Ingwe Missile Firing at Gemas

On the Way. The Ingwe missile on the way to the target during a test firing in March, 2018.

SHAH ALAM: Ingwe Missile. The Army conducted the first firings of the Denel Ingwe missiles from the Gempita AFV30 ATGW armoured vehicles at the firing range at Kem Sirajuddin in Gemas today. Two Gempitas took part in the missile firings.

Only BTDM Online covered the exercise which also included the firings of three other variants of the Gempita, the AFV30, IFV25 and the RWS. A Gempita reconnaisance variant fitted with the Vintaqs II target acquisition and surveillance system was also photographed at the exercise.

The Vintaqs II surveillance system mast on the second Gempita. The antenna of the Squire radar dominates the mast.

I believed this was the first time the surveillance system of the reconnaisance variant has been photographed with the mast in the up position.

The Vintaqs II optronic device without the radar antenna.

From Rheimentall.

The Vingtaqs II is a tripod- or mast-mounted long-range surveillance, observation and reconnaissance system developed by Simrad Optronics, now Rheinmetall Nordic, for armored vehicles. The Vingtaqs II accurately determines target coordinates at long distances from the vehicle forward observer position. A standalone system, the Vingtaqs II can be integrated at low cost into a wide variety of vehicles. The system also accommodates instrumentation for laser-designated targeting, enabling it to support forward air controller operations

The Gempita Vintaqs II system is also fitted with the Thales Squire ground surveillance radar for detection/tracking and classification of moving ground targets.

Lt Gen. Azizan looking at the firing display in a Gempita, likely the AFV30 ATGW variant.

The BTDM posting did not mentioned whether the two AFV30 ATGW were guided to their targets by the reconnaissance variant however. Army Western Field Commander Lt. Gen. Azizan Md Delin was on hand to witness the firings.

Lt Gen. Azizan being briefed on the Ingwe missile inside its firing canister.

It is also interesting to note that the two AFV30 ATGW were in a green camo instead of the Army’s standard digital camouflage. This may indicate that the two are factory fresh vehicles and have yet to be delivered to the Army.

The two green Gempita AFV30 ATGW on the firing line. The one on the right fitted with a red flag is the one fitted with a live round.

Industry sources told Malaysian Defence that Ingwe missiles were only delivered in early 2017 even though the AFv30 ATGW Gempita had been delivered to the two units operating them in 2016, 19th RMR and 1 KAD.

On the Way. The Ingwe missile on the way to the target.

The missiles were supposed to be delivered in late 2016 for acceptance firings but this was delayed to early 2017. It is likely that the firings today was part of the acceptance program for Ingwes. I am not sure whether this was the first local firings of the Ingwes but it was the first time that the Army had publicised them openly.

19th RMR AFV30 ATGW Gempita

The missiles had been fired from the AFV30 ATGW as part of the Gempita test program. These firings took place in Turkey and the Denel Overberg test range in South Africa. All of the missiles hit the targets in these test firings, I am told.

— Malaysian Defence

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

Share
About Marhalim Abas 1161 Articles
Shah Alam

111 Comments

  1. “The BTDM posting did not mentioned whether the two AFV30 ATGW were guided to their targets by the reconnaissance variant however.”

    That’s probably not a capability the Ingwes have. Pretty advanced technology you know.

    BTW do we have any idea how many Gempita have been delivered? What variants have we not seen yet?

    ——————————-
    Off topic,

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

    Ukraine will soon get Javelins it seems. Kind of shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted, but Russia’s little green men are going to have to step more carefully now all the same.

    Reply
    What I meant was that the target was selected by the recon vehicle. I think we have not seen six other variants, the combat engineer, recovery, NBC, signals, ambulance and mortar.

  2. BTW what is next for the army for RMK12 (2021-2025)?

    – Would there be a gempita batch 2?
    – Additional PT-91s?
    – official start of condor remanufacturing program?
    – new equipment for the para brigades?
    – rolling out the NCO systems to the whole of the army, or selected brigades?

    For RMK11 (2016-2020) as of now:

    – AV8 gempita
    – new satcom equipments
    – additional software defined radios.
    – AV4 Lipanbara
    – Starstreak system
    – additional RPG-7s
    – additional AT-4s
    – M109A5+ SPH
    – GK-M1 weapon carriers and FFR
    – new 5 ton MAN trucks
    – 105mm LG-1
    – major funding for special forces equipments
    – anything else?

    Reply
    Basically the plan is to have the same capabilities in the peninsula in Sabah and Sarawak. What this means remains unknown.
    Not much is out there officially as the Army is in a flux as a change of leadership is coming by early next year. It may have something but the impression I got is that no one wants to make it official as it might changed anyhow.

  3. At approximatel USD9 mil a piece, the AV8 with the Ingwe is quite expensive for an anti armour role compared to PT91M at around USD5 mil a piece.

    It seems to be a better option to opt for more PT91M as an anti armour role, cost wise. But other factors should also be considered such as technological advancement as PT91M is at best mid 90’s or early 2000 tech.

    The plus point of PT91M apart from purchase cost is better armour protection compared to AV8.

  4. Chua,

    No doubt we’ll next see separatist MBTs with APSs to counter Javelin. Given that more APSs are entering service, their prices will drop in the coming years. Remains to be seen what the counter will be against a APS however. The only one I can think of would be to saturate it but that will cost a lot as more missiles will be expended.

    On Javelin personally I think it’s a great missile. Compared to older gen stuff it’s more compact and easier to lug around and is non wire guided with a top attack function. In this day and age why would anyone want a wire guided system and why try to defeat a target frontally [it best protected arc] when it can be hit on the roof. No doubt MBDA will soon be offering us MMP if they haven’t already done so. At first glance it does look bulkier than Javelin though and I have no idea how it compares in cost.

  5. – The Armour Directorate is still undecided on the question of follow on MBTs. Follow on PT-91s wouldn’t make sense as they would need major upgrades to improve their SA and protection levels and the design really has reached the end of its growth potential. The PT-17 I suppose is a possibility but it would have to compete against stuff like Altay. The problem is we have to get a MBT with superior protection levels [amongst other things] to the PT-91 but if we get another design; the army will have 2 different MBTs to support and train crews on. Whatever we buy, ideally it will have a APS but funding will no doubt be the main issue here.

    – I would like to see more attention paid to engineering units; whether its armoured bulldozers or more bridging. Converting some units into ”combat” engineers – to operate alongside infantry units – would be ideal but I suppose asking too much at this juncture.

    – UASs would be very useful; not just for operational level surveillance but also to arty units.

    – Decent quantities of sights to equip the M-4s and support weapons in various battalions.

    – It remains to be seen if GAPU intends to replace its GDFs with a new gun or will in the future only stick to missiles. Come to think of, the Giraffes are getting a bit old too.

    Long shopping list but limited funds.

  6. …. – ”rolling out the NCO systems to the whole of the army, or selected brigades?”

    I would think that priority would be to first ”link” the Army Field HQ and Joint Force HQ; followed by Divisions, Brigades, etc and of course GAPU and its early alerting systems/radar. Ideally, the
    TRS-3Ds will be able to ”talk” to the CONTROLMasters and ideally early warning will be able to be provided to Igla teams by means other than via radio. Similarly, if VERA detects a UAS it would be useful if the info was provided to HQ by means other than radio.

  7. @ Azlan

    “The problem is we have to get a MBT with superior protection levels [amongst other things] to the PT-91 but if we get another design; the army will have 2 different MBTs to support and train crews on.”

    If Malaysia finally chooses the Altay then it will have 2 different ammo 120mm and 125mm.

    Btw it seems the Gempita AFV30 ATGW still are without any 360 degrees Commander Sight.

  8. kamal – ”The plus point of PT91M apart from purchase cost is better armour protection compared to AV8.”

    Yes but one’s a MBT and one’s a IFV.

    Bear in mind that both will be used for the MBT killing role in different ways. The AV-8 is not intended to be used as an independent MBT killer [i.e. go looking for MBTs to kill] but always when operating as part of a combined arms unit and mainly to provide units with protection against MBTs.

    Not only is the PT-91 better protected, it has better mobility when it comes to dealing with obstacles or in rough terrain. It also has a hunter killer capability which the AV-8 does not have. On protection; it’s due to ERA. Without ERA in certain areas, the
    PT-91 can be penetrated by 25/30mm.

    kamal – ”But other factors should also be considered such as technological advancement as PT91M is at best mid 90’s or early 2000 tech.”

    Like the M-1, Leopard, etc, the PT-91 is a design originating from the 1970’s. It has a high spec fit out [till today it remains of the best equipped T-72 variants] but due to funding issues other things that could have been done were not done as part of the upgrades. The fact remains is that it has reached the end of its growth potential and that when it comes to protection and SA it falls behind other designs.

  9. – additional PT-91s (for now it would be either used ex-polish hulls remanufactured into M models, or surplus T-72s modified to the same level) would be the most cost effective route. Taking into account our requirement for tanks with sub 50ton weight, there is not many new tanks with such weight. Additional hulls plus some extra as reserves/spares (like singapore with 30 spare leopards). Upgrade the whole fleet with a panoramic sight, and probably norinco APS system. The current level of armor is not the best out there but good enough as is.

    – a combat engineering battalion each to support the mechanized, para and future armoured brigades would be the ideal situation. As the bulk of our infantry operates in the jungle on foot, those units does not need an embedded engineering units so much.

    – there has been steps to integrate off the shelf UAS with the infantry.

    – more sights would be good. Hopefully not with super markups that blocked previous widespread use.

    – would be great if 34RAD GAPU could replace the jernas with the VL MICA for commonality with the navy. 1 regiment of medium range missiles like HQ-16, and replacement of BOFI of 33RAD GAPU with more GDFs or its chinese copy the Type 90. But as it is ground air defence is not the main priority and with starstreaks in RMK11, I dont think a big buy would be there in RMK12.

    Yes long shopping list but limited funds.

    .
    .
    .

    IMO what could be done for the army in RMK11

    – 2nd batch of Gempita. Probably 200 more. For a total of around 450 gempitas. To equip 3 mech battalions (80 each) and 4 armoured cavalry regiments (40 gempita + 40 condors). 1 each armoured cavalry regiment in all divisions except the 4th. I would see this would cost around usd1 bil, as cost for setting up factories, rnd testing and such as been paid for in the 1st batch.

    – additional used PT-91 plus upgrades to the whole fleet. Additional 60-70 tanks (including reserves/spare). I see this would be around usd200 mil. To form a new armoured brigade with 2 MBT regiment, and 2 mech battalions with adnan. An all tracked brigade. The 4th mechanized brigade to be an all wheeled one with gempita and condor (3 mech battalion and 1 armoured cavalry regiment). Probably an independent mechanized battalion with KIFVs in sabah.

    – remanufacturing/resetting condors. 300 to be remanufactured. Usd100 mil. For 4 armoured cavalry regiments of KAD, and 3 motorized battalion of 7th infantry brigade to have 1 company with condors each.

    – additional usd700mil for other equipments, not much left over i agree…

  10. @ azlan

    ” No doubt we’ll next see separatist MBTs with APSs to counter Javelin ”

    It is said that there are 500 tanks in the donbass region, some of the latest that is crewed by regular russian army crews. If something like APS appears there it would signal a direct russian intervention in ukraine.

  11. The green color might be due to cost saving measures..i notice a lot of 3 tonner 5 tonnner and westar FFR and GSC vehicles in green color. All have the formation and unit badges on them…and has been issued to units…

  12. …. – ”If something like APS appears there it would signal a direct russian intervention in ukraine.”

    Given that Russian troops are there, Russian ”volunteers” are there, Russia has openly conducted EW and cyber warfare and that Russian provides everything from PKMs to Plamyas to Buks; APSs are really no big deal; in response to the U.S. providing Javelin.

    – ” additional PT-91s (for now it would be either used ex-polish hulls remanufactured into M models, or surplus T-72s modified to the same level) would be the most cost effective route.”

    Never mind cost effective. It would mean we have a tank way behind in survivability, hunter killer capabilities and SA compared to newer designs. Why invest in something like that when we should be taking a step forward; not backwards.

    – ”As the bulk of our infantry operates in the jungle on foot, those units does not need an embedded engineering units so much.”

    The idea is to have such units operate alongside mechanised units. Apart from along the Thai border or ESSCOM hardly any jungle patrolling is done anymore. Nowadays its mostly operating in areas such as palm oil estates. Even troops operating on foot have great need for organic or attached engineering elements.

    … – ”– additional used PT-91 plus upgrades to the whole fleet.”

    In addition to costs and whether it’s worth subjecting a MBT with hardly any future growth potential to a thorough or comprehensive upgrade; embarking on such a course also presents another set of problems. Replacing ERAWA with something that offers better protection against KE penetrators is the easy part. Adding a APS will mean the power supply has to be improved and the ERA arrangement on the turret has to be realigned. Controls for the APS will need space in an already cramp turret. There are also other factors to consider including adding a thermal for a 24 hour hunter killer capability. Taking all that into consideration; it makes more sense to spend the money on a newer generation design which is more survivable, has better SA and long term growth potential.

    … – ”1 regiment of medium range missiles like HQ-16”

    If a partnership comprising businessmen and former officers has its way; GAPU will get a Chinese system. The problem is to integrate the Chinese system to GAPU’s present network and to enable the Chinese system to be compatible with our present IFF. All possible, just takes money and to ask whether such a course is really worth it in the long run.

    …. – ”The current level of armor is not the best out there but good enough as is.”

    Good enough as long as it doesn’t meet a tank with better protection levels and better SA. And is not fired upon by a top attack missile or high end KE penetrators that ERAWA can’t stop.
    Just like how it’s perfectly fine that the bulk of our infantry have no optical sights and body armour; fine until the day if they meet better equipped opponents.

    …. – ”there has been steps to integrate off the shelf UAS with the infantry.”

    There has been steps by the local industry to convince the government that a locally made UAS can do the job and a foreign purchase is not needed. This has contributed to the delay. Same with Aludra, the OEM kept lobbying and the government gave it time but in the end Aludra wasn’t up to the task. The same OEM, after failing to offer a local design up to the task, now provides a foreign design under a leasing arrangement. The irony.

    D.W. – ”If Malaysia finally chooses the Altay then it will have 2 different ammo 120mm and 125mm.

    There’s no way around that. The idea is for the PT-91 to continue to be in service until it can be totally replaced in a decade or so. Not to buy anymore or spend more than what’s absolutely needed to keep it operational until it retires. Buying more PT-91s just doesn’t make sense given the limitations of the tank. The RMN’s doing the same thing with the FACs and Laksamanas. Nothing’s to be spent on them unless its got to do with maintenance or is something major that effects their ability to put to sea.

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s not a bad tank but it’s time has passed.

    D.W. – ”ATGW still are without any 360 degrees Commander Sight.”

    $$

  13. …. – ”Taking into account our requirement for tanks with sub 50ton weight, there is not many new tanks with such weight.”

