : Folgore, Vampir, LAW 80, Apilias, etc.
    One doesn’t have to destroy a tank to achieve results; a mobility kill is often good enough or damaging the optics.

    …….. – ”malaysian army sections has one of the most firepower”

    Having the ”firepower” doesn’t mean one also has to have the ability to utilise that ”firepower” as it depends on various factors; namely how you integrate that ”firepower” to work in tandem with other assets/units and also the ability to have lots of reloads that can be delivered on time. History is ripe with examples of armies that had the ”firepower” but failed to achieve their objectives. Units don’t also work in a vacuum they need a logistics trail to keep pace with them : more ”firepower” equates with more things to carry, including more ammo, which equates with more vehicles and space to transport that ammo.

    There’ s a reason why many armies don’t have so much ”firepower” at section level. Even without the extra ”firepower” that some have suggested, the BIS sections are already top heavy. Fine if they always operate near their Adnans but a problem if they have to operate for long on foot – compared to the 2nd Emergency, the weight sections carry now has been increased by almost a factor of 2 : more ammo and weapons compared to previously; helmets, body armour, comms, etc.

    …….. – ” i see this as the out of the box thinking on the army (and police) part.”

    Not sure how you define ”out of the box thinking” but I see the issuing of shoulder launched weapons at section level as given since it has long been the practice to do so [starting with Panzerfaust and Panzershreck] and the various roles [from anti personnel to the odd chance that a low flying helicopter is within range] these ”cheap” weapons can perform.

    ….. – ”the ingwe, would it be integrated with the little bird?”

    If there’s a need to equip them with the ability to take on MBTs [something I disagree with as it leads to the danger that they will be misused as real gunships] then it’s best to go along with Hellfire; rather than specify a missile that hasn’t already been qualified or approved for use on the Little Bird. For that we’d have to get and pay MD Helicopters and Denel to cooperate. Any use of weapons or gear that has not been qualified or approved for use by OEMs will void whatever warranty or product support there is in the event something goes wrong.

    Nihd – ”rifle section should be equip with 2 Carl Gustaf M4. ”

    Too heavy and cumbersome to be lugged at section level and it requires 2 operators. Which is why it’s rarely employed at section level.

  20. Nihd – ” The best item u can get outside of this country might not be a good product to be use in our country’s surroundings.”

    The main problem is that a lot of what we buy from the onset was not designed to operate in our environment. They were designed to operate in the environment of the home countries. On paper the Chinese will not have this problem as they reverse engineer or copy most of their stuff for use in their specific conditions and have the cash and resources for their own R&D. One major advantage Russian systems have; less things to break down and more robust or hardy when generally compared to Western equivalents which are maintenance heavy.

    One mistake people often make is assuming that just because equipment ‘X’ is successfully operated by others; that it’ll be the same here. People also tend to go ga-ga with info on marketing literature; not realising that when analysing marketing literature the key is to see not what’s there but to read between the lines for what’s not mentioned , e.g. it was only during trials that the IN found out that Kashtan could not engage targets flying below a certain level.

  21. P.S.

    ….. – ” i would leave mbt hunting to bakhtar shikan and ingwe missiles. rpg-7 would be more than adaquate to deal with the more numerous ifv and apc that would be encountered in a conflict.”

    Ingwe and Bakhtar Shikan are designed to take out targets at medium ranges. It is for closer range work that we operate Metis and Eryx and why I suggested that both are replaced with something as ”lightweight” as NLAW – we need both a close range and medium range system. In restricted terrain where ranges tend to be short, the value of having shoulder launched weapons is that they have a shorter minimum range compared to ATGWs.

    The more numerous ifv and apc” can also be taken out with 20/30mm auto cannons. Older gen vehicles can be taken out with 12.7mm and in some case even with 7.62mm AP. It remains to be seen if the 30mm Denel rounds have a sabot/KE variant like the 25mm ones Nammo supplied for the Adnans.

  22. I don’t think the GOF got their RPGs for anti tank role (Tho I’m sure they bought HEAT round just in case).

    It’s more about giving them some advantage against other non state actors as well as destroying fortified positions, et cetera. M203/Milkor may not be strong enough to deal with these kind of stuff

    On slightly unrelated note, the Milf could produce their own RPG ( though it’s an older RPG-2 model) and the warhead. Surely local companies like SMEO could at least make warheads for the army and police. They’ve made munitions for mortar,artillery, naval gun and even Mk80s bomb and hydra rocket

  23. @ azlan

    for mobility kills, the rpg-7 is more than adequate to perform that role, no need for advanced short-range atgw.

