Have Cake and Eat It Too

A screen capture of the LGTR brochure for Hornet family

SHAH ALAM: Have cake and eat it too. Even as big ticket items procurement have floundered due to funding difficulties, it is at least gratifying to see that the Armed Forces continue to re-stock its armouries and other stuff as well.

The amount of items bought from mortar bombs, high explosive rounds, anti tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles maybe small but if totaled up I believed the figure for the last three years may amounted to RM1 billion or even more. And this does not include the digital camo stuff (including ponchos).

A screen capture of the LGTR brochure for Hornet family

It is likely that the procurement of ordnance and other less glamorous but still important stuff, spares etc – completely new ones or restocking for legacy items – will continue even as recapitalisation of the Armed Forces remained at a stand still, as a matter of course, if not for any thing else.

The LGTR on a pylon ready for a training sortie

Anyhow the latest acquisition, involved simulated bombs for the RMAF, specifically 100 laser guided training round (LGTR) or BDU-59B/B. The LGTR according to this website is

an inert cylindrical bomb body of 10 cm (4 in) diameter with a Paveway II guidance kit, and emulates the GBU-10( )/B, GBU-12( )/B and GBU-16( )/B live munitions. It is used by the U.S. Navy for operational Paveway II training to preserve the stockpile of live bombs and their guidance kits. The LGTR comes in several versions, including the BDU-57/B, BDU-59/B, BDU-59A/B, BDU-59B/B, BDU-60/B and BDU-60A/B (the BDU-60( )/B series is usually referred to as LGTR II). Since 1992, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 50000 LGTRs to the U.S. Navy, and production is continuing

Another LGTR being readied for a training sortie

Like the M72 LAW, the procurement is made public when the Defence Ministry issued a tender to select the multi-modal transport operator to ship it to Malaysia from the United States.

The LGTR on a tank after being released from a fighter jet.

From the tender website. The tender was published on Aug. 14.

PELANTIKAN MTO BAGI PEROLEHAN 100 UNIT LASER GUIDED TRAINING ROUNDS (LGTR) BDU-59B/B DIBAWAH KES FOREIGN MILITARY SALES (FMS) MF-P-AAZ

Three LGTR could also be employed on an apppropriate pylon

With a number of new laser guided bombs delivered following the completion of the 25X Capability programme of the F/A-18Ds and their employment at Lahad Datu, the additional LGTR will be handy in qualifying new crews with the weapons.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1161 Articles
Shah Alam

34 Comments

  1. Marhalim,

    When you were at the Firepower Demonstration did you notice the “retired” armoured vehicles used as targets? Were they Sibmas and Condors? When vehicles are deemed to be beyond repair; I wonder what is the criteria used to decide which end up in a scrap dealer’s yard and which are used as targets. Also, this time around were the DAs and foreign students from Highgate in attendance?

    Both the PT-91s and A-109s were also brought back by local freight companies. I remember seeing a pic of staff with a company banner posing with a PT-91 at Port Klang.

    Reply
    Yes Sibmas were old ones, this time around more Condors and a couple of Scorpion and Stormers as well. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rule regarding vehicles destined as targets or scrap yard though it is likely armoured vehicles will not be sold as scrap. Yes the DAs and foreign students were there as well. I don’t think no one will want to pose around with live munitions!

  2. A few years ago a friend saw a couple of Sibmas (stripped totally bare) at a scrap dealer’s yard near Ipoh. There was also a Pinzgauer. I would what happened to the V-100s/50s? Either rusting away in some camp or already disposed of I guess. Do you remember in the 1990’s outside the RMAF Museum there was also a scrap yard of sorts with the tail section of a Mirage 111, parts of an F-5 and the main body of an Alo 3. All gone now.

    Reply
    The parts of aircraft were those of the ones that crashed. Yes all gone now.

  3. Speaking of scrapyards, i have seen a few of the GGK glover webb LSV in a scrapyard. Still dreaming of getting my own little pinzgauer, but the piggybank still not enough lol…

    I also noticed the few stormers and scorpions in the latest firepower demo, which is quite shocking to me as we have so few of them.