    That requirement was laid down by the Armour Directorate in the 1990’s when we first started looking at MBTs and stayed into effect till the time period we ordered PT-91s. At the end of the day, it’s not as if we’re going to operate a design comparable in weight to Merkava or Challenger and with adequate engineering support; a slightly heavier tank will still be able to operate in most places. More protection equates to more weight; no getting around that fact. Anything lighter will just not provide the needed protection levels. Granted no tank is invulnerable but we owe it to the crews and taxpayer to have a tank as well protected as practically and financially possible.

  14. @Azlan “No doubt we’ll next see separatist MBTs with APSs to counter Javelin… Remains to be seen what the counter will be against a APS however. The only one I can think of would be to saturate it”

    Its not that easy to counter Javelin, due to its combination of top-attack flight profile and IR-visual guidance. Anti-IR smoke grenades might work. Yeah, ERA and APS have made saturation fire of both APDS shells and ATGMs necessary in recent conflicts.

    @Azlan “No doubt MBDA will soon be offering us MMP if they haven’t already done so. At first glance it does look bulkier than Javelin though and I have no idea how it compares in cost.”

    EU equipment is usually 1.5x the price of US equipment, as US benefits from economies of scale. Though said EU equipment is also usually more capable, there’s something to be said for leveraging the huge logistics train of the US empire.

    @Azlan “And is not fired upon by a top attack missile or high end KE penetrators that ERAWA can’t stop.”

    Our ERAWA is similar to Kontakt-5 against HEAT but weaker than Relikt against KE. So, proof against most 500m shoulder-fired weapons but not against heavy ATGMs and 1990s-era KE penetrators.

    My personal picks for the shopping list would include, in order of priority:

    – either Javelin or MMP ATGMs (of course…)
    – fully fit out all foot infantry battalions to BIS, optics, armor, etc.
    – Astros 2020 upgrade
    – additional Gempita buys as APCs retire
    – MR-SAM, probably NASAM

    I’m not sure I see a future for tanks in Msia. The question I have is: are we sure our terrain is unsuitable for heavy tanks like Leo? If so then we can possibly get more PT-91Ms cheap from the Polacks and upgrade em. If not, then we should see if Germany can offload more Leos.

  15. Chua – ”Our ERAWA is similar to Kontakt-5 against HEAT but weaker than Relikt against KE.”

    ERAWA was from the onset was intended to deal with chemical energy rounds and was first designed in the 1970’s. We have no idea how it performs against rounds with tandem heads.

    Chua – ”The question I have is: are we sure our terrain is unsuitable for heavy tanks like Leo? ”

    If it wasn’t, Singapore would not have bought any. It’s no open secret that whatever Singapore buys is intended for use on the Malaysian mainland in mind. Note that southern Johore has an excellent road network and numerous bridges that can take a MBT – before deciding on Leopard they would have asked themselves if it could operate effectively in southern Johore.

    The question of whether tanks can be deployed in our terrain has been discussed many times. Tanks were deployed in Vietnam by the Australians, Americans and Vietnamese. Tanks were deployed in Burma, Borneo and what is now Papua New Guinea in WW2. With adequate engineering support, there are few places tanks can’t go. Tanks were also deployed in border, jungle areas [places with a weak/undeveloped road infrastructure] in the border clash with Myanmar. Also, the TNI-AD has contingency plans to deploy their Leopards in Kalimantan if they have to. That area is one vast logging area : where a huge logging lorry can operate, a MBT can also operate in.

    Chua – ” If so then we can possibly get more PT-91Ms cheap from the Polacks and upgrade em.”

    There is a limit to how one can upgrade them; never mind whether it’s worth the time and investment. Irrespective of whether hulls can be bought cheaply, why continue getting a design that has a carousel autoloader [even the Russians are adopting a bustle autoloader] and a design that has such weak baseline protection levels? Sure, if cash was available we could subject the PT-91 to a comprehensive upgrade [a lot of technical/engineering issues involved that is also limited to the amount of space actually avilable] but is it worth it? Wouldn’t the cash be better spent on a hull that has not only better protection and SA but also more growth potential? Why invest in a 1970’s design that has reached the end of its growth potential and one that falls way behind current gen ones in terms of survivability, SA and other areas?

    …. – ”– fully fit out all foot infantry battalions to BIS, optics, armor, etc.”

    Higher chance of Tahiti raising a Air Assault Brigade. We should start with fully equipping a few battalions first. There is something fundamentally wrong when an army can get MBTs, IFVs, SPHs, SAMs, etc, but doesn’t have the urgency or need to get decent quantities of optics and body armour for some of its units, including its elite ones.

    …. – ”Astros 2020 upgrade”

    Avibras is – belatedly – working on a GPS guided round.

    Chua – ”MR-SAM, probably NASAM”

    Not bothered with what we buy as long as there will be no major issues integrating it with what we currently have and as long as there are already several operators.

    … – ”Its not that easy to counter Javelin,”

    APSs are designed to counter threats like Javelin. Given how MBTs are getting increasingly well protected around the hull and turret; the main means of killing them – with missiles – will be on the roof where the armour is the thinnest.

    … – ”additional Gempita buys as APCs retire”

    First DEFTECH and the army should work together to resolve any flaws the AV-8 has [which we’ll know as we induct more into service and deploy them to the field] and to ensure that follow batches have improvements, whether in protection or other areas. More than a decade after Adnan entered service we have no idea if DEFTECH has any plans to offer the army am improved variant.

    Chua – ”there’s something to be said for leveraging the huge logistics train of the US empire.

    Yes, with Ingwe there are only a handful of users and it’s not as if the South African army will have huge stocks for emergencies. With TOW 2 for example there are various users and the U.S. army has stocks that can be bought/transferred at short notice in case of an emergency.

  16. “Without ERA in certain areas, the
    PT-91 can be penetrated by 25/30mm”

    Very difficult, and only possible in limited areas with depeleted uranium APFSDS-T ammo. Normal HE ammo wont penetrate the hull. And note that PT-91 side armor is 16mm thicker than normal T-72s, and texolite laminate in the armour replaced with CAWA-2 ceramic armours.

    “The fact remains is that it has reached the end of its growth potential and that when it comes to protection and SA it falls behind other designs”

    Both SA and protection can be upgraded. SA with linked BMS/NCO, upgraded sights for the commander like the SAGEM MPS LR, and PCO SA 360 degree camera and thermal imaging system the SOD mounted on top of the laser warning systems.

    For protection, the PT-16 upgrade has AMAP modular applique panels similar to Leo2 made by Rosomak company in Poland under license by IBD Deisenroth. Or install an APS like the Norinco GL5

    Look at the components of the GL5, not bulky and only a few in hull parts

    “Never mind cost effective. It would mean we have a tank way behind in survivability, hunter killer capabilities and SA compared to newer designs. Why invest in something like that when we should be taking a step forward; not backwards”

    Would love to hear your suggestion on what “newer design” tanks that you propose, how far ahead it is compared to a lightly upgraded PT-91M (say just a new commander sight MPS LR, PCO SOD and GL5 APS). And also what would it cost.

    Btw marhalim, an old news on 1st Infantry Brigade to be converted into 1st Armour Brigade. Is it still on track?

    Reply
    You can post your comment as long you dont put in the links, especially those China ones. I have no idea on the 1st IN Brigade becoming 1 Armour Brigade.

  17. …. – ”Both SA and protection can be upgraded”

    I have stressed the fact time and again, that it can be upgraded but there are various issues at play and whether it’s really worth subjecting the PT-91 to a comprehensive upgrade when the cash can be better spent on a newer tank, more capable tank without the need for various modifications. Nobody said it can’t be upgraded. Just like how I stressed the point that the Laksamanas could be upgrade but given their condition and age the RMN felt it wouldn’t provide a good return on investment.

    On the PT-91 power is an issue – adding a APS [never mind a OWS] results in the need for more power. Adding stuff in the already cramped turret [like APS controls] is also an issue. One reason the 1st prototype took so long to come out was because finding place in the turret for all the extra stuff [BMS, CRT controls, etc] we added was an issue, plus the rewring. As to adding protection, it can be done but leads to weight issues – the present gearbox is already maxed out. Before determining what can or can’t – on paper – be done to the tan; first find out what issues the tank has or what areas the army isn’t happy with. Also, even the Russians are going for a bustle autoloader; why should we get more tanks with a carousel autoloader when it’s been proven time and again [way before the Gulf War in fact] that the placement of the rounds to feed the loader leaves the tank and crew extremely vulnerable in the event of hull penetration.

    … – ”Would love to hear your suggestion on what “newer design” tanks that you propose,”

    And would I ”love” to oblige you; despite it being obvious.

    Something like Altay or K2. Something without a carousel loader [even if a human loader is needed], something with a higher baseline protection level, something with a 24 hour hunter killer capability, something we can operate for at least 20 years or more without having to worry about major obsolescent issues or having to subject to major upgrades to meet our requirements; something not based on a 1970’s design with all the limitations that come with it, something with a larger customer base, etc. And something which was constructed with a different operating/survivability philosophy compared to a T-72/PT-91 which was based on hit avoidance [in line with Soviet doctrine] rather than actual crew/vehicle survivability : a philosophy the Russians have ditched with the Armata.

    As to what it’s going to cost; like I said earlier : ”we owe it to the crews and taxpayer to have a tank as well protected as practically and financially possible”. Going for Altay or K2 or something else, doesn’t have to bankrupt the Treasury.

    …. – ”Very difficult, and only possible in limited areas with depeleted uranium”

    In places such as Iraq, parts of the tank, such as the turret sides and rear were easily penetrated by non DU 25mm.

    Even the Indian army, a long time Soviet/Russian tank operator decided on the Arjun, which was intended to rectify various issues the Indians were not happy with their T-72s and T-90s. Delays in Arjun led to more T-90s orders. Not too mention the Finns a long time T-72 operator, which decided to get Leopards when they could easily have bought Russian and the Poles who are only maintaining their T-72s and PT-91s because obtaining more Leopards is an issue.

    We could have had a better compared to what we eventually got. The problem [just like the MKM] is that we customed designed something that was unique to us and cash prevented us from doing certain things that we originally wanted. Creating a Russian but Polish produced tank variant with a Slovak gun, German tracks and gear, French FCS and sights, Ukrainian engine, etc, led to time and money. We can add the Bosnian ammo and Belgian MGs to the mix which was unavoidable given that we had narrowed our options.

    Like the MKM and the RMAF; the PT-91 wasn’t the army’s choice. It in fact preferred something else; which however overheated during trials but I guess that’s a different story for another time. Yes the PT-91 remains the most capable T-72 variant but in various key areas [including ergonomics] it clearly falls behind other tanks.

  18. P.S.

    Another issue I’m not happy with is the reliance on ERA to compensate for a weak baseline protection level. Should a part of the tank be subjected to multiple hits it would leave an exposed area. Yes it can relocate to the rear for ERA to be added but this means it will be away from combat whilst ERA is being added and assumes it hasn’t been already knocked out.

    ERA also tends to be dangerous for friendly infantry who are in close proximity to the tank. Note that with Armata, the Russians have moved way from their long time practice of relying largely on ERA for protection and instead have gone for a higher baseline protection level; as well as protection internally for the crew; a marked contrast to what they’ve been dong for decades This – together with going for a different autoloader as opposed to a traditional carousel one – is telling.

  19. @Azlan “We have no idea how it performs against rounds with tandem heads.”

    Well enough supposedly that the turret and front will defeat Panzerfaust 3-T.

    Anyway, so if indeed Leos can operate in our terrain without being too restricted or dependent on engineering support, then that should be our next tank.

    @Azlan “Avibras is – belatedly – working on a GPS guided round.”

    The GPS-guided 40mm rocket is completed and currently being promoted and they are now working on a GPS-guided 300mm rocket, sort of a cheapo ATACMS. The GPS-guided system is called Astros 2020. (Strictly speaking, the upgrade being offered for existing Astros customers to 2020-standard is called Astros Mk.3M).

    Having a land-based precision standoff weapon would give us options other than TUDM’s Paveway, and Avibras needs a starting contract to get it going. I’ll bet my last rupiah the Indons are looking at it…

    @Azlan “APSs are designed to counter threats like Javelin.”

    Its top-attack flight path avoids most (if not all) hardkill APS systems which are optimised against flat-trajectory ATGMs. I think only certain softkill APS equipped with IR smoke grenades would work against it.

    @… “Or install an APS like the Norinco GL5”

    First consider what are its capabilities. Not all APSs are created equal, and Norinco… I’d expect no better than first-gen performance from them.

    @… “how far ahead it is compared to a lightly upgraded PT-91M”

    He said it already – in a nutshell, better baseline protection than T-72.

  20. Well, This is My Option

    – For this Record about MBTs, I rather like Upgrade it First After 2020 then in 2025 should Plan a MBT Replacement Program (Such as M-95 Degman, T-14 Armata or PT-16 But no Atlay cause i know it will be Heavier For Our Terrian)

    – The Javelin Might be Great but I Personally Like MBT LAW For GGK as a Replacement for Near-Expired ERWX. Javelin is Very Good Accrucy but Problem is the Cost and Effective.

    – HQ-16 is Not Gonna be GAPU’s Iventory but I think the CAMM, Aster 30 and NAMSAS II.

    – Astross II Might Need an Additional SS-150 Missile and I wonder What if That SS-150 Defeat the M142 HIMARS…

    That All I know About Comment of Today.

  21. Any news that Malaysia might be interested in excess USMC AH-1W Super Cobras? They are still very capable war machines.

    Reply
    None

  22. New news.

    Turkey will add the ukrainian APS Zaslon L license build by aselsan to its Leo2 and M60 tanks

  23. Moraloverride,

    We won’t buy any AH-1W From EDA as We have 6 MD-530G. Now Malaysia is on talk with TAI and about T-129. I think we might get 24 Ataks. Or Either that we could Take a Look the AH-64E but It cost a lot than Ataks.

  24. If we are willing to cough up usd9 mil a piece for an ant tank av8 version,would it not be more worth to buy the k2 panther if ROSK

    Reply
    Its not worth buying the K2, the AV8 is locally build and develop and we will recoup the investment by exporting them by the thousands

  25. @ azlan

    “As to adding protection, it can be done but leads to weight issues”
    The RENK350 still has 250kw margin on top of the current PZL WOLA engine power. Adding passive protection like the AMAP, is a replacement of the current ERA tiles and won’t add more weight. But the best way forward is just leave the current protection as is and add an APS system like the GL5.

    “Something like Altay or K2. Going for Altay or K2 or something else, doesn’t have to bankrupt the Treasury”
    It wont bankrupt the treasury, but the usd1bil cost (korea paid uss850 mil for 100 K2, probably more if to be TOT in malaysia) will mean items with more priority like gempita batch2 or even ATGM and scopes cannot be funded if a new MBT is a top priority. Getting PT-91 batch 2 would cost 1/5th of that. Everything need to be seen in context to other stuff, not independently. Thats why like additional stuff for GAPU, probably not be funded in the near future.