    As for the ingwe, paramount (ex ate aerospace) has systems that can mount the ingwe on most western helicopters. The malaysian little birds so far have quite a few unique equipments, one of it is the thales scorpion HMD (i really hope this would also be adopted for the su-30mkm too, spanish hornets are also using this HMD, while we went for the JHMCS, which is partly designed by elbit israel).

  24. Rpg or should we get more carl gustav?. The carl gustav’s long life says something. The launcherc was a heavy aluminium tube but very much lighter now. Equip it with optical or more sophisticated sights n it works wonders. New ammo like tandem head n the thermobaric overpressure systems also works wonders.
    Ammo selection for missions would however be required. A lighter method would be equipping sections with two squad auto weapons. Need yo carry more ammo?. 5.65 ammo is light compared to the 7.62 n even now everyone helps to carry exyras. No issue with it. Soldiers are trained to carry weight. It happens long ago . No issue. No one mentioned the light weight 60mm mortars too. Its a potent weapon too but subject to clear fields of fire at the firing point.

  25. The M4 Carl Gustav is a good weapon. The RPG too has all the qualities you mentioned, it is only a matter of whether we buy the various rounds and sights for it.

    What I question is having more than one per section. If we have a reloadable weapon, one tube should be sufficient.

    I wonder about the platoon mortars too. The RPGs, Milkors and the M203s- all of which were not around when the mortars were introduced- more than sufficient to offset them. As well as all the weapons in the support company.

    Actually I would like to know the structure of our 8 man section. Eg the USMC has a 1-4-4-4 man (4 per fire team) squad and the SAF has a 3-2-2 section (1 section commander, 2 Matador, 2 M203, 2 SAW).

  26. The “keyboard army” thinks far too highly of the RPG-spam tactic for many reasons:

    1stly even Challenger 2 in Iraq 2003 received 14 to 70 RPG hits with the worst damage being destroyed optics, with the tank being put back into service in a matter of hours (wiki). Never mind “2016-revolution” MBTs (IYKWIM) with increased armour all around.

    2ndly we cannot always make planning assumptions that it is easy to score a side, top or rear aspect hit with a rocket that frankly can’t hit anything moving above ~400 meters, moreso when

    3rdly we cannot assume any potential opponents will be so kind as to send their tanks out unsupported and sitting still like Arab armies do, there may well be lots of infantry and/or IFV support waiting to pick off the RPG gunners.

    4thly we also cannot assume an AV8-ATGM will be around and able to acquire the tank without quickly attracting a lot of fire, especially when it’s so tall.

    Hence if (IF) there’s going to be any money to spare, it should go to buying 6 more ATGM systems for each infantry battalion, preferably the new French MMP or Javelin but for commonality/cost, the infantry variant Ingwes are also a good choice. Just a matter of keeping up with the neighbours considering their extensive recent investment in armour.

    But considering we are actually delaying the AV-8 contract payments, it’s highly unlikely… sadly…

  27. that can mount the ingwe on most western helicopters”

    Yes but has Ingwe actually been certified on the Little Bird? If there’s a need for the Little Bird to kill MBTs then the most logical answer is Hellfire as it has already been certified for use on the Little Bird. To have Ingwe certified for use on the Little Bird would require the help of MD Helicopters and Denel; no way around this and silly to do given we only have 6 little Birds.

    Alex,

    The main reason RPGs are issued at section level is indeed not mainly as an anti-IFV weapon per say but for a variety of other roles. I’m in no way suggesting that RPG/LAWs are a panacea; they’re not but when used correctly can be very useful.

    The MNLF [not MILF] got its RPG-2 courtesy of Gaddafi in the 1970’s. I’ve seen a few at roadblocks; most Filipino army people and journalists who cover defence matters agree that the rounds are long expired and are only used for PR purposes. A few years ago there were reports of the ASG producing RPG-7 rounds; the report turned out to be false.

    Chua,

    Indeed its not always easy to get the desired kill but as shown in numerous conflicts spanning decades in areas where engagement ranges tend to be shorter and in areas where moving targets are moving slowly; the effects of shoulder launched weapons on armoured vehicles can be devastating.

    The Challenger incident happened at Basra and it was thanks to the types high baseline protection level that it and its crew survived. My favourite example is ”Cajun Oh’ [the M1 knocked out on the outskirts of Baghdad] which had thermite grenades, Hellfire, Maverick and 120mm used on it.