    Reply
    Technically, the Army and the services should only sold the vehicles after they are broken up into scrap but most units do not bother to do that hence that some are put back on the road. I believed the Pinzgauers that were sold as whole vehicles were actually those that belonged to Deftech. I could be wrong of course

  4. When did the A109 arrived?

    Reply
    I think Azlan was refering to the A109 helicopters, not the SPH. Even the TUDM ones came through the sea, one crashed during its test flight after unloading from the ship at Port Klang.

  5. “Do you remember in the 1990’s outside the RMAF Museum there was also a scrap yard of sorts with the tail section of a Mirage 111, parts of an F-5 and the main body of an Alo 3. All gone now.”

    Well, right up until the museum closed in 2015 there was an Alo 3. Broken and possibly burned, but complete. There was also a jet engine, rocket pod, ejector rack and SUU-11B machine gun pod. Saw all of these many times, they were unfortunately left out in the open.

  6. Marhalim,
    Is there a reason why a contractor is sought to pick these weapons up from the States? Could not our transport aircraft be sent to pick them up? I can understand if a large military asset (eg tanks or aircraft) is to be transported by contractors.

    Does the RMAF use training rounds for our air to air missiles on our fighter aircraft as well? If used, which ones are used?

    Is there a new RMAF museum after the closure of the previous RMAF Museum in Sungai Besi?

    Reply
    Yes they could but it will be more expensive for the RMAF to do it themselves. Yes they also used training AAM but mostly nowdays they just used the inert rounds (its cheaper) and also the DACT pods. As I posted in an earlier comment, the plan is to have a new museum in Malacca but nothing has been confirmed as no money has been allocated for the project.

  7. Talking about the scrap yard at the old Sungai Besi air base,can anyone kindly furnish me with some information on the where about of the future Air Force Museum?I have been to the RSAF museum at Paya Lebar and the place is being managed by enthusiastic members of the air force which resulted in well maintained exhibits.Hopefully the RMAF staff who are transferred to the museum doesn’t regard it as a punishment of some sort.I believe it should be a privilege.They also need to be knowledgable in the local aviation history as there are times I see some aircraft being wrongly painted.Btw do you know that the Kementah Complex is standing on an old RAF airfield?RAF Noblefield,Home to the 656 Squadron to be exact.

    Reply
    The museum aircraft are now located at the former PDRM air wing base. The talk is that a new RMAF museum will be hosted at Malacca, exact location is unknown as of the moment as there is no money apparently allocated for the project.

  8. Rozaimi,

    The Singapore army, RSAF and RSN museum are all maintained by civilian contractors.

    The RSAF and RSN museums are on base land, so they have one duty officer to keep an eye on the place. But they don’t manage or maintain the museum itself. That said, the RSAF museum aircraft are in good shape and two years ago or so, they added a Hawkeye.

    Singapore army museum is also on base land but the arrangement is different. There are no duty officers and all the ticket staff are part time civilians (it is the only museum that charges for admission). But one of them is a retired captain who served in the early days and loves to talk. He does guided tours for visiting school children and foreign military groups. He is Malay so he does not work on Friday.

  9. “Is there a reason why a contractor is sought to pick these weapons up from the States? Could not our transport aircraft be sent to pick them up? I can understand if a large military asset (eg tanks or aircraft) is to be transported by contractors. ”

    Also understandable if the equipment is only a partial load on an aircraft. It will be cheaper for contractors to do it, which is why few air forces do it themselves.

    Our aircraft have their own commitments too. It is not cost effective to maintain a force size that can handle every mission we have, including infrequent cargo flights like this. We should maintain a force that enough, with allowance for combat losses, to perform an “acceptable” proportion of wartime demands (because we’ll never be able to perform all).

  10. Tango Charlie,

    The RMAF does have training/dummy rounds. Sidewinder training/dummy rounds are painted blue and Alamos and Archers have black circles painted on them. Whether they are “dummy” rounds or actual “training” rounds that can simulate a launch is unknown to me.

    True but given how long we’ve had them it’s to be expected that over the years some will be disposed after being rated as beyond economic repair. Of all the vehicles we operate the 911s had a reputation as being indestructible; even now quite a few are still used as towing vehicles.