    “Not too mention the Finns a long time T-72 operator, which decided to get Leopards when they could easily have bought Russian and the Poles who are only maintaining their T-72s and PT-91s because obtaining more Leopards is an issue”
    If I can turn back time, of course used Leos are preferable but the era of cheap/free Leo2s has ended. The last of them has been rounded up by germany to be rebuilt with new turrets. The Finns/Poles bought secondhand Leos as that was cheaper/free compared to brand new T-72s. The irony is that when it was plenty, we had a secondhand stigma and bought brand new PT-91Ms. Secondhand does not mean bad, hopefully with the M109A5+ buy we would warm up to more secondhand items.

    ” PT-91 wasn’t the army’s choice”
    And it wasnt the Leo2, and in the hindsight, glad we didnt have army’s 1st choice.

    As for top attack ATGMs. There is no MBT at the moment that can windstand any. The only possible countermeasure is APS and softkill smoke jammers.

  26. @ Marhalim

    “Its not worth buying the K2, the AV8 is locally build and develop and we will recoup the investment by exporting them by the thousands”

    Yes i can see the joke, the gempita batch 1 is horrendously expensive. But the K2 cost is not inclusive of billions spend to RND the tank in the 1st place. On a more serious note, the only way we could recoup the cost is to have a 2nd batch of gempita to leverage all the RND and cost of setting up manufacturing capability in malaysia.

  27. @Safran “T-14 Armata”

    Armata is too expensive for the Russian Army to buy. Let alone us.

    @Safran “The Javelin Might be Great but I Personally Like MBT LAW For GGK as a Replacement for Near-Expired ERWX. Javelin is Very Good Accrucy but Problem is the Cost and Effective”

    I like MBT LAW/N-LAW too, but its a different weapon from Javelin. N-LAW is a short-ranged shoulder-fired weapon for destroying older tanks and IFVs, Javelin is a long-ranged crew-served weapon for destroying heavy tanks.

    @Safran “Now Malaysia is on talk with TAI and about T-129. I think we might get 24 Ataks. Or Either that we could Take a Look the AH-64E but It cost a lot than Ataks.”

    We don’t need T-129 or AH-64E attack helicopters.

    @Marhalim “Its not worth buying the K2, the AV8 is locally build and develop and we will recoup the investment by exporting them by the thousands”

    Not often we get bitter sarcasm from you in the comments section…

  28. First it was the navy with their LCS. Then its the army with their new vehicles. So my bet would be the Air Force getting the lion share during the next funding cycle – hence the increased chatter on the AEW, MRCA and MPA programmes.

  29. kel,

    Probably but it’s still a long way to go. Harder for the government to justify it given that unlike the LCS and AV-8 it doesn’t create jobs and keeps 2 local companies busy. It’s is the government’s fault that it has to now fund both the MRCAs and MPAs. The RMAF had wanted MPAs first, from the early 2000’s, followed years later by MRCAs.

  30. ….. – ”but the era of cheap/free Leo2s has ended”

    I never suggested we get them. We also are not interested in any or have been offered any.

    ….. – ”The Finns/Poles bought secondhand Leos as that was cheaper/free compared to brand new T-72s.”

    You’re cherry picking. The Poles got Leopards not only because they were cheap and for NATO commonality but also because realised that it was way ahead compared to their existing T-72s/PT-91s. The Finns, who were in a better financial situation than the Poles could have gone Russian again if they wanted to but they didn’t and it wasn’t only because pre owned Leopards were cheaper. Then there’s the fact that India which has decades of experience operating Soviet/Russian MBTs decided on Arjun which was intended to do away with the limitation of Soviet/Russian MBTs.

    As I’ve also pointed out, even the Russians are finally doing away with the carousel autoloader and to largely rely on ERA for protection on the Armata. After decades of placing emphasis on hit avoidance; they’e now turning to actual survibability for the tank and crew. That is telling.

    …. – ”Getting PT-91 batch 2 would cost 1/5th of that”

    One gets what one pays for….

    PT-91s will be cheaper [just like how BTRs will be cheaper than AV-8s] but will be way behind when compared against modern designs. Again – we owe it to the crews and taxpayers to get a tanks as well protected as practically an financially possible.

    …. – ”There is no MBT at the moment that can windstand any.”

    Of course not; precisely why there is rush/urgency now to acquire APSs. The idea is that a combination of APSs and ”hardened” turret roofs will defeat top attack munitions. The Israelis has taken things a step further by doing away with one turret hatch and uparmouring the remaining one to the extent it has to be power operated due to weight. The answer is to rely on a combination of hard and soft kill options.

    …. – ”Getting PT-91 batch 2 would cost 1/5th of that. Everything need to be seen in context to other stuff, not independently.”

    Which means that as part of going modernisations efforts, by going for more PT-91s, we’ll be going backwards and not forwards
    with a tank that does not offer much in improvements over what we currently have and a tank which is based on a operating/designed philosophy which has been discarded by its country of origin.

    See it in in that context ……

    …. – ”And it wasnt the Leo2,”

    Understand that the Armour Directorate didn’t have much say as as far back in the 1990’s a decision had already been made as to what to acquire, which is why by 1997 only the T-72 was at LIMA and by the early 2000’s only the Russians, Poles and Ukrainians bothered to compete. The irony of course is that DEFTECH was pushing the T-84 – which BTW had a bustle autoloader and 120mm option which was never offered to us.

    …. – ”The RENK350 still has 250kw margin”

    Never mind what’s on paper the reality is that the present gearbox is already overstrained; which is why there were reports of it overheating in the mid 2000’s and why the army, has been looking at other options.

    In the coming years a lot will depend on politics and who’s in charge of the army but we can safely assume that Altay will be a leading contender; it just has more going for it politically compared to with the Poles. The Turks are also able to offer more offsets and ToTs [which we’re so enamoured of] compared to the Poles.

    Note that I’m not suggesting we absolutely have to buy Altay; only that it’s a very realistic option and that what ever we buy has to be a more current design taking advantage of current advances in the field, has to be something that we don’t have to spend cash on to suit our requirements and has to be something that we can operate for at least 2 decades or more without having to worry about obsolescent issues.

    Chua – ”Well enough supposedly that the turret and front will defeat Panzerfaust 3-T.”

    ERAWA was primarily designed to defeat chemical energy rounds and at time when tandem warheads were not fielded.

    …. – ”Having a land-based precision standoff weapon would give us options”

    We also have to have the means to acquire targets at standoff range in order for precision rounds to hit it.

  31. @ azlan

    “You’re cherry picking”
    You have to see all in their own contexts.
    – the start was when the poles are given free leo2s as part of the set op of a joint german/polish armoured brigade. The commonality of equipment in the brigade was the main consideration.
    – the finns are moving into western sphere. The low cost of used leo2s was a major point.
    – india wanted to develop and build its own ingenious tank as a national project and pride, not because of unsatisfactory performance issues. Of course as a new tank they put a higher spec as its target. But that has ended in failure and has them buying T-90, an upgraded t-72.

    “even the Russians are finally doing away with the carousel autoloader”
    There is 2 upgrades with 120mm bustle autoloaders available, from ukraine and RUAG. BTW even russians concede the armata is too expensive even for them to replace the t-72, and is upgrading more t-72 and buying new t-90s. And of operating/design philosophy, you adept, and if by your logic, no tanks should be operating in build up areas or in tropical jungle.

    “The answer is to rely on a combination of hard and soft kill options”
    Precisely, and that can be fitted to the PT-91. Even the K2 and altay does not have hardened roofs.

    “Note that I’m not suggesting we absolutely have to buy Altay; only that it’s a very realistic option and that what ever we buy has to be a more current design taking advantage of current advances in the field”
    Altay costs more than usd13mil each for now and would be probably more in the future. It is as realistic an option as we getting the best SAM for GAPU. Look at the SPH requirement. Is used M109A5+ is the best SPH for malaysia? Of course there are better ones, like K9 and Caesar but can we afford it? So M109 is an adequate compromise. Our main security concern will always be an infantry attack, unlike europe where the fear of a major tank blitzkrieg is always be the no1 concern. IMO it is not prudent to spend 2/3 of the armies RMK budget on new tanks, better get more gempitas, and equipments for the individual soldiers rather than a new MBT.

  32. @ azlan

    “which is why there were reports of it overheating in the mid 2000”

    Those gearbox overheating reports are from the 1st trial with the PT-91Z tank with the original 850hp engine and gearbox. That unsatisfactory report meant that the engine is upgraded to the 1000hp one and the RENK auto transmission.

  33. Off topic.

    Regarding MPAs

    Angola has signed for 3 C295MPA from airbus for usd196.7 million. With the proposed TUDM MPA budget, we could have 10 C195MPA at that price.

  34. ….. – ”as a national project and pride, not because of unsatisfactory performance issues.”

    No ………….. From the very start, the Indians wanted to do away with the carousel loader, they wanted a tank with a full hunter killer capability [for many years their T-72s and T-90s didn’t have this capability], they wanted a tank with a higher baseline protection level and they wanted a tank with long term growth potential. Also note that almost nothing [or no features] from the T-72s and T-90s has been added to the Arjun.

    Apart from political considerations; those are the reasons they decided to go for Arjun. Because they felt that for their long term, future needs; they wanted something a present Russian design couldn’t offer.

  35. But did they achieve that? It finally came out as a tank that is on par with t-72 in trials. And they eventually bought 1000 more t-90 instead.

  36. Some latest issues.

    There has been chatter of forming a UN peacekeeping force in donbass Ukraine. Will malaysia be asked to contribute its troops there?

    Philippines is looking at 8×8 ifv. Will malaysia offer the AV8 for that requirement?

    USAF has officially retired all MQ-1 Predator uav. A great option for EDA request.

  37. …. – ”upgrades with 120mm bustle autoloaders available”

    I’m keenly aware of that but in our case, adding a bustle auto loader to the PT-91 will require a lot of work and may not be worth the effort. KMDB had such an option as far back as 2001; which I previously mentioned.

    … – ”as a new tank they put a higher spec ”

    A tank not only designed for its specific requirements but also one that would beat what they currently have in a number of key areas. In other words, there are various aspects of the T-72 and T-90 that they’re not happy with [aspects that can’t or are not easily rectified due to the hull design, turret space, etc] and they chose to rectify those on the Arjun.

    …. – ”Altay costs more than usd13mil each for now and would be probably more in the future.”

    Like the MRCA, a tank buy is not imminent. When we do buy tanks and if we buy Altay, by that time it would have partially entered Turk service and might gain an export order; thus by that time per unit costs might actually decrease.

    .. – ‘better ones, like K9 and Caesar but can we afford it?”

    I don’t agree K-9 and Caeser are ”better” but I’ll leave it at that.

    …. – ‘main security concern will always be an infantry attack,”

    Not sure how you confidently came to that conclusion. I’ll be more cautious, avoid the usage of ”always” and say that in the event of a conflict the PT-91; depending on the circumstances,”can be exposed to a variety of threats; not only or not mainly from infantry attacks” and that overall; threats we might face can come from types or areas never previously faced.

    Threats assessments are based not on what someone might or might not do but on actual capabilities of potential opponents. Not that I’m suggesting we will be in conflict with our neighbours but the fact remains that 2 of them operate a tank way ahead in survivability [I have no idea about the RTA’s Chinese tank – that’s your area] and other areas compared to the PT-91. Not only that, our neighbours are also investing in other areas to kill MBTs; including better tank killing systems for the infantry you mentioned; including tandem and top attack rounds that the PT-91 – as it is now – will have trouble defeating.

    ….. – ”But did they achieve that? It finally came out as a tank that is on par with t-72 in trials.”

    The fact that Arjun has has costs and technical issues doesn’t detract from that fact that they wanted something superior to the T-72 and T-90. Follow on T-90s were bought because of delays in the Arjun programme and despite issues with it; it has many improvements over the T-72 and T-90. Not only in protection but also ergonomics and other key areas.

    …. – ”Will malaysia be asked to contribute its troops there?”

    We can safely say that it’s too much of a hot potato for us to want to get involved there. For one, we would not like the relationship with Russia to be affected. Also, if we look at areas where we are currently involved – including the IMT which is not under the UN – these are areas where we feel we have interests in, in Muslim countries. Also, given MH17; we might not be seen as neutral.

  38. @… “Will malaysia be asked to contribute its troops there?”

    We won’t do shit unless its in our national interest, and our national interest beyond our own selves is in helping our Muslim brothers. Fact.

  39. …. – ”Angola has signed for 3 C295MPA from airbus for usd196.7 million. With the proposed TUDM MPA budget, we could have 10 C195MPA at that price.”

    On paper yes but in reality we need to find out what the Angolans have specified for their C295s and the spares and training package they’ve agreed on. In our case it depends on what we specify to go on ours [we have a tradition of having a lot of stuff gold plated/high spec] and it remains to be seen whether the deal will include any offsets and how comprehensive the spares and training package will be.

    Reply
    It must be noted that only Chile operates ASW configured C295s from the various operators. They have two with another C295 optimized for anti surface work. Airbus declined to bid for the Philippines tender for two MPAs configured for ASW, the tender has failed three times already.

  40. @ azlan

    “In other words, there are various aspects of the T-72 and T-90 that they’re not happy with [aspects that can’t or are not easily rectified due to the hull design, turret space, etc] and they chose to rectify those on the Arjun”
    As per usual indian requirements, they wanted the sun and the moon for arjun, and caused the weight to push nearly 70tons, and caused the arjun to be undesireable by indian army, only buying due to national interest to keep work for the tank factory. As of now 75% of arjuns are inoperable due to various issues, and those that is are confined to indian desert areas, as the weight is too heavy for other areas.

    “Not sure how you confidently came to that conclusion”
    I said “main” which means our principal threat. Of course we have other threats, but our principal threat would not be tanks, or anything else in near future.

    “Not only that, our neighbours are also investing in other areas to kill MBTs; including better tank killing systems for the infantry you mentioned”
    As it is, say against something like javelin, there is no difference if we field Altay or PT-91. I don’t think aselsan has an APS that can protect from topkill ATGMs.

  41. ASW…

    We don’t have any experience in operating ASW aircrafts. We don’t know if something with low spec MAD boom and sonobouys will work in shallow and busy shipping lane around our waters. If it is very difficult to find subs from the air in our waters, is a token airborne ASW capability is worth the effort and cost?

  42. …. – ”As per usual indian requirements”

    One can write a few thousand words on the various issues facing Arjun but it’s really not germane to our discussion. Irrespective of whatever issues Arjun has; from Day One it was intended by the Indian army to rectify various shortcomings prevalent in Soviet/Russian MBT designs that the Indians were not happy with and was intended to be a superior MBT. Like the Russians, the Indians fully realise that no amount of upgrades will rectify fundamental shortcoming current Russians designs have.