    Lee,

    The fact remains that more weapons equates to more ammo to be carried and more ammo to be ready to be supplied to those who need it. As pointed out; the weight current sections now carry has been increased twofold compared to the days of the 2nd Emergency – this because unlike sections during the 2nd Emergency; sections today carry more and heavier weapons; helmets, comms, body armour, etc. Indeed soldiers ”are trained to carry weight” as you pointed out but unless they’re superhuman there is only so much weight they can reasonably carry before the lose effectiveness due to fatigue – it will be silly to assume that soldiers carrying a lot of weight on foot can maintain the same level of effectiveness for prolonged periods.

    5.5mmmm is indeed lighter than 7.62mm but the point is not the weight but the quantity that has to be carried in the event that a future conflict is not a low intensity one like the 2nd Emergency
    but a high intensity one against bad guys who have as much ”firepower” [unlike the 2nd Emergency and Lahad Dato] as us.

    Armies tend to use 60mm mortars for illum [same goes with the Milkor] rather than HE but the fact that everyone in the section is required to carry 60mm ammo means that many armies have done way with 60mm mortars at section level. Carl Gustav requires a crew of 2; that’s the main issue when distributing to sections which are already ”small” of account of having to fit inside an IFV.

  28. Chua – ”we also cannot assume an AV8-ATGM will be around and able to acquire the tank without quickly attracting a lot of fire.”

    Indeed; plus the fact that the Ingwe variant is not intended to go around as an independent MBT killer. It is intended to provide an organic AT capability whilst operating as part of a larger formation.
    Like TOW, Ingwe’s size and weight makes it more suitable for use on vehicles or when operating from fixed positions on a tripod. AT platoons in infantry battalions are better off having something smaller and lighter.

    Reply
    The Ingwe armed AV8 will be in the support company of 19th RMR

  29. Is the 7th ranger battalion is considered a rapid deployment force? Like the telemark battalion?

    Reply
    Not really a RDF in the sense of the word if you consider our lack of rapid deployment capabilities.

  30. I think it would depend. During peacetime or in periods of peace during the run up to open hostilities we have the means to get 10 Para to where it wants to get within the country; we have fairly decent size transport fleet and commercial means would also be utilised – it’s often not realised that almost half the heavy gear sent by the U.S. to Kuwait in the run up to the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq was by commercial means.

    Of course things become much harder if and when an opponent takes steps to prevent the flow of sea and air movement; for which our main concern would then be to safeguard our airspace and waters before we contemplate the mass movement of troops and heavy equipment. When operating in ”out of area” places [realistically the most ”out of area” we can get is eastern Sabah but even then there are resources on hand there] I think the main issue would not be a lack of assets to get 10 Para there but the unit’s ability to sustain itself for long; without outside help. To be expected given that units like these tend to have a fairly light support footprint.

  31. Our current gpmg is the fn mag. This is for the dismounted infantry. Would it be better to change it to fn minimi 7.62? It is lighter and uses the same ammo albeit with shorter barrel. The gpmg in my opinion should only be use as a vehicle pintle mounted weapon due to its weight.

    Any thoughts?

    Reply
    I have not seen new FN MAG or Minimis on dismounted for awhile now though the new Minimi has been photographed (the one with the rail on the dust cover on it) before.

  32. Sorry, off topic.

    Has any one seen the report that the contract for RMN MRSS will be signed in August and they will be fully armed?

    PT PAL was quoted by Jakarta Post.

  33. Yeah. Our soldiers now rather weak. So cant carry lots of ammo. In that case, we should equip our radio operators with just pistols n others with m4 only. No need support weapons as in a conventional warfare, all 10 mags can be exhausted in two minutes of rapid fire

  34. Nihd,

    There is no immediate need to replace the MAG 58. Yes its weight and bulk is an issue but that’s why it’s not issued to sections or ”dismounted” infantry but Support Companies. Unless they’ve been parceled out to provide sections with support; Support Companies tend not to move around on foot as much as dismounted sections as they have the needed 4x4s to carry all heavy gear. When there’s no need for their firepower and extra riflemen are needed; it’s common for members of the Support Companies to exchange their Carl Gustavs, GPMGs, etc for rifles.

    Many of our vehicle mounted MAG 58s were sourced not from FN but Manroy in the UK. Same goes with the newer M2 HMGs. When the time comes to replace the MAG 58 with a newer and lighter GPMG it makes sense to get the SS-77 as it’s already operated by the RMN and MMEA. If I’m not mistaken Gerak Khas has some
    SS-77s.