    Rozaimi,

    Let’s just say that it’s not uncommon for people who just waiting retirement or aren’t going anywhere to be posted to certain places. The RMAF Museum does what it based on its budget. Years ago British Aerospace was a big sponsor.

    Anyone know if the tri service museums at MINDEF are still there? There use to be a Bren carrier and a U Boat deckgun in the courtyard. A few hundred metres away, out of the museum grounds there was a small display which included a Scammel and LIMBO tubes. Off topic but there’s a Model 56 gate guard at the Philippines Army HQ in Camp Bonifacio. The Marines base in Manila also has interesting exhibits outside.

  11. @ marhalim,

    All of the pinzgauers are sold mostly complete but in broken down (ie inoperable) state. As is most of the land rovers. They come with army logbooks for the new owner to use that for JPJ registration. Those destined for scrap would be missing the said logbooks.

    Some of the strangest ex sercice vehicle in civilian hands i came across is an ex police shorland armoured land rover.

  12. @ marhalim,

    All of the pinzgauers are sold mostly complete but in broken down (ie inoperable) state. As is most of the land rovers. They come with army logbooks for the new owner to use that for JPJ registration. Those destined for scrap would be missing the said logbooks.

    Some of the strangest ex sercice vehicle in civilian hands i came across is an ex police shorland armoured land rover.

    Reply
    As I said they be broken up already when they ended up at the yard already

  13. Marhalim.

    Your captha is not working. I’m finding it impossible to post.

    Reply
    I am guessing there is a lot of spammers during this time that’s the Captcha goes haywire

  14. I’ve actually seen an ex army Pinzgauer in civilian hands. One of the key “challenges” in maintaining them was the unique drive train assembly.

    In recent months 25mm ammo boxes marked “SME” have also appeared at a flea market 🙂 I’ve also seen one for Mk19 ammo.

    Reply
    I know that a number of Pinzgauers have been sold to civilians including oversea buyers. I think the gate keepers at the camps are not doing their job as shown recently with the Nuri at the scrap yard debacle

  15. Ada apa2 perkembangan on the light scout attack helicopter yang 6 buah for esscom tu?

    Reply
    The minister says they are coming next month

  16. @ marhalim

    There is no hanky panky as what you think it is. They are not sold as scrap, they are sold to the besi buruk dealers complete with original army log books plus all relevant letters purposely for JPJ documentation to register as civilian vehicles. Those really sold as scrap will not have the log book, and cannot be registered with JPJ. The next life of those vehicles depends. Some, like the land rovers, pinzgauers, old suzuki x7 bikes that carries urgent messages from the front lines have been reregistered as civilian vehicles. Some like the volvo c303 and mercedes 911 trucks are dismantled for parts, those volvo portal axles going into toyota land cruisers and 911 cabins for lorry rebuilds (look out for them, you can identify those ex army lorry cabins by their lower headlights and gunner hatch on the roof)

    Reply
    I am basing my answer as per my experience with RTD when I was doing motoring before that no vehicles that had been declared as scrap can be registered again.
    Government agencies from time to time tendered out used vehicles for sale as where is basis. This vehicles can be registered as private vehicles as they were not sold as scrap but used as is where is vehicles. As for ex Army vehicles parts I have no issues with that.

  17. Sorry off topic, if only Malaysia can emulate Singapore in educating the importance of military defence, e.g school children during their primary school, are being brought to SAF museums ( Army museum and Bukit Chandu) in their curricullum. RAMD and other services has a history to tell

    Reply
    Actually our schools do organised visits to the service’s museum though this will depend on the individual school themselves.

  18. Alpha Zulu,

    There is also the Cadet Corps. Training is once a week by Ranger non coms – mostly marching – but at least once or twice a year they’re outings to camps where students get to shoot. Some schools have a RMN Cadet Corps.

    We can’t totally emulate Singapore as the island’s whole approach to defence as a whole – starting from the very top – is very different to ours. Over there it’s constantly drummed into their heads as to how vulnerable they are and the importance of the SAF.

    Not too long ago the PM said that whilst they have good relations with their neighbours; it’s thanks to the SAF. That’s a politician being a politician (between the lines the message is that the PAP keeps them safe) as none of their neighbours have good reason or even the intent to cause them harm.

