Ho Hum II

KUALA LUMPUR: Critics may claim that I lack a sense of patriotism for dismissing Malaysian-made weapons. To which I may shot back “What Weapon?”

I believe I am patriot but when it comes to the Malaysian defence scene, National Security seemed to cloud everything including common sense.

That is exactly why I ho hum the arrival of the Malaysian-made Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

If you think I am being too harsh think again and I quote “Najib, who is also defence minister, said he was proud of the success of the local companies in producing the country’s first TUAV.

“This TUAV was designed by these three companies using composite materials produced by CTRM and software made by local companies,” he told reporters after chairing the Malaysian Defence Industry Council meeting at CTRM here.

He said that although the aircraft’s engine and camera were from overseas, it was still regard as a Malaysian product.

He said steps were being taken to buy better quality camera and higher power engine to meet the specifications of the Malaysian armed forces..

Please note the last paragraph. The TUAV DOES NOT meet the specifications of the Malaysian Armed Forces! Why we are even bothered to highlight such a “success” is beyond me.

Through-out the last two decades, the Malaysian media has trumpeted the arrival of Malaysian made weapons. They all kept quiet when these weapons of wonder were retired rather prematurely. Remember the Steyr? Remember the SME MD3?

Will the TUAV joined the long list of such wonderful but retired weapons? The one that was displayed in Malacca will soon be one I assume. The airframe that flew on Tuesday probably cannot be fitted with a new engine and surveillance system.

So they have about another year to design a new airframe together with flight trials before they could passed the military trials. By that time the Malaysian Armed Forces could have purchased a UAV off-the-shelf, probably a cheaper cost per unit than the Malaysian-made UAV.

Najib said the TUAV could also be used by the police, Customs and the Malaysian Coast Guard. Since it cannot meet the specifications of the Armed Forces, how could it meet the needs of the other Govt agencies, may I inquire?

Malaysian Defence believes that the local defence industry need to learn new technologies like UAV through research and development but not the whole gamut of manufacturing process. Not UAVs or TUAVs of which that no more than 200 examples will ever be purchased.

Firearms like assault rifles, handguns and machine guns are the weapons that we should be able to manufacture together with high-accuracy cartridges from 9mm to 155 shells.

Too much money have been wasted in the past for so-called self-reliance of the defence needs. Until now we have yet to be self-reliant in the defence scene instead gravitate to self-fulfilling project which knows no end.

The TUAV specifications

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