    …. – ”but our principal threat would not be tanks, or anything else in near future.”

    Well I’m glad to hear you confidently making such a statement or prediction but in the real world; should a conflict arise, our armoured vehicles can be exposed to a variety of threats. Some of which were not around until recently.

    ….. – ”there is no difference if we field Altay or PT-91”

    …. – ”I don’t think aselsan has an APS that can protect from topkill ATGMs.”

    You miss the point. It was always intended for Altay to be able to confront new threats likely to be faced in the future. As such, there are plans to equip it with with a APS. Also, given that Altay is a larger MBT than the PT-91 and will have more electronics/system installed; we can safely assume that it has better power supply. Whether Aselsan can make APS is irrelevant as one can be bought – you yourself mentioned them buying a Ukrainian system for their current tanks.

    …. – ”We don’t know if something with low spec MAD boom and sonobouys will work in shallow and busy shipping lane around our waters.”

    Indeed many parts of our waters are shallow but given the depth in these areas there will be little likelihood of enemy subs operating there for the simple reason that they’ll have little reason to operate in such areas; where a sub can be spotted from the air and where it won’t have enough depth to maneuver. Airborne ASW will be mostly confined to areas where waters are deeper like the northern approaches to the Melaka Straits and the South China Sea.

    As to the effectiveness of MAD and sonobouys in shallow and busy waters; it’s been found that MAD and sonobouys have been very effective during exercises in busy and noisy shipping areas in various places including the Straits of Messina, littoral areas in the Baltic, Norwegian fjords, etc. There is also nothing to suggest that any MAD systems or sonobuoys offered for export outside of NATO will be ”low spec” ones to the extent that both will be ineffective in shallow and noisy waters.

  43. …. – ”see all in their own contexts.”

    Each had their respective reasons for choosing Western but at the end of the day; their decision to do so was based largely on the fact that existing Soviet/Russian designs they had suffered from various limitations and they wanted something better. That was the main factor…… Price, commonality and politics played a factor but it was driven largely by operational reasons ….

    I see it in that context and also in the context that for a future tank; we owe it to the crews and taxpayer to get is well protected as practically and financially possible and for it to also offer other improvements over the PT-91.

    …. – ”by your logic, no tanks should be operating in build up areas or in tropical jungle”

    That may the conclusion you’ve formed. Nothing I’ve ever said would seem to indicate that’s my opinion or that I’m basing my ”logic” on something you think I have…. I’ve constantly stressed the fact that in restricted terrain; MBTs play a supporting role to infantry.

    …. – ” the finns are moving into western sphere”

    You conveniently left out the main part; that Finland wanted a tank way superior to its T-72s. As for its ”sphere’;’ it may be involved in various Western security initiatives but it’s still officially neutral.

    .. – ”Even the K2 and altay does not have hardened roofs.”

    What’s to say that it won’t be added on production [in the case of Altay] vehicles or on [in the case of K2] follow on batches? Yes we can add on composite armour to the PT-91’s roof but we’ll still need an APS and adding an APS will the need for more power [already an issue] and space inside for its controls. Not too mention realigning the current ERA panels and other stuff on the roof. Adding stuff on the hull equates to more weight for the engine and gearbox [already strained] to handle.

    …. – ”Those gearbox overheating reports are from the 1st trial with the PT-91Z ”

    Incorrect.. The problem surfaced after the tank entered service.

    …. – ”even russians concede the armata is too expensive even for them”

    That Armata is expensive has got nothing to do with the fact that it’s intended to overcome vulnerabilities and limitations of current designs ……

    Again – the key point is that after decades of building tanks based on a hit avoidance philosophy [as opposed to the West which put vehicle/crew suvivability first] and relying largely on ERA; with the Armata the Russians have gone a completely different direction. This is after years of insisting they had the right MBT design philosophy and that the placement of rounds to feed the carousel autoloader and the lack of blow out panels wan’t a major deal. They have now placed more emphasis on protecting the vehicle/crew.

    The Russians are only forced to continue relying on what they currently have and to order more T-90s because they know that in the short term they’ll never have enough Armatas. It’s not because they don’t want to. By designing Armata they way they have; they are acknowledging that a new approach is needed to make a tank more survivable and relevant. In certain aspects [unmanned turret and armoured capsule] they’re doing it way before anyone else and are taking a risk; yet they’re doing it.

    .

  44. I’m not aware of any issues we may not be happy with over the
    CN-235 but on paper it fits the bill. It has adequate range, endurance and internal space for our requirements. We’ve also had years of experience with it and we have a simulator.

    I’m also still very skeptical that we’ll configure whatever we get for ASW as this considerably drives overall costs up. Not only will torps and sonobuoys have to be bought but people have to be trained to gain and maintain the capability.

    Reply
    I am not sure whether there are any issues with the CN235 but Indonesian Aerospace official I spoke to in Singapore says they will be promoting the C295 together with Airbus. Airbus says this is not correct however.

  45. Marhalim,

    Yes you reported this before. On the RMAF’s part however, I really wonder if they – if it was their choice – prefer a 235 or a 295? I would imagine that almost everything that has been integrated/certified to the C295 has also been done to the 235. On paper the CN235 appears to be the ideal choice but in reality there may be issues why the RMAF would want C295s instead. Or maybe the ATR? The only thing we can say for certain is that an RMAF technical evaluation committee will make it recommendation but others factors will also play a part – unsurprisingly. I believe the RMAF Chief is on record as saying that great consideration will be given as to how the deal will benefit the local industry.

  46. @ azlan

    “Nothing I’ve ever said would seem to indicate that’s my opinion or that I’m basing my ”logic” on something you think I have…. I’ve constantly stressed the fact that in restricted terrain; MBTs play a supporting role to infantry”
    But you said …pt-91 a tank which is based on a operating/designed philosophy which has been discarded by its country of origin… t-72s are designed for mass attack on flat european plains, and by your logic malaysian army is silly to use them in tropical terrain.

    “I see it in that context and also in the context that for a future tank; we owe it to the crews and taxpayer to get is well protected as practically and financially possible and for it to also offer other improvements over the PT-91”
    Tanks are NOT the main force enabler in our army. Why would you spend major portion of the budget for something that is not a main priority? This is as crazy as spending billions on Patriot or S400, and yes you could even say we owe it to our anti aircraft crews and taxpayer to get the best SAM as practically and financially possible and for it to also offer other improvements over the Jernas.

    “Incorrect.. The problem surfaced after the tank entered service”
    No PT-91M entered service in mid 2000’s. They are just being delivered in the 2nd half of the 2000s and had their operational capability in 2010. And why there is no overheating complaints now?

    “What’s to say that it won’t be added on production [in the case of Altay] vehicles or on [in the case of K2] follow on batches?”
    That is just your assumption. You can never have a 1000RHA side armor, what more a roof. At most, increased protection from bomblets, not a missile attack. Also please tell me what APS that has confirmed (not rumored) top attack protection capability.

    Anyway look at singapore. Does it spend most of its budget on MBTs? No. They spent just a tiny amount on used tanks and are using most of their budget building hundreds of the best 8×8 IFV and Tracked IFV in the region. Even for their latest leo2 upgrade is using a low cost commander panoramic sight. I am against your idea of spending a fortune buying a brand new MBT as it is not the main priority in our overall scheme of things.

  47. @Azlan “I’m also still very skeptical that we’ll configure whatever we get for ASW as this considerably drives overall costs up. Not only will torps and sonobuoys have to be bought but people have to be trained to gain and maintain the capability.”

    Indeed. Anyway I think the priority in our maritime domain is for surveillance and engagement of surface vessels.

    @… “Of course we have other threats, but our principal threat would not be tanks, or anything else in near future.”

    If you mean that we are still primarily fighting insurgents, then yes. But this is a poor basis for making a decision. A military always has to consider the possibility of state-on-state warfare, and it is undeniable that both armour and threats to armour have increased greatly in the region of late.

    @… “As it is, say against something like javelin, there is no difference if we field Altay or PT-91. I don’t think aselsan has an APS that can protect from topkill ATGMs.”

    But against weapons such as 105mm cannon and older flat-trajectory ATGMs, a tank with heavier armour might better survive hits that PT-91M cannot.

  48. @ Chua

    “If you mean that we are still primarily fighting insurgents, then yes. But this is a poor basis for making a decision”
    So do you think it a good basis for making a decision to spend majority of your available budget to answer some possibility that is not your main priority? Why you are clear about the priority in maritime domain but not regarding the tanks? Why it is fine not to have ASW capable MPA but it is not fine not to have the latest 60 ton MBT?

  49. … “Why you are clear about the priority in maritime domain but not regarding the tanks? Why it is fine not to have ASW capable MPA but it is not fine not to have the latest 60 ton MBT?”

    That’s precisely the point!

    A lightly equipped MPA/MSA will still give us maritime domain awareness- something which is tremendously useful -in war and peace- and which we currently lack in many areas.

    Whether it is ASW configured does not affect its ability to survive or avoid being shot down.

    On the other hand, a last generation MBT IS a liability. Their very survival is questionable in the face of proliferation of infantry ATGM, mounted ATGM and advanced MBTs on battlefields in the present day, let alone the future- so why should we get more of them? Just because we can’t afford a tank that CAN survive?

    We can’t afford the resources to get into the ASW game and we advocate forgoing ASW configured MPAs entirely. We don’t advocate getting an MPA with an “affordable” ASW suite that doesn’t work or one that we can’t afford to deploy.

    I think the proper analogy is, should we get more MiG-29Ns? Yes they can be upgraded but what’s the point?

  50. Chua – ”But against weapons such as 105mm cannon and older flat-trajectory ATGMs,”

    Even without ERA I would feel that the frontal arc of a T-90 and
    PT-91 will be able to defeat a 105mm round. I could be wrong of course; especially if the 105mm round is a KE tungsten one.
    The Russians were unpleasantly surprised when Syrian T-72s were penetrated frontally by Israeli 105mm [sabot or HE?] rounds in 1982. Then of course there’s the case of Angolan T-54/55s penetrated by South African 90mm HEAT and also 20mm. I could be wrong of course but unprotected; the glacis and frontal turret arc of a T-90 and PT-91 should be able to most 105mm rounds.

    Chua – ” a tank with heavier armour might better survive hits that PT-91M cannot.”

    This is indeed the case; especially against newer KE penetrators and tandem head missiles for which ERAWA was not designed to handle. Even much heavier [and much better protected designs] are being upgraded to meet such threats; hence the great lengths countries are taking to uparmour what the have.

    …. – ”the best 8×8 IFV and Tracked IFV in the region.”

    Let me complete the narrative : ” 8×8 IFV and Tracked IFV” that are intended to operate in conjunction with MBTs as part of combined arms formations in order to deliver effective firepower and mobility.

  51. Marhalim,

    The camo netting first seen on the PT-91 2 years ago. Is it confirmed to be Barracuda or something STRIDE came up with?

    Reply
    I have no idea

  52. …. – ”And why there is no overheating complaints now?”

    Doesn’t mean there are no issues with anything merely because no ”complaints” are publicly heard/made. Problems with Renk surfaced way after the tank entered service; as did few other issues; not before it entered service or whilst a prototype was being trialed. Major issues encountered with the prototype [including the Polish gun] were rectified but some still remained [it was realised that adding anything else later would lead to a need for improved power supply]. Later issues that would surface with Renk however were not foreseen prior to the tank entering service.

    …. – ”That is just your assumption.”

    Not it’s not my ”assumption”; in the real world; countries tend to progressively add improvements to stuff that they already have or even stuff that is in the midst of production. So who’s making the ”assumption” here?

    … – ”what APS that has confirmed (not rumored) top attack ”

    It is your ”assumption” that Altay won’t have a APS or that it can’t because [to quote you] ” I don’t think aselsan has an APS that can protect from topkill ATGMs.” Please tell me or confirm that no APS currently under development is intended to deal with top attack missiles or none already in service is being tweeked to counter top attack missiles. Given that more missiles have a top attack function and that it remains the most vulnerable area; you would have us believe that APSs, over the years to come, will not be able to deal with such threats?

    …. – ”Tanks are NOT the main force enabler in our army.”

    NOTHING is written in stone : depends on operational circumstances : in conflicts against opponents equipped with MBTs; MBTs are the main means of delivering firepower and mobility. You keep insisting [to quote you] ”Our main security concern will always be an infantry attack”. Even if that was true; those infantry you mentioned will not be operating in a vacuum but alongside MBTs or IFVs; not only that but those infantry will have ATGWs with tandem warheads and a top attack function.

    …. – ”we owe it to our anti aircraft crews and taxpayer to get the best SAM ”

    Apples to oranges comparison. SAM systems do not come into direct contact with the enemy; their crews are not exposed to the same level of threats as crews of armoured vehicles – select a more appropriate analogy. And there is no ”best” of anything. I only mentioned Atlay because we can safely predict it will in the future be offered [and because it is an example of a new gen design offering improvements over older ones] along with offers from Bumar Laberdy. Doesn’t mean we absolutely have to buy it or that it totally meets our operational requirements.

  53. @… “So do you think it a good basis for making a decision to spend majority of your available budget to answer some possibility that is not your main priority? Why you are clear about the priority in maritime domain but not regarding the tanks?”

    I figured this would trigger such a response from you.

    An insurgent threat is cheaper to deal with than a state threat. That’s pretty obvious. But just because an insurgent threat is the main priority doesn’t mean it dictates the majority of the budget – that’s thinking with the bean-counter head. In preparing to deal with both threats, you spend what you have to according to the threat assessment.

    In fact the Pareto principle, while obviously not exact science, gives you the rule of thumb: 80% of the problem is usually solved by 20% effort, the remaining 80% effort is spent to deal with the last 20%. The insurgent problem is the most likely threat but is solvable with less outlay, whereas peer challenges are more unlikely but will take up the majority of effort and budget to adequately safeguard against.

    @… “Why it is fine not to have ASW capable MPA but it is not fine not to have the latest 60 ton MBT?”

    Because submarines don’t threaten us as much as land forces and amphibious ships do. 100 Leopard tanks and 10 landing ships versus 4 diesel attack submarines – which is more dangerous? Very obviously the former. Hence the priority is for MPA and the capability to deal with modern MBTs rather than ASW.

    Plus, MPA is a dual-use asset which contributes significantly also to defeating the insurgent threat. ASW capability doesn’t.

    Azlan is perfectly right saying the T-72 is a chassis at the end of its life. Same story with F-16s. There are times when we have to invest in the future, in long-lasting assets with upgrade potential. In automotive terms, buying a new car with projected 15 year future life rather than a 5 year old secondhand car with replacement parts and mods.

    @… “Does it spend most of its budget on MBTs? No. They spent just a tiny amount on used tanks and are using most of their budget building hundreds of the best 8×8 IFV and Tracked IFV in the region.”