    Reply
    All of the MAF units are involved in the cadet corps, to varying degrees. For example, the school next to my house CC is under Subang airbase as its the nearest. When I was at school my unit was the Angkut batalion out of Sg Besi which why ended shooting with HK33s instead of M16s. However we got to be transported around in brand new Hino three ton trucks.

  19. Was the HK33 given to support units? How about the HK11 MG?

    Reply
    AFAIK yes, I dont remember seeing any support weapons.

  20. Off topic-

    You can see a Bloodhound SAM at the RSAF museum. This was operated by the RAF in Singapore and then acquired by Singapore. Before they were retired in 1994, they were operated at 3 known sites- Tengah (?at the air base itself or some distance away at the modern site?), Amoy Quee and Seletar. Does anyone know of other sites?

    Does anyone know the years Bloodhound was in service in Butterworth, if any other sites existed in Malaysia?

    Also I often come across the phrase “Integrated AREA Defence System.” Which exactly is the correct term?

  21. Given that we assembled some 50 over thousand HK-33s at Batu Cantonment it’s not surprising non combat units executed them. After all this was before the army was rapidly enlarged under PERISTA. Long after the A1s entered service some non combat units still continued with the HKs.
    For that matter, Brens rechambered to 7.62mm were still on issue up to the early 80’s.

    Will be interesting to find out which units were issued the AR-70. I remember Marhalim saying he saw one at the RMR Museum. A PGB recipient recalled having one in RASCOM; apparently it wasn’t too popular. We only bought enough to issue a few RMR and Ranger units.

  22. “Not too long ago the PM said that whilst they have good relations with their neighbours; it’s thanks to the SAF. That’s a politician being a politician (between the lines the message is that the PAP keeps them safe) as none of their neighbours have good reason or even the intent to cause them harm.”

    Ask a Singaporean and most would say they’re concerned with Malaysia. A minority might say they’re concerned with a larger country. I’m completely okay with this.

    They, like us, need a whipping boy at times as a focus for nationalism and to steer the popular mood away from complaints that surface from time to time in all countries. It is better that our whipping boys be each other. If Singaporeans or Malaysians openly focused our nationalistic feelings against our larger neighbour, then by virtue of their size, they would feel entitled and to an extent honor bound to take a tougher line than we would take ourselves. They would be demanding it in the streets.

    Likewise, Singaporeans or Malaysians being too openly friendly can lead to the same scenario because of certain quarters who wish to exploit popular reaction.

    Realistic threat perceptions are good to have. But they are inevitably distorted by immaturity and opportunism. So it is better for them to be left out of the public consciousness entirely.

  23. Threat perceptions are distorted more by history and insecurities which ironically; the richer some countries become the more insecure and assertive they can get.

  24. “ironically; the richer some countries become the more insecure and assertive they can get.”

    I can only think of very few countries growing richer and more insecure (aside from China, Russia and Turkey), but if you can give some examples it would be great.

    I have a separate theory as to why as a country gets richer they invest more in the military. For one thing birth rates fall in most countries as they get richer and investments must be made to compensate for manpower. They have a lower tolerance for casualties in a hypothetical war. neighbours develop their military as well. Neighbours often get richer and militarily stronger as well.

    In our friendly neighbour’s case, growth of the defence budget coincides with the low cost of garrisoning and patrolling very short borders. Not that the budget cannot be reduced, but there is a lot left for training and capital expenditure.

  25. AM – ”I can only think of very few countries growing richer and more insecure (aside from China, Russia and Turkey), but if you can give some examples it would be great.”

    – China is insecure because it relies on the open seas for its energy supplies and those seas can easily be closed to its shipping. It also doesn’t help that its surrounded by Yankee allies/partners and friends. One area the Chinese are very secure are its land borders – for the first time in centuries China’s borders are secure from the treat of invasion from stronger foreign countries.

    – Russia has a history of being invaded; fear and worry about this is embedded in their national psyche. For the West the period when Russia ”behaved” and was not ”aggressive” was in the 1990’s but to the Russians that period was a time of chaos and uncertainty; when the West took advantage of this at Russia’s expense, e.g. Kosovo, expanding NATO to Russia’s borders, etc.