  35. AM.

    On the make up of the BIS; my guess would be 2 ”fire sections/assault groups”. The problem with the BIS is that its composition or weapons load out makes its a bit tricky to organise. There are 8 people including the section leader but only 5 dedicated riflemen as 1 carries the Milkor, 1 carries an LMG and 1 carries an RPG; yes they all carry M4s but they’re not all dedicated riflemen per say. And that’s assuming the 60mm is not being lugged around.

    In the past we didn’t have this issue as the only person in the section who wasn’t a rifleman was the LMG operator and apart from a handful of units who had Armbrust; the bulk of the sections had no shoulder fired weapon. To be fair I guess the actual type of weapons actually carried on ops will depend on the threat; e.g. a low intensity scenario might not see the Milkor or RPG carried. Something that comes to mind is whether BIS sections actually need so much ”firepower” [which some are so enamoured of as if it’s a panacea] when operating close to their Adnans and AV-8s as both can provide direct and indirect support with auto cannons, HMGs, AGLs and mortars.

    If we use British sections as a comparison; they also have 8 men [to enable it to fit in a Warrior] organised into 2 ”sub sections/assault groups” but they only have Minimi or LSW. Due to operational requirements some sections have a GPMG, a sharpshooter [as opposed to a sniper] attached and an extra LMG but its not a permanent feature. If I recall correctly Aussie and U.S. army sections also have 8 men but USMC ones are larger. Even then, quite often the heaviest weapon they have at section level [for good reason] is the Minimi and M20A3. Off course when the need arises they can be issued with shoulder launched weapons and have assets from other units attached.

  36. Rather than make snide remarks, how about listing every piece of equipment you carried back in your day, so we can have an informed opinion if soldiers today are indeed “weak”?

    I’m sure soldiers today have more weight to carry but to prove me wrong, list it.

    Is this a weightlifting contest or a sensible approach to trade offs, recognising that lighter loads mean better endurance and mobility. The adversary is going to minimise his load and make trade offs too. If in battle you refuse to make reasonable decisions, men will always decide for themselves. So it has been throughout history.

  37. Lee,

    Not so much in a ”conventional” war but in a ”high intensity” scenario which we’ve never faced – one can have a ”conventional” war but not a ”high intensity” one; both are not always the same …..
    A ”high intensity scenario” in which the amount of ammo carried by a typical section or platoon during the 2nd Emergency, would be expended in 10 minutes even whilst maintaining fire discipline.

    As you’re personally aware; sections on patrols during the 2nd Emergency carried only so much ammo [according to veterans I spoke to – usually 6 mags in 2 pouches] because they were not expected to engage in high intensity, protracted ops against large numbers of bad guys. Several I’ve personally asked, including a PGB recipient, said that carrying lots of ammo would have been an issue and the amount they carried was what they expected to use during the types of engagements they were likely to face. The main weight was the food, water, extra clothing, spare batteries, etc, all the essentials needed to sustain themselves in the jungle.

    As I’ve mentioned several times; the next conflict we’re involved in could be in circumstances that are very different to the 2nd Emergency and against people who may have just as much ”firepower” as us but also the ability to keep themselves restocked. As much as you want to dismiss it, having extra weapons and ”firepower” creates extra strain on the logistics system : keeping ones troops adequately supplied sounds easy on paper but more often than not; isn’t easy. If it was and if ”firepower” solved all ills; all armies would issue mini guns at section level ……

    If you happen to meet any serving troops; ask them how easy it is to lug a rifle, belt order, helmet, comms and body armour for extended periods on foot. Better still; ask the Milkor or RPG gunner who also has to carry an M4 in addition to all the other stuff. But I forgot, according to you soldiers are ”trained to carry weight” …..

  38. I wish that the ‘brownish’ part of the rpg could be repainted with a darker colour scheme in order to give the weapon a much better tactical look and who knows it might help to demolish the ‘bad’ perception often associated with the weapon as it has became the bad guys favorite weapon for decades esspecially among communist countries and terrorist group. If i m not mistaken the Iranian version is all in olive green colour scheme.

    Reply
    I believe its wood varnish, a likely indicator that’s its POF made

  39. That brown part is a rubber like covering to partially protect the user from heat. It is secured with metal bands.

    The original Russian RPG heat guard was wooden.

    Not long ago an American company made a modernised RPG7 copy (black if it’s important to you) with rails for western sights.

  40. “Rather than make snide remarks, how about listing every piece of equipment you carried back in your day, so we can have an informed opinion if soldiers today are indeed “weak”?”

    I am still waiting for you to list this equipment so we can know which of us is wrong about our soldiers being “weak.”

    If you are not willing to, please refrain from asking people to carry everything and calling them weak when they disagree.

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