    I think you’ll find that Singapore makes its buys in accordance to their defence strategy, which can be summed up succinctly as “have more and better than my neighbours”. Hence when we bought 48 modded T-72s, accordingly they bought 96 Leo 2s… and another 50+ spares later on. Not just a matter of using up allocated funds.

    Leo 2 was an obvious choice for them really. They lean far more West than we do. They’ve also up-armed their infantry and APCs with hundreds of Spike missiles. They’re very well-equipped to take on any peer in the region… which is their objective.

    @Azlan “Even without ERA I would feel that the frontal arc of a T-90 and PT-91 will be able to defeat a 105mm round. I could be wrong of course; especially if the 105mm round is a KE tungsten one.”

    ERAWA is not as effective in defeating KE as Kontakt-5. That places it below Russian T-72Bs and possibly defeatable by modern 105mm shells, especially in areas protected by ERAWA-1 tiles. Whereas friendly-fire incidents in the Gulf have proven the resistance of Western tank armour to even their own 120mm DU shells.

    BTW, I’m sure you know why I bring up 105mm suddenly as relevant to the discussion…

  54. @ AM

    “On the other hand, a last generation MBT IS a liability. Their very survival is questionable in the face of proliferation of infantry ATGM, mounted ATGM and advanced MBTs on battlefields in the present day, let alone the future- so why should we get more of them? Just because we can’t afford a tank that CAN survive?”
    Even new generation tanks like altay and k2 cannot survive the profileration of ATGMs. It too needs APS, and things like APS can be retrofitted. Future advances in APS will mean heavier armor is not required, and now countries like china, usa, singapore, indonesia, turkey looking at medium tanks instead.

    @ azlan


    Not it’s not my ”assumption”; in the real world; countries tend to progressively add improvements to stuff that they already have or even stuff that is in the midst of production”
    Because your assuption does not take into consideration of technical and operational limits. You can have hardened roof against ATGM, but your turret cannot move and your tank weighs 100tons. Why armata has unmanned turret? To have less armor in turret and still allow the crew to survive top attack. So as is right now technically armata has the best survival chance but not because of more roof armor, but because there is no human in the turret.

    “It is your ”assumption” that Altay won’t have a APS or that it can’t because [to quote you] ” I don’t think aselsan has an APS that can protect from topkill ATGMs.”
    Yes of course i am stupid enough to not know altay will have an APS when i even know that aselsan APS operating coverage.

    “Even if that was true; those infantry you mentioned will not be operating in a vacuum but alongside MBTs or IFVs”
    Yes alongside, to tackle mainly infantry based adversaries. That still means not a main priority higher than infantries. Never said we dont need tanks. Just what we have is adequate. So you are in favor of spending major money on tanks that suppprts the infantry rather than on the fighting equipmeny of the infantry itself? If you can use monopoly money, of course, get the best of everything, tanks and give the latest s-class as a staff transport while you are at it.

    “The camo netting first seen on the PT-91 2 years ago. Is it confirmed to be Barracuda or something STRIDE came up with?”
    As someone that have inside access to the army tank guys it is strange that you have no info on this. It is a multispectral camouflage netting system that complements the radar absorbing features of ERAWA ERA tiles. It is made by Polish company Lubawa SA.
    http://www.lubawa.com.pl/download/karty/pl/WIELOZAKRESOWY-KAMUFLAZ-MOBILNY.pdf

    It would be good if our GEMPITAs is provided with this too.

    @ Chua
    “In fact the Pareto principle, while obviously not exact science, gives you the rule of thumb: 80% of the problem is usually solved by 20% effort, the remaining 80% effort is spent to deal with the last 20%”
    Basically what pareto means is that do not spend 80% of your resources tackling 20% of your problem. Enemy tanks will never be 80% of our problem as is submarines at sea. Buying new expensive tanks is just that, solving a minor problem.

  55. ….. – ”Just what we have is adequate.”

    ”Adequate” in your mind maybe but in the real world [again]; dependent on various issues.

    ….. – ”As someone that have inside access to the army tank guys it is strange that you have no info on this.”

    It’s telling to have to resort to sarcasm to make a point …. Try better the next time. Also, just because I may have contacts with someone in a position to know, doesn’t mean he knows A-Z or is even still there ….

    ….. – ”…. – ”So as is right now technically armata has the best survival chance but not because of more roof armor, but because there is no human in the turret.”

    What did I previously write that indicated this? Please show me.

    I had previously said that a combination of roof armour, APS and other means are intended to defeat top attack missiles. I also said that the decision to do away with a manned turret on the Armata is due to the emphasis now on making the tank/crew more survivable – a complete change of direction from what they’ve been doing for decades. Also, hardened roof armour provides better protection against other stuff apart from top attack missiles. Don’t obfuscate and go around in circles. Stick to the topic.

    …. – ”Yes of course i am stupid enough to not know altay will have an APS when i even know that aselsan APS operating coverage.”

    If that were the case [and I didn’t call you ”stupid”] then why even bother asking me to explain what APS will have the means to defeat a top attack missile. Here’s what I wrote and I stand by it :
    ”Please tell me or confirm that no APS currently under development is intended to deal with top attack missiles or none already in service is being tweeked to counter top attack missiles.”

    That was my response to what you said ….

  56. ”technically armata has the best survival chance but not because of more roof armor”

    There is a difference between crew and vehicle survivability. Look at the bigger picture. The aim is to protect the crew and also the vehicle so that it can do its job.

    Also, Armata is more survivable NOT only because it has no manned turret but also because it depends on a higher baseline protection level in combination with soft kill options and because it has done away with the carousel autoloader. An unmmaned turret is only part of the equation.

    …. – ”Even new generation tanks like altay and k2 cannot survive the profileration of ATGMs.”

    I’ll complete the narrative – ”new generation tanks like altay and k2” and also MBTs like M-1s, Challengers and Merkavas – as so clearly proven in recent conflicts – are better resistant to missiles due to a higher level of baselne protection and also because rounds are stowed in blow out panels rather than unprotected in the hull [like in The T-80, T-72 and T-90].

    … – ”their latest leo2 upgrade is using a low cost commander panoramic sight.”

    You left out the part where most of their Leopards have been upgraded to achieve the maximum levels of protection they practically can. Also, their Leopards [despite the ” low cost” sight] have a 24 hour hunter killer ability.

    … – ”pt-91 a tank which is based on a operating/designed philosophy which has been discarded by its country of origin”

    And that is a hard fact; even though you might not agree or realise it is.

    …. – ”by your logic malaysian army is silly to use them in tropical terrain.”

    That is the ”logic” you’ve formed. Applying your logic then we wouldn’t be operating a lot of stuff we currently have because they were not designed with our operating conditions in mind. Never mind my ”logic”, by the ”logic” of the Russians, what they currently have is ill suited to be used anywhere against present and future threats; hence a new design which totally breaks away with decades of MBT design/operating doctrine and philosophy.

    …. – ”I am against your idea of spending a fortune buying a brand new MBT”

    I’ll spell this out as simple as I can in order that what I say will not be misunderstood/misconstrued – a MBT buy is not imminent, it is not a priority now, nor is there anything to indicate it will be a priority but there is on paper a requirement – at some point in time – to acquire additional MBTs.

    When that time comes [in a few years or more] we ideally will get something [doesn’t have to be Altay] that is a generation ahead in survivability, growth potential and other areas compared to the
    PT-91. I’m not suggesting we have to buy a MBT now and yes I’m aware of the need for compromises/trade offs [I’ve stressed this many times in the past] but a trade off we make hopefully will not result in a new design that doesn’t offer much improvements over what we currently have.

    ”now countries like china, usa, singapore, indonesia, turkey looking at medium tanks instead.”

    The U.S. wants a tank that can be air deployed, China wants a tank that can be better deployed in the Tibetan plateau and perhaps by air to Taiwan. India has also been looking at a medium tank to deploy in its northern regions bordered with China. So yes countries are looking a smaller tanks but not because they now see the need for a lighter, less well protected tank to replace their heavier MBTs but for other reasons. Note that none of the countries you mentioned seek to replace their MBTs with medium tanks and all are going for heavier, better protected MBTs; as well as IFVs [a direction the Australians and others are also going despite penalties that come with increased weight].

  57. @ azlan

    “What did I previously write that indicated this? Please show me”
    That is a statement, answering your assumption that altay and k2 roof can be hardened against top attack atgm. So your statement on altay and k2 contradicts your statement on armata. Armata is surviable because it does not strive to heavily armor the turret, it just takes out the human from that dangerous place. So even if the turret blows off and destroyed in an attack by ATGM, the crew is not in there, but in the hull itself.

    “Here’s what I wrote and I stand by it”
    You wrote that question to go around my original question of “Also please tell me what APS that has confirmed (not rumored) top attack protection capability”. And the answer is none yet as of now, but you insist K2 and Altay can survive top attack ATGMs. If Altay and K2 needs APS(if available) to survive top attack ATGM, any tanks or even IFV retrofitted with the same APS can survive top attack ATGMs.

  58. @… “Buying new expensive tanks is just that, solving a minor problem.”

    The alternatives being? Buy something that is inferior, or don’t buy anything at all, and hope the worst never happens…??

  59. …. – ”So your statement on altay and k2 contradicts your statement on armata.”

    Altay/K-2 and Armata are designed differently and the ”contradiction” exists only in your mind.

    ”Armata is surviable because it does not strive to heavily armor the turret, it just takes out the human from that dangerous place”

    Again emphasis on the turret. I’ll repeat what I previously said : Armata is more survivable NOT only because it has no manned turret but also because it depends on a higher baseline protection level in combination with soft kill options and because it has done away with the carousel autoloader. An unmmaned turret is only part of the equation.” Also, you missed out the part that Armata’s turret [to protect the main gun and sensors] will be more heavily armoured compared to a T-90.

    …. – ” but you insist K2 and Altay can survive top attack ATGMs. If Altay and K2 needs APS(if available) to survive top attack ATGM, any tanks or even IFV retrofitted with the same APS can survive top attack ATGMs.”

    Read carefully before hitting the keyboard…..

    I never ”insisted” that. I said that K2 and Altay are much better protected than the PT-91. I also said that despite both at present, not being fitted with a APS that it can be done in the future.
    I also said that upamouring the roof [if not already done] can be done once they enter service or even during actual production – you boldly claimed I was making an assumption.

    I also said that merely fitting a APS to the PT-91 involves a lot work and various aspects to be considered. Also, yes an APS can be fitted to almost any vehicle but obviously a IFV fitted with a APS will not enjoy the same overall levels of protection as a MBT; so what exactly is the point you’re trying to make?

  60. @ chua

    My alternative is getting 2nd battalion of PT-91M and upgrading all of the fleet with:
    – upgraded sights for the commander like the SAGEM MPS LR
    – PCO SA 360 degree camera and thermal imaging system SOD mounted on top of the laser warning systems
    – off the shelf APS.
    – Other item like Auxillary Power Units, same BMS as the Gempitas, etc etc.

    This is something leaders and managers lean in a topic called Risk Management. You cannot solve all risks, you can prioritize and mitigate risks.

  61. “I also said that upamouring the roof [if not already done] can be done once they enter service or even during actual production– you boldly claimed I was making an assumption”
    That IS really your assumption. It is not like you can quote it from Turkey or Korea that they are planning to uparmour the roof of Altay or K2. And as I said, it is not technically feasible to have a roof armor that can withstand ATGM attack. If it difficult to do for tank side, what more the roof (and we are going in circles just because you cannot read what i posted before)

    Also future is not something quantifiable. Tomorrow is also future, 100 more years is also future.

    That is why something like the TLDM 15 to 5 is good. We can SEE the priority of each item.

    From the start I have talked about what is next for the army for RMK12 (2021-2025). I asked if there would be a 2nd batch of PT-91 in RMK12.

    So if you want a brand new MBT when? RMK13? RMK14? RMK15?RMK16?

    What are the other big ticket priority items for the army?
    – More Gempita?
    – A better protected tracked IFV compared to the Adnan?
    – 3rd regiment of astross?
    – Replacements for the rest of the pack howitzers?
    – Attack Helicopters?
    – More anti-aircraft guns?
    – Medium range SAMs?

    Rather than a new MBT as the biggest spending for the army, i would prefer a 2nd batch of Gempita 1st in RMK12, and a new tracked IFV in RMK13 (FNSS kaplan, GD ASCOD, Norinco VN17 IFV?). Additional PT-91M with upgrades and APS would be an acceptable solution up till 2030, with better protected IFVs a higher priority than the MBTs.

    If new MBTs are far away in the future, what is wrong with a low cost buy of additional used and upgraded PT-91s in RMK12?

  62. We don’t live in a fantasy perfect world. We have to always live with compromises.

    For the army

    Get the best
    – 8×8 IFV
    – MLRS

    something with compromise
    – Little birds
    – PT-91M
    – used M-109A5+

  63. @… “This is something leaders and managers lean in a topic called Risk Management. You cannot solve all risks, you can prioritize and mitigate risks.”

    Yeah, we know that. Where you and I disagree is from the risk assessment stage up =D

    @… “For the army”

    Practically NONE of our equipment is “the best”. I would call it “better” and “adequate”, except these labels are somewhat arbitrary.

    Think about how each asset addresses the threats of non-state actors (NSA) and peer conflict (PC).

    I think there’s no point in purchasing more PT-91Ms and upgrading them because they are not useful in either scenario – you need IFVs and infantry to deal with NSA, and they are outgunned in PC. Don’t think that just because we have 48 of them, we now need to double down on a mistake. This is throwing good money after bad. Cut your losses.

    If buying tanks is on the menu at all (which is another area for debate), we should buy a small number (48) of the best our budget can afford, because then at least you present a credible capability in the PC scenario rather than misallocation of resources in both scenarios… you follow my reasoning?

    Similarly, there’s little point in getting a better-protected tracked IFV because again, they are overkill for dealing with NSA and undergunned for PC… unless we can buy something really top of the line like ASCOD 2 or Puma which however might take up too much of our budget.

    What would be better, IMHO, would be (in no particular order):
    – More Gempita (adequate dual use asset)
    – Upgrade existing 36 Astros to 2020 (quality over quantity)
    – Replace howitzers with computerised/GPS (again, quality), lesser numbers notwithstanding
    – Prioritise utility helis not attack (leverage our army’s infantry numbers)
    – MR-SAM not AA gun (quality), but probably NASAM not Aster 30 (BMD not necessary)
    – Ensure infantry battalions outfitted to minimum equipment standard (again, leverage infantry strengths) with body armour, optics, support weapons incl ATGMs

    I’m open to criticism on the above points.

  64. Chua “MR-SAM not AA gun (quality), but probably NASAM not Aster 30 (BMD not necessary)”

    We have some reason to believe an MR SAM will come under the RMAF rather than GAPU. However ideally they should be networked to the point there is no difference in effectiveness as to who mans the weapon.