    – Turkey feels that the Europeans will never accept Turkey on an equal level and feels – with some justification – that the EU will never allow a Muslim state – even a secular one – into the EU. The Turks – most certainly their Ottoman heritage plays a part – see themselves as a regional power and want to be accepted as such. Turkey placing troops in Qatar is a way of showing Saudi and the UAE that Turkey does not depend on their largess and will do what it needs to for its national interests – this Turkey would never have done in the past as it wanted good relations with the Arabs who still view the Turks with distrust given that the Ottomans were their overlords for a very long time.

    What I meant about countries being more assertive and insecure is that as they get richer, their threat perceptions and the way they see themselves also changes. We can also say that their tolerance level as to what they perceive as others taking advantage or testing them also undergoes change. A good example is a certain neighbour which by virtue of size has this attitude that it should be the natural ”abang besar” and that other – smaller – countries should acknowledge this. Like India in the past; I won’t be surprised if Indonesia in a few decades – assuming its economy really grows – demands a permanent place in the Security Council.

  26. “Threat perceptions are distorted more by history and insecurities which ironically; the richer some countries become the more insecure and assertive they can get.”

    I make a distinction between the threat perceptions that a country’s leaders really have and the rhetoric that they feed their people.

    Leaders here and in Singapore talk about each other a lot, but they are much more careful about Indonesia. As I said, over there the issue often shows itself in the streets and it’s because of their size.

  27. AM,

    With the exception of Mahathir leaders here have hardly made mention of Singapore. Najib when he was head of UMNO Youth did speak out against Singapore but that was after a few NS men landed on a village on the Tebrau Straits. Granted we are not as vulnerable as Singapore but unlike Singaporean leaders, leaders here don’t mention external threats or the possibility of external threats.

    Our threats have always mainly been internal or from non state actors : statements made by those in power reflect that. Even when certain things are said by neighbouring countries: others will know that it’s intended for a domestic audience and in ASEAN anyway a lot of diplomacy is conducted via back channels and personal relationships play a big part.

  28. “IADS is Integrated Air Defence System coined by the RSAF based at Butterworth Pg in the 1980s”

    Do a search, you see that the term ” Integrated Area Defence System” is just as common in official and non official sources.

  29. “Anyone know if the tri service museums at MINDEF are still there? There use to be a Bren carrier and a U Boat deckgun in the courtyard. A few hundred metres away, out of the museum grounds there was a small display which included a Scammel and LIMBO tubes.”

    Just clarifying, do you know where the Limbo mortar came from? Was it ours (from KD Rahmat?) or from a foreign user? Rahmat’s Limbo is no longer on board.

    I know there is a Squid mortar outdoors at the navy museum (from the first KD Hang Tuah?)

  30. I believe there is some ss-11 and seacats preserved in the melaka tldm museum.

    The perkasa’s are wooden hulled, and in the 70s nobody was thinking about preserving history.

    We are sinking the vospers one by one. I know the sri terengganu is on shore in the museum, in very bad shape. I hope 1-2 of the vospers will be retained by the APMM as training ships and to preserve the maritime history of the nation.

    As a seafaring nation, there is very few maritime artifacts, ships that we have preserved in working condition. One of the biggest collection of original malay ships is in the terengganu museum, and even those is now on land away from water. Stark difference with maritime nations like uk, the dutch, french, italy and usa with plenty of historic ships, some more than 100 years old, still in full working condition. In south east asia, indonesia is way beyond us in preserving their maritime history. They are still using and building sail ships to traditional pinisi designs. Their navy still uses sail ships as a main component of their basic training, their 2 old sail ships KRI Dewaruci and KRI Arung Samudera now joined by a brand new sail ship that is now one of the biggest in the world, the euro 52 million 111.2m long KRI Bima Suci.

    https://cx9aaw.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/kri-bima-suci-2017.jpg

  31. …,

    Doubt the MMEA can continue maintaining the PCs beyond a few more years or for that matter the last 2 operated at Sandakan by the RMN. They’re simply too old and getting too troublesome to maintain.

    There is a SeaCat at the museum not sure if there’s a SS-11 there. For that matter I’m not sure what happened to the Perkasas. Some say they went to Brunei but I can’t confirm it. True in the 70’s preservation was not a priority but we did preserve some stuff from that era and even before.

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