    I would add to the list:
    -fire finder radars
    -doing away with soft skinned weapons carriers
    -army organic UAS (or under the RMAF, above point applies)

    Among the other things consume resources disproportionate for their inadequacy in their roles are things like the short range pack howitzers and 10th Para’s “reconnaissance” Scorpion 90s-turned-30mm light tanks.

  65. Now that we are talking about M109 howitzers, guided Astros, attack helicopters and etc (some even mentioned Excalibur rounds and second hand Predator UAVs), what is the distribution of JTAC/FO personnel in our units?

    It’s good to note that with the Vingtaqs, some mechanized units will on paper have an organic capability to adjust artillery fire under armour.

  66. AM – ”We have some reason to believe an MR SAM will come under the RMAF”

    If I’m not mistaken both GAPU and the RMAF have a requirement for one. The ideal solution would be for GAPU to have a MR system and for the RMAF to be responsible for anything beyond that.

    AM – ”10th Para’s “reconnaissance” Scorpion 90s-turned-30mm light tanks.

    To be fair, they are intended to be used for fire support and armed recce. Granted, they’re very thinly protected and the 30mm is not stabilised but I guess at the moment; it’s better than having nothing.

  67. AM,

    Another question is how to we distribute fire orders, e.g. how is firing data or a fire request passed from a infantry platoon to a Adnan mortar variant? Still only via radio? On JTACs/FOs I think it would be reasonable [to add a caveat – I’m making an assumption] that a handful of units have them and that’s it. For that matter, how many units actually have radios that can communicate with RMAF aircraft? In this day and age of ”jointness” one would expect that most army units and RMN ships have the ability to communicate with RMAF aircraft. I know this use to be an issue in the past. Not too long ago, the RTN Chief admitted that most ships can’t communicate with RTAF aircraft.

    It’ll be great if some time in the future, we can see a MAF JTAC/FO calling in a strike from a U.S. plane during an exercise but I suppose that day is still still way off. Years ago I recall reading somewhere that the only regional army with JTACs/FOs fully cleared to operate with U.S. aircraft is Singapore.

  68. @ Chua

    “I think there’s no point in purchasing more PT-91Ms and upgrading them because they are not useful in either scenario”
    My reasoning is 48 is too small a number. In a conflict, you could easily loss a dozen in a day. Purchasing more (used) and upgrading them would not cost 20% the price of similar quantity of Altay for example.

    “… you follow my reasoning?”
    Yes i can see your point, but 48 is too few. Our neighbours have at least 2times the quantitty of MBTs as us. Even buying 48, it would cost somewhere around usd650 mil if not more.

    “unless we can buy something really top of the line like ASCOD 2 or Puma which however might take up too much of our budget”
    I agree, it should be one of the best or not to bother getting something new. But with the gempita and hopefully a 2nd batch of around 200, we probably need around 180-200 of tracked IFV for 2 battalions in the armoured brigade. But that would consume majority of the budget, and if the next RMK priority would still be Gempita it would only be possible post 2025.

    Regarding costs
    – We know the Gempita for now costs like usd9 mil each with simple division of overall costs. We don’t know how much of that is for the ammo, missile, factory set up, testing etc. But it was eyewateringly expensive when Turkey got 1,698 ACV-300 for only USD1.076 billion. A second batch of 200 Gempita should be made sure to not cost more than USD1 billion.
    – IFVs like the ASCOD. Spain 212 ASCOD batch 2 buy costs around Euro845 million. Is it possible if some kind of trade-in with the Adnan/KIFV be done for the new IFVs, like what is done with the starburst and OTOMAT mk2.

  69. “The ideal solution would be for GAPU to have a MR system and for the RMAF to be responsible for anything beyond that.”

    If the units are well networked, there is little difference in the various ways it can be done.

    In Singapore all ground based air defence is handled by the RSAF. This includes tracked firing units that accompany army maneuver units (they call this Divisional Air Defence) and those defending targets in
    home territory (Island Air Defence.)

    One can argue that an integrated structure helps planners layer and mutually support their platforms. Particularly if army units won’t operate far from home territory.

    If the RMAF and GAPU both get their MR SAMs I would be concerned that we wastefully operate a small number of different systems, as is typical.

  70. What would be better, IMHO, would be (in no particular order):
    – More Gempita (adequate dual use asset) – agreed

    – Upgrade existing 36 Astros to 2020 (quality over quantity) – still prefer a 3rd regiment. How much does it cost to get GPS guided munitions? And GPS can be jammed in wartime.

    – Replace howitzers with computerised/GPS (again, quality), lesser numbers notwithstanding. – gun ballistic computers can be a handheld one. this is 105mm or 155mm?

    – Prioritize utility helis not attack (leverage our army’s infantry numbers). Something around the size of 2 squadrons of 24-30 utility helicopters. An EDA buy of blackhawks rebuild back in malaysia to a standard like the sierra nevada “force hawks” is good enough. Or would we be brave enough to get like 6 additional seakings/commandos to get a force of 24-30 nuris under PUTD? All nuris under PUTD, an all EC725 for TUDM.

    – MR-SAM not AA gun (quality), but probably NASAM not Aster 30 (BMD not necessary). – Just thinking of something to replace the JERNAS like the VL-MICA. AA gun can be a useful fire support weapon in urban conditions.

    – Ensure infantry battalions outfitted to minimum equipment standard (again, leverage infantry strengths) with body armour, optics, support weapons incl ATGMs – agreed, but ATGMs IMO can be for for PARA, Mechanized, motorized and Cavalry battalions/regiments, no need for every infantry battalion. And that is still like 15 battalions/regiments in all.

  71. @ azlan

    Why do you think the PT-91M was a mistake? Of all the tanks in contention at the time, in a hindsight is there a better tank? In terms of operational use, upgradability, ease of spare parts. It is not the best, but it is not a monkey model T-72 either.

  72. … – ”Why do you think the PT-91M was a mistake?”

    I never said it was a mistake per say. What I did say is that we limited our options when a decision was made in the 1990’s to acquire a tank below a certain weight. We also decided on a carousel auto loader despite knowing the risks associated with it. The Armour Directorate actually preferred the T-84 but the Poles came up with an offsets/ToT package that the PM wanted. When DEFTECH was actively pushing the T-84 to us; KMDB had already come up with a 120mm and bustle mounted loader option but for some reason it was never offered to the Armour Directorate. Another factor is that during that time period KMDB had a much more active R&D programme in place and was able to offer more in terms of upgrades compared to Bumar Laberdy – nobody could have predicted events that would later take place in the Ukraine.

    A lot of the upgrades that eventually went into the PT-91 were not proposed by Bumar Laberdy but others. Also, both the T-90 and T-80 came with Shtora and K5. The best the Poles could offer was ERAWA and there would – apparently – have been issues if we have decided to buy anything Russian to put on the PT-91. As far as the Russians were concerned, the license given to KMDB and Bumar Laberdy was to only manufacture tanks for within the Warsaw Pact and Soviet approved states. The Russians viewed the export of tanks – in the post Cold War period – as being in violation of the licence granted to license produce tanks and for a while refused to supply components to Russians tanks made in Poland, the Ukraine, Czech Republic and elsewhere.

    Reply
    Are you sure the offsets/TOT came from the Poles or was it imposed on them to make the deal seems legit?

  73. Chua,

    ”I think there’s no point in purchasing more PT-91Ms and upgrading them because they are not useful in either scenario”

    A problem with the PT-91 is that there’s a limit as to how comprehensive an upgrade we can perform and by the time we get around to doing it; it will be older. As it stands now it’s been in service for almost a decade. Another issue is how much or how comprehensive the upgrade should be; given that the cash can be used on a newer tank : a better return in investment. The most ”minimal” upgrade we can perform now [one that does away with major work] would be a 24 hour hunter killer ability, a overide function for the commander, replacement of ERAWA and cage armour to the flanks of the engine compartment and rear of the turret [places where the tank is the weakest]. Something more radical would be to still rely on ERA on parts of the tank but in certain parts to rely on spaced/composite armour. Sure, a APS would be ideal but apart from procurement costs; adding it to the tanks involves a host of other issues. It depends on how much we want to spend and whether we feel it’s a good return on investment.

    – We still have a very long way to go before more AV-8s are ordered. First, I would like to see DEFTECH come up with an upgrade proposal, whether it’s in the area of protection or elsewhere, with the Armour Directorate leading the way of course. My hunch is that we’ll see MBTs procured first before IFVs.

    – MICA and NASAMs would be ideal given that we already operate AMRAAM and have selected MICA. On the guns, it really remains to be seen if GAPU intends to do so. Replacing the GDF with something like Skyshield would be nice but guns like these and the ammo and FCS are prohibitively expensive. No doubt someone will suggest a Chinese system but I’ve no idea how it compares in performance – one gets what one pays for.

    – The reality is that we can’t afford to equip the bulk of the army they way we want to. Priority in sights, body armour and optics should be at least with 4th Mechanised and 10 Para. At present, despite body armour seen on Merdeka Day; the bulk of men in even our premier units don’t have them.

    – On ASTROS, perhaps before we contemplate an upgrade, we can first look at ways in better integrating it in terms of how we’ll provide indirect support to units and to perform long range precision strike. The army previously said it has a requirement for an additional MLRS regiment but I’m not sure if the present leadership still feels this way.

    – The firepower aside, I’d like focus to be placed on the engineering element; whether the creation of ”combat engineer” units or in hardware like bridging, armoured bulldozers or even engineer configured IFVs.

    – Having just received Nuris, on top of the A-109s it has and the Little Birds on order; I think it’ll be a while before the Army’s Aviation Wing will be in a position to operate/support additional helicopters.

  74. P.S. There previous post about the 48 tanks was a mistake. Was made by Chua and I wanted to comment on it.

  75. Marhalim,

    Good question. Did you hear about the transfer of the horse stud ”technology”? :]

    Reply
    😂

  76. @AM “doing away with soft skinned weapons carriers”

    As you’ll know I’ve pointed out over the past few weeks, we have a general lack of support weapons, never mind the carriers… so if the budget can only afford Gatlings and SACLOS ATGMs on Uro Vamtacs, hell, I’ll take that over nothing.

    @AM “We have some reason to believe an MR SAM will come under the RMAF rather than GAPU. However ideally they should be networked to the point there is no difference in effectiveness as to who mans the weapon.”

    Well… good reason to have SAM under RMAF? Less chance of friendly fire. Good reason to have SAM under KAD? Logistics chain is already in place.

    When SAM and fast movers don’t cooperate well bad things happen.

    @AM “army organic UAS (or under the RMAF, above point applies)”

    UK placed their Watchkeeper UAV under the Royal Artillery, since their primary purpose is to spot for arty. Reaper is under the RAF.

    So it will really depend what our drones are used for, who wins the political tussle, and of course who’s paying for it, TUDM or perhaps Kor Risik…?

    @… “Is it possible if some kind of trade-in with the Adnan/KIFV be done for the new IFVs, like what is done with the starburst and OTOMAT mk2”

    I don’t know about Otomat, but Starburst trade-in was possible IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN only because the Starburst components can be refurbed into the Starstreak missile… I might be wrong.

    @… “still prefer a 3rd regiment. How much does it cost to get GPS guided munitions? And GPS can be jammed in wartime.”

    The unguided rockets are very inaccurate. GPS guidance would IMHO drastically improve the effective firepower of Astros. GPS jamming… well, how easy/difficult is it to jam GPS? Are WE able to jam our neighbours’ GPS-guided systems?

    @… “this is 105mm or 155mm?”

    I believe 155mm is more effective. But I’d defer to personnel with more idea of the KAD CONOPS.

    @… “Just thinking of something to replace the JERNAS like the VL-MICA. AA gun can be a useful fire support weapon in urban conditions.”

    MR-SAM is a long outstanding requirement, and quite a gap in our IADS as a matter of fact. Erm, I’d rather spend on more Gempita over a repurposed AA gun. Frankly I do not see the use of guns for AA anymore unless it is C-RAM capable.

    @… “but ATGMs IMO can be for for PARA, Mechanized, motorized and Cavalry battalions/regiments, no need for every infantry battalion.”

    My reasoning is to play to our strengths. Our strengths over our neighbours is certainly our infantry, if only for lack of everything else. Therefore we should invest in the enablers to let them do what they do best.

    @… “It is not the best, but it is not a monkey model T-72 either.”

    It definitely isn’t – the monkey would be the PT-91. But I see no reason to settle for a poor second-best either let alone throw more money after it.

    We have to break down our assumptions of what a tank does. Think about the CONOPS of a tank in the first place. Its function is to soak fire which other assets can’t, and use its big gun to destroy basically everything land-based. But with the advancement of technology and lethality, PT-91Ms can’t adequately fulfill this role any more. Against the proliferating ATGM threat even the Aus Boxer is better protected.

    Everyone is designing their armies around a small number of very heavily-protected tanks (from 120mm to 130mm) and a large number of slightly more fragile IFVs and Mobile Guns for the infantry (from 25mm to 105mm). The PT-91Ms are the medium option in a world of high-low mixes, and I don’t think that’s good.

    So if its incapable of soaking heavy fire, what is there left for PT-91M to do? Only its gun is useful now. I would relegate the 48 existing tanks to the role of MGS infantry support, group them in the low section of the mix, patch other holes in the army and wait to buy a ‘proper’ high-end MBT – either secondhand Leo2A6/M1A2 or if possible the upcoming Eurotank.

    Nothing personal, no offence, but IMHO, the worst option is to buy more of them and pretend its a MBT. Cause that is just kidding ourselves about its capabilities vs its peers, and locking ourselves into a mistake for another 20-odd years. Sunk cost thinking.

  77. Chua “The unguided rockets are very inaccurate. GPS guidance would IMHO drastically improve the effective firepower of Astros”

    It’s been said that with Guided MLRS rounds, far fewer rockets have to be fired to be assured of saturating the target. A single HIMARS pod of six GMLRS rockets can sometimes last for days in Afghanistan. GMLRS also has a longer range than the standard rocket.

  78. @ AM

    -fire finder radars

    I would prefer the artillery locating radars being a part of each 155mm and ASTROSS regiment, with 3 batteries of gun/MLRS and 1 battery of locating radars. Something like 3 radars for each battery would be good. A newer system like the SLC-2 AESA weapons locating radar would be great to have.

    @ Chua

    “Well… good reason to have SAM under RMAF?”
    All malaysian ground-based anti aircraft systems are coordinated by GAPU, even airforce and navy units.

    “well, how easy/difficult is it to jam GPS?”
    Very easy. that is why some are developing INS for rockets and shells, which will cost each round to be extremely expensive.

    “Erm, I’d rather spend on more Gempita over a repurposed AA gun”
    Of course. Any additional AA system should not be a major purchase. That writes off available advanced systems.

    “But I see no reason to settle for a poor second-best either let alone throw more money after it”
    As Azlan says, everything is a compromise

  79. Azlan

    “Another question is how to we distribute fire orders, e.g. how is firing data or a fire request passed from a infantry platoon to a Adnan mortar variant? Still only via radio?”

    Yes, since the only communications equipment the platoon carries is a radio. I would like to know if personnel trained to request an artillery fire mission are at the platoon level.

    “On JTACs/FOs I think it would be reasonable [to add a caveat – I’m making an assumption] that a handful of units have them and that’s it. For that matter, how many units actually have radios that can communicate with RMAF aircraft? In this day and age of ”jointness” one would expect that most army units and RMN ships have the ability to communicate with RMAF aircraft.”

    I wouldn’t assume that any units have organic JTACs. Although if I had to assume a unit had them, I would venture it is 10th Para because it is more likely to operate outside friendly artillery range and because the personnel have to be jump certified.

    Radios- outside of 10th Para, I haven’t seen any such radios. For that matter, how about radios that can communicate with the army’s own aircraft? Considering the army is getting MD530s and more Nuris, I would hope so. Not being rated to call for CAS is one thing, calling for things like medevac is another.

    The thing about calling in RMAF CAS is the RMAF doesn’t have that many jets and even fewer that can deploy PGMs independently (the Hawks can’t). With the numbers as they are and the RMAF’s wartime responsibilities, the RMAF will be hard pressed to spare any. Even in peace time, training JTACs takes live, one-on-one training and the RMAF can’t spare enough to train all the JTACs that the army should have.

    “Years ago I recall reading somewhere that the only regional army with JTACs/FOs fully cleared to operate with U.S. aircraft is Singapore.”

    That would be likely given the regular Exercise Forging Sabre held in Arizona (which includes Singapore fast jets and HIMARS, and US units.) I was told SAF FOs are not organic to line units. This still seems to be the case. Reports on last year’s Forging Sabre mention the FOs are under the Artillery formation and are called STORM teams. They can call in RSAF and artillery strikes. However I was told some years ago they were called GFAC (Ground FAC). Separately, the Commandos have their own Commando Lasing Teams.

  80. Chua – ” so if the budget can only afford Gatlings and SACLOS ATGMs on Uro Vamtacs, hell,”

    If the threat is limited to light infantry, general patrolling or providing indirect fire; maybe one cam get away with it but if direct fire has to be provided and those in the VAMTAC are in turn exposed to direct fire; then there will be a problem.

    Chua – ”I believe 155mm is more effective.”

    105mm can provide faster sustained fire. 155mm has a longer range and better penetrating ability if used on bunkers and such.

    …. – ”As Azlan says, everything is a compromise”

    Yes but in certain areas less trade offs/compromises can be made compared to others. A well protected MBT not only provides protection to the crew and keeps the vehicle operational but also enables other components to do their job effectively. We can have reasonably protected and well equipped IFVs operating in support of MBTs but if those MBTs are easily knocked out or can’t perform; it effects everything. In an ideal world MBTs would always be used against non MBTs but in reality they will come up against other MBTs and in addition to having adequate levels of firepower and mobility, must also be adequately protected against the types of MBTs [and other threats] they are likely to face. Compared to the 1990’s when the idea to get MBTs was decided on and in the mid-2000’s when the PT-91s were first delivered; the threat level has increased significantly.

  81. @ AM

    “Even in peace time, training JTACs takes live, one-on-one training and the RMAF can’t spare enough to train all the JTACs that the army should have”

    Training goes both ways. Both the JTAC and CAS fighter pilots need to be trained to talk on the same page. Training can be done with slower lower cost aircraft like the PC-7.

  82. …..,

    Which we use to do with the Light Attack Squadron. For that matter Alo 3s were used to adjust artillery.

  83. AM – ”I would like to know if personnel trained to request an artillery fire mission are at the platoon level.”

    During the 2nd Emergency FOOs from the Artillery Corps were deployed right down to platoon level.

    AM – ”calling for things like medevac is another.”

    Which is something we did on a regular basis in the past and still do. In the old days everything was via the Brigade Air Support Officer. Whether it was for resupply or MEDEVAC; all calls from units in the field went through him.

    Chua – ”The unguided rockets are very inaccurate”

    Not really because they were saturation weapons intended to lay waste a given area. They were not intended to provide accurate indirect fire in the manner of artillery. Even then, when paired with Command and Metrological vehicles; even non guided or smart MLRSs tend to be quite accurate.

    Having GPS or guided MLRS rounds are great but first we have to have the means to detect a target and get ordnance on it in time. It’s not only the ability to do so but making sure the request comes in on time and is passed on in time.

    Chua – ”Frankly I do not see the use of guns for AA anymore unless it is C-RAM capable.”

    Some armies would agree, some wouldn’t. When provided with early warning, when paired with a FCS and when firing the right rounds; guns are accurate and are an ideal complement to be used in conjunction with missiles for low level targets. Shells also can’t be jammed.

  84. @ Azlan

    That is talking in the past tense. What about the future? Now with MD530, and future M019 SPH the army need more organic JTAC capability. Someone whose main vocation is to call in support fire. It is just a skill but it needs constant training to keep them.

    As for the alouette3, now the A109 is used for forward observation, using its retractable EO turret in its rear belly.

  85. …. – ”That is talking in the past tense.”

    Yes thank you indeed for pointing that out; I’m aware however of the distinction between past and present tense and the question it was originally in reference to, posted by AM. BTW, what I mentioned was ”past tense” but still is valid at present. To augment those trained to call in fire, FOOs are still routinely attached to units that need such support.

    ….. – ”Now with MD530, and future M019 SPH the army need more organic JTAC capability. Someone whose main vocation is to call in support fire.”

    Even before the MD-530s andM-109s were ordered; we needed and had the ability to call in arty and air support for the G-5s and ASTROS. Calling in arty and airstrikes are capabilities we’ve long had but obviously need to expand, improve and integrate to a new level.

    …. – ”It is just a skill but it needs constant training to keep them.”

    Just like a whole spectrum of other skill sets like ASW, MCM, infantry/MBT/IFV cooperation, etc. A problem here, apart from funding is the actual availability of aircraft and the actual time that can be allocated for them to be assigned for such training; in addition to the other types of training they already regularly perform.

    Reply
    And location, they need a live range to conduct such exercise, Gemas and Asahan are the obvious ones of course

  86. Marhalim,

    On live ranges; I was told that until a few years ago, there was no range for an MBT to fire its main gun unless the target was very close – like what we see at the annual Firepower Demonstration. Come to think of it neither the T-90, T-84 or PT-91 performed firing trials when they were here. Same goes with the T-72 that was here in 1997. The Vickers Mk3 however did perform firing trials but I guess that was at close range. Interestingly, it was offered with ERA to compensate for its weak armour.

    Reply
    Yes its the same with the Ingwe, I spoke to the people involved and they cringed when I mentioned the Ingwe were likey to be fired at Gemas. They told me Overberg was a great place to test fire the Ingwe. They however admitted for local acceptance the best place was still Gemas. I guess they prefer a flat range where the Ingwe could be fired to its maximum range with extra space safety reasons. Gemas is a huge range but it is a typical Malaysian terrain with little flat areas.

  87. @ azlan

    “Yes thank you indeed for pointing that out”

    Sorry if it comes out sounding negative to you.

    Wanted to hear your comments on how to move forward.

    FOO’s are mainly to adjust artillery fire. What we need are specialists that can accurately request fire support from all branches, giving out accurate location and asking appopriate amount of firepower (that means knowing technical capabilities of howitzers and weapons carried by aircrafts). 155mm and astross are used mostly in strategic movements, rarely in “fire support” mode.

    With the likelihood of urban operations in future conflicts, the ability to call precise fire support will be increased. Close proximity of friendly and opposing forces in urban operations will mean a high probility of friendly fire, as what was seen in marawi recently.

    From open sources like BTDM, I have not seen any specific training operations of JTAC like personnel between the army and the air force.

  88. “Having GPS or guided MLRS rounds are great but first we have to have the means to detect a target and get ordnance on it in time. It’s not only the ability to do so but making sure the request comes in on time and is passed on in time. ”

    Hearing that our fire mission process could be improved and has not changed much since the second emergency (if not WW2), I wonder if those Vietnam War and WW2 movies are accurate. The FO (squad leader who knows exactly where he is) calls for fire and the spotting rounds start falling before the requesting unit has barely kept their heads down. Thanks for ruining them a little for me.

  89. @Azlan “but if direct fire has to be provided and those in the VAMTAC are in turn exposed to direct fire; then there will be a problem.”

    Of course. But if having the weapon under armour is too out of reach, having the weapon is better than not having any right? Besides, I am thinking an infantry battalion usually ought to be deploying its support weapons in cover/entrenchment of some kind. Forget manoeuvre warfare at least for now.

    @Azlan “During the 2nd Emergency FOOs from the Artillery Corps were deployed right down to platoon level”

    Does KAD now have enough trained FOOs to do this? Or even just at company level?

    @Azlan “It’s not only the ability to do so but making sure the request comes in on time and is passed on in time”

    Fair enough.

    @Azlan “When provided with early warning, when paired with a FCS and when firing the right rounds; guns are accurate and are an ideal complement to be used in conjunction with missiles for low level targets”

    Well we already have a very capable jam-resistant weapon for such a mission, Starstreak.

    @… “From open sources like BTDM, I have not seen any specific training operations of JTAC like personnel between the army and the air force”

    I believe the only JTAC-trained personnel we have are in the GGK. The US Army mostly fields artillery FOOs with USAF TACs at battalion HQ level. So note that even for them, its not easy finding enough bodies for the job… and they are more CAS-dependent than us.

    Reply
    I think if they want an upamored vehicle to replace the Vamtac and G wagons, the Lipanbara fits the bill
    It could even replace the Vamtac gun carrier. It could even replace the Condors for that matter though they probably need a RWS for fire support role. They could even slap the Ingwe launcher on top for AT role as well as the Starstreak turret.
    It is also big enough to tow a 120 mortar on wheels. Come to think of it could do everything the KIFV/Adnan are assigned at the moment.

  90. ….. – ”155mm and astross are used mostly in strategic movements, rarely in “fire support” mode.”

    That is not true, with regard to 155mm guns. They provide direct and indirect support to units at a tactical or operational level. Also, how can they be used mainly ”in strategic movements” when some armies only operate 155mm guns and nothing else. MLRS were designed from the onset for saturation fire in areas beyond the range of artillery; on targets located further rearwards. Depending on how they’re employed and what their targets are; they can have both a tactical and strategic effect.

    …. – ”With the likelihood of urban operations in future conflicts, the ability to call precise fire support will be increased”

    Which is why the RMAF spoke openly not too long ago about urban training [precision strikes and such] and for it to conducted alongside the army. The problem is not only funding but the fact that like every peacetime military; there are only so many areas the MAF can realistically focus on. We have to maintain a fine balance between the primary non state threat and having the ability to also deal with possible state threats. As others have found, when focusing too much on non state threats and peacekeeping operations; combat training and readiness in other areas fall.

    AM – ”Hearing that our fire mission process could be improved and has not changed much since the second emergency (if not WW2), I wonder if those Vietnam War and WW2 movies are accurate.”

    As I stated before; my opinion is that the Royal Artillery Corps has not received the same level of attention as other arms of the army. Granted, it has received new hardware over the years and has had to make readjustments in line with the introduction of those assets; but overall – on the surface – things haven’t appeared to have changed much. Then again I could be wrong.

    The circumstances faced at Lahad Dato were the same as during the Confrontation and 2nd Emergency; arty fired on observed targets way beyond friendly troops, with no risk of counter battery fire and in circumstances that were not time sensitive. In a future conflict circumstances might be such that targets will be time sensitive and there might be the risk of counter battery fire and problems in finding the target; not to mention the possibility of jammed comms.

    AM – ”The FO (squad leader who knows exactly where he is) calls for fire and the spotting rounds start falling before the requesting unit has barely kept their heads down”

    And there’s no risk of counter battery fire, the actual guns are never short of rounds and comms are reliable.

    In the real world, apart from all those factors we touched on; the possibility of a EW or hybrid attacks are frightening. Yes we have made certain progress towards EW [the triservice EW school at Sungei Buloh is one and there is a Cyber Warfare Centre] but there is only so much we can realistically do beyond having a basic EW capability. A nightmare scenario would be arty being unable to fire due to jammed comms and GPSs and a ship having its CMS, radios, SATCOM and radio jammed.

  91. Chua

    KAD = Kor Armor Diraja
    RAD = Rejimen Artileri Diraja

    Avoiding confusion in initials was probably the reason they named one a corps and one a regiment.

  92. Chua – ”Besides, I am thinking an infantry battalion usually ought to be deploying its support weapons in cover/entrenchment of some kind.”

    Fine with the MGL which is not a direct fire weapon but the HMG and Meris are direct fire weapons. The operator has to have line of sight with the target and in doing so he and his unarmoured platform will be vulnerable to direct return fire. Which is why many armies have done way with the trend of having direct fire weapons mounted on platforms with zero ballistic protection.

    Chua – ”Well we already have a very capable jam-resistant weapon for such a mission, Starstreak”

    There are countermeasures in place to deal with beam riders but none to deal with an incoming shell. Having a AA mount to supplement a missile system makes sense as they each have their respective strengths and limitations.

    Chua – ”I believe the only JTAC-trained personnel we have are in the GGK”

    Just like how the only people who are trained for NGFS in PASKAL but in the case of directing airstrikes, PASKAU also does it and we can safely assume that the army, apart from Gerak Khas [at least the 11th Special Service Regiment with technically is the army’s only SF unit], also has others who can do it. The question is just how many they are and how well are they are distributed and integrated within the various units.

  93. … “What we need are specialists that can accurately request fire support from all branches, giving out accurate location and asking appopriate amount of firepower (that means knowing technical capabilities of howitzers and weapons carried by aircrafts). 155mm and astross are used mostly in strategic movements, rarely in “fire support” mode.”

    What is needed is a way to fix one’s location, request fires and pass on information digitally, rather than by map and by radio.

    Chua “GPS jamming… well, how easy/difficult is it to jam GPS? Are WE able to jam our neighbours’ GPS-guided systems?”

    There’s also a need to perform these functions in a GPS denied environment. GPS is a low powered signal and jamming or spoofing simply requires transmitting on the frequencies at higher power. An amateur civilian could build a GPS jammer or spoofer for a few thousand bucks. It’s not difficult to weaponise at a local/tactical level, which is why Russia and China are practicing it and why the US trains to do without GPS as part of its reorientation towards peer conflicts.

    Spoofing GPS and moving the GPS location even a little can be useful. It may not put an enemy unit way off course, but might disrupt weapons delivery enough to help their targets survive. Enemy platforms and their operators might not even notice.

    It’s a worthwhile capability for us to acquire and not too expensive. Much as I am reluctant to say it, the side that suffers more from GPS disruption is the one that relies on it to greater extent and, relative to some of our neighbours, that side isn’t us. It’s not hard to imagine a future when our choosing not to disrupt GPS because we want to use it ourselves would only allow them to hit us harder.

    On the other hand, there is an opportunity to build multi mode navigation into the NCO system. It might be too heavy for dismounted troops but it would fit on vehicles like the Gempita, which is in any case intended as the hub of our future infantryman system. Sure it would cost more, but GPS is as good as gone against a peer adversary worth its salt.

  94. @ chua

    “Well we already have a very capable jam-resistant weapon for such a mission, Starstreak”
    Laser beam riding has limitations putting the laser dot on maneuvering targets. On slow moving targets like tanks easy, fighters especially that goes across your view, difficult.

    @ Marhalim
    The problem with lipanbara is its cost. It is even more expensive than the Adnan. The lipanbara costs about usd1.8mil each, while the adnan usd1.5mil each. Statements from Deftech puts the Condor rebuild at around usd1.2 mil. Probably those high costs are due to “localisation” and “national interest” but at that rate i don’t think it would be a very cost saving idea.

    A condor rebuild with updated aircon (just stick the unit at the side like US army strykers), engine and axles does not need to cost even usd 0.5mil. No need for new turrets just stick with the current ones. If it really costs usd1.2mil to rebuild the condor, we could really get a brand new MRAP for that price.

    pbs.twimg.com/media/C7DmBylXAAESEtH.jpg
    Stryker add on aircon on its side

    As of soft skinned fire support vehicles. If used on opposing infantries with proper strategy like shoot and scoot, and making sure you are out of small arms fire range, it is fit for its task. And as chua said, most of our infantry formations would not be tasked with maneuver warfare, and our bread and butter jungle operations would not be on any wheels whatsoever.

    If an armoured fire support vehicle is needed, an armoured VAMTAC or the like is what we need. USMC towed the 120mm mortar with a tiny vehicle not bigger than a quad ATV. Big support vehicles are fine when they need to follow other APC/IFV like gempita or adnan, but would be not so ideal when following infantry on foot.

  95. India was denied access to GPS during Kargil War, resorted to build its own navigation system. I don’t think we’re financially able to take that path. Looks like have to have the skills of location finding without GPS. Agreed with AM on acquiring GPS disruption capability.

  96. “Avoiding confusion in initials was probably the reason they named one a corps and one a regiment.”

    OK I take that back, the names came directly from their British Army counterparts.

  97. Azlan “In the real world, apart from all those factors we touched on; the possibility of a EW or hybrid attacks are frightening. Yes we have made certain progress towards EW [the triservice EW school at Sungei Buloh is one and there is a Cyber Warfare Centre] but there is only so much we can realistically do beyond having a basic EW capability. A nightmare scenario would be arty being unable to fire due to jammed comms and GPSs and a ship having its CMS, radios, SATCOM and radio jammed.”

    I’m glad you agree with me on the need to have ways to operate in GPS- and comms-denied environments.

    While we can’t hope to withstand the spectrum of EW and cyber capabilities fielded by a larger state, regional peers are able to afford a “basic EW capability” and we should at least have the means to counter that and have offensive capabilities of our own. The point is countermeasures only work if we keep adapting them. We can’t hope to operate platforms over their lifetimes with tactics that were valid at the time we bought them, or for that matter with the level of platform integration that we’re currently used to.

    EW will only become a more proliferate and routine part of war as it gets cheaper, there will be a point when capabilities are held at the support company level. Those are the kinds of affordable capabilities we should have and would be disadvantaged not to have.

    nimitz “I don’t think we’re financially able to take that path. Looks like have to have the skills of location finding without GPS.”

    An integrated navigation system (on a jet, missile, submarine etc) works by reckoning several sources of data against each other: GPS, inertial, beacon, celestial, terrain recognition etc. None of these sources is more accurate than the combined product, and more importantly none are indispensable. GPS is favoured because it happens to be cheap and compact, but up until the 90s it wasn’t common even in tier one militaries.

    … “Laser beam riding has limitations putting the laser dot on maneuvering targets. On slow moving targets like tanks easy, fighters especially that goes across your view, difficult.”

    That’s why there is the RAPID Ranger to automate the tracking process. In the first place, MANPADS class systems aren’t expected to do well against fighters as they simply don’t have the kinematic performance and the cueing system does not have the range for early warning. We’re supposed to have larger SAMs for that.

  98. ….. – ”If used on opposing infantries with proper strategy like shoot and scoot, and making sure you are out of small arms fire range, it is fit for its task. And as chua said, most of our infantry formations would not be tasked with maneuver warfare, and our bread and butter jungle operations would not be on any wheels whatsoever.”

    – Jungle warfare is no longer our ”bread and butter”. Today we operate mostly in cleared jungle areas, palm oil estates and other types of non jungle areas.

    – The survivability of a weapons carrier with zero protection ALSO depends on the type of weapon it has. HMGs and Metis would mean line of sight is needed, which means the vehicle can be exposed to return fire; irrespective of natural cover. The whole idea of having support weapons mounted on 4x4s is so they are mobile and can relocate to avoid return fire but whether it’s maneuver or static warfare; there are times when such vehicles will be exposed to fire. Which is why many armies – especially those who learnt it the painful way – have done away with direct fire support weapons mounted on unprotected platforms.

    Chua – ”fighters especially that goes across your view, difficult.”

    Maybe but at the speed Starsreak travels; the operator at the most has only seconds to keep his eye on the target.

    …. – ”Big support vehicles are fine when they need to follow other APC/IFV like gempita or adnan, but would be not so ideal when following infantry on foot.”

    It depends largely on the terrain. When in support of dismounted infantry those vehicles will be moving at the pace the troops are moving. The problem will be if those vehicles – for whatever reason – can’t deploy in certain areas where the troops can.

    ….. – ”The problem with lipanbara is its cost. ”

    Another problem with it is that it does not have the same level of mobility as a tracked platform.

  99. … “A condor rebuild with updated aircon (just stick the unit at the side like US army strykers), engine and axles does not need to cost even usd 0.5mil.”

    I have no words. I think you’re not learning from the PT-91M discussion. This is linear thinking at its worst. You spend $X because you cannot afford $Y and you expect to get $X of value. In the real world you will get $0 returns because your Pendekars and Condors simply cannot survive against the most common of weapons.

    “And as chua said, most of our infantry formations would not be tasked with maneuver warfare, and our bread and butter jungle operations would not be on any wheels whatsoever.”

    As has been put to you many times before, the jungle is no longer decisive terrain to us and holding the jungle accomplishes nothing more than letting the enemy bypass you. The reason being the reach of our road network and urban and estate areas which are more passable to vehicles, logistics and even foot infantry than the jungle can ever be.

    I’ve even found Chua’s statement for you. One would think he meant an elastic defence to be played out in estates and urban areas which are the majority of our most important terrain. He said nothing of the jungle: “I am thinking an infantry battalion usually ought to be deploying its support weapons in cover/entrenchment of some kind. Forget manoeuvre warfare at least for now.”

  100. Btw if you think Deftech is bleeding us white on the AV8 and Lipanbara then what makes you think they won’t do it with a Condor upgrade contract? Why would you send even more business their way?

  101. @Marhalim re: AV4
    The AV4 has protection less than the Adnan/KIFV, just up to STANAG Lvl 3 (7.62mm tungsten) even with add-on armour.

    @Azlan
    What kind of protection level are you thinking of?

    @… ” On slow moving targets like tanks easy, fighters especially that goes across your view, difficult.”

    I imagine its even harder getting AA shells on fast movers, even with prediction fire. Then again, maybe guns will be useful for dealing cheaply with enemy drones.

    On the topic of utility vehicles… the new US JLTV isn’t too bad. The UK big buy works out to $380k/unit.

  102. @ AM

    “I have no words. I think you’re not learning from the PT-91M discussion”

    I am commenting what the army is planning to do right now with the Condor, not some imaginary plan. They have even paraded those prototypes on Merdeka Day! The army is going to hand the Condor rebuild on a golden platter to Deftech, and by the price that Deftech is quoting, I am not the one agreeing, which is why i commented on new MRAP instead. If you choose to comment just on imaginary things, fine.

    http://www.bernama.com/en/business/news.php?id=1237195

    “I’ve even found Chua’s statement for you”

    Chua’s statement is on the non maneuver warfare. Jungle operations are mine, and both does not have vehicles in the equation, which is what i meant.

    “Btw if you think Deftech is bleeding us white on the AV8 and Lipanbara then what makes you think they won’t do it with a Condor upgrade contract? Why would you send even more business their way?”

    Where did I say so?

    @ Azlan

    “Maybe but at the speed Starstreak travels; the operator at the most has only seconds to keep his eye on the target”

    I had the pleasure of operating the starburst simulator years ago. It is not an easy thing using a toggle with your thumb to put a red dot on a target that you are viewing through a narrow field of view monocular. It is hard enough for targets approaching towards you, it is almost impossible for targets moving across in front of you. Even the GAPU personnel told me that they can only acquire targets moving towards of away from the Starbust launcher. There is a reason why not many are using systems like Starstreak and RBS70.

    @ Azlan, AM

    Why is my comment on VAMTAC-sized armoured fire support vehicle is not even commented? Lipanbara/Condor is too big for a fire support vehicle, something VAMTAC sized is the ideal armoured fire support vehicle. My comment on soft-skinned fire support vehicle is just a statement on why the army is still using them, and even buying more in the shape of GK-M1’s.

    @ Chua

    “I imagine its even harder getting AA shells on fast movers, even with prediction fire”

    It is easier as they come with proximity fuses, and something like GDF guns can use programmable fuse to detonate at specified range. It could be used to create an iron “cloud” a hostile aircraft or missile to pass through. It also sprouts out plenty of shells to hit the target, unlike a single missile.

    “On the topic of utility vehicles… the new US JLTV isn’t too bad”

    Yes one of the best out there to use for an armoured fire support vehicle. Great vehicle to replace the fire support vehicles, Ferrets in armoured recce, and all support 4×4 (FFR etc) in Mechanized units. Size and weight not too big compared to the Lipanbara/Condor.

    @ marhalim

    I have posted a lengthy reply on jamming and GPS, it passed the spam bot, but still missing. i dont think i posted something OPSEC in that post.

  103. On vehicles other than the Gempita.

    – there is a requirement to rebuild the Condor by the Army

    – there is a comment by many of us here for an armored fire support vehicle.

    Both IMO should not be a same vehicle. A fire support vehicle should be small(ish) maneuverable vehicle, while a Condor alternative should be a MRAP that could carry the same amount of people as the Condor, with higher protection levels but at a price lower than the usd1.2 million floated by Deftech for Condor rebuild or even the usd1.8 million for the Lipanbara. So one is something with the weight of lower than 7tons, while another (seeing what MRAP available in the market) with the weight of around 15ton.

    Benchmark for armoured fire support vehicle
    – Oshkosh JLTV
    – Tawazun Nimr
    – Armoured VAMTAC

    Benchmark for Condor alternative
    – OMC RG-31
    – Chaiseri First Win (specs, not price)
    – Thales Bushmaster

    Quantity. There is a requirement of 316 rebuild Condors. There is about 200 G-wagons and Vamtacs in use as fire support vehicles. So that would be something that would cost somewhere around usd400-450 million to procure.

  104. Chua – ”What kind of protection level are you thinking of?”

    At minimum; protection against 7.62mm and arty fragments.

    In the early days of the Iraqi invasion a lot of troops drove across country in 4x4s with zero protection; that soon changed. Nowadays, nobody [at least anyone with first hand experience] does it anymore.

    Chua – ”I imagine its even harder getting AA shells on fast movers”

    Proximity fuzes/air burst that a target has to fly through. That’s how it’s done now instead of contact HE fuzes.

    AM – ”The reason being the reach of our road network and urban and estate areas which are more passable to vehicles”

    Another factor is that to control strategic areas such as road hubs and others; one has to venture out of the jungle. Unlike the CPM which stayed in the jungle to avoid detection; a future opponent will have no reason to stay in the jungle as they accomplish zero from doing so. Even in 2013, most of the fighting that took place in the Lahad Dato area was in cleared jungle and a large estate.

    Unlike in the past, the bulk of our units do not receive regular jungle training anymore for the simple reason that times have changed. The only line units that operate regularly in the jungle anymore are those on the Thai and Kalimantan border. Even the Tawau border area [near Ambalat], has been largely cleared of jungle due to logging.

  105. ….. – ”I had the pleasure of operating the starburst simulator years ago.”

    No doubt but Starstreak travels faster and at most the operator only has seconds to keep eyes on target. I never said it was easy, merely that he doesn’t have to do it for long.

    …. – ”Why is my comment on VAMTAC-sized armoured fire support vehicle is not even commented?”

    Maybe because I had no opinion to share.

    …. – ”My comment on soft-skinned fire support vehicle is just a statement on why the army is still using them, and even buying more in the shape of GK-M1’s.”

    No….. It’s because they are relatively cheap; don’t require much outlay and because of the need to support the local industry at the expense of the MAF. That’s why ….

    Also note that being 4x4s, there will be circumstances in which these ”weapons carriers” will have mobility issues. As for ”fire support vehicles” whether wheeled or tracked; a it has to be of a certain size to accommodate the weapon and to have the needed mobility. Too small will lead to issues and too big will lead to issues also. Just like how different armies have different ideas as to how they want a recce/scout vehicle to be [small like a Weasel or BRDM or large like a Boxer] and how they conduct recce/scout missions [to fight for info or to do it without getting in trouble]; an ideal balance also is needed with ”fire support vehicles”. Some armies will argue that a ”fire support vehicle” doesn’t have to be well protected or even protected at all; because it provides fire support then relocates. Others will argue that a ”fire support vehicle” mush be well protected in the event it’s fired upon.

  106. …. – ”There is a reason why not many are using systems like Starstreak and RBS70.”

    Granted but there are also reasons why many armies use beam riders and why some use both beam riders and fire/forget IR guided ones.

  107. @AM “One would think he meant an elastic defence to be played out in estates and urban areas which are the majority of our most important terrain. He said nothing of the jungle”

    Well, can also include jungle, but more likely cleared areas of secondary growth and estates I think, since these are what would surround towns and key roads. Urban combat is also a lot more relevant to us now.

    To me, given that most of our infantry are foot/truckmobile, the support weapon carriers function mainly to transport the weapons and ammo to where they will be dismounted and emplaced.

    @… “something like GDF guns can use programmable fuse to detonate at specified range”
    @Azlan “That’s how it’s done now instead of contact HE fuzes.”

    Proximity fuzes are WW2 technology. I dunno, unless we’re talking about getting fully-automated systems like Skyshield or MANTIS, I’m not so sure about human-operated AA guns.

    @Azlan “At minimum; protection against 7.62mm and arty fragments.”

    Okay that’s not too bad. JLTV?

    @Azlan “Some armies will argue that a ”fire support vehicle” doesn’t have to be well protected or even protected at all; because it provides fire support then relocates. Others will argue that a ”fire support vehicle” mush be well protected in the event it’s fired upon.”

    Which do you think is suitable in our case?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


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