LMG, Sniper Rifles, Mortars and LAW

10th Para Brigade Pathfinders company leading the parade at the 2019 Merdeka Parade. Note the two soldiers carrying the FN Minimis.

SHAH ALAM: LMG, Sniper rifles, mortars and LAW. On the same day, the Defence Minister said that STRIDE was developing 12.7mm sniper rifles and 120mm mortar, the Army published tenders for mortars, light machine guns (LMG), sniper rifles (12.7mm and 7.62mm) and light anti tank weapons.

The mortars according to the specifications:

There is a requirement to equip infantry 81 mm Mortar Platoon with 81 mm Mortar System. It shall be employed to neutralize or destroy area or point targets screen large areas with smoke, and provide illumination for night operations. The Infantry 81 mm motar Platoon’s mission is to provide close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver companies or battalion, in any phase of battle and type of terrain. The 81 mm Mortar System shall automate the entire 81 mm Platoon fire mission process which consist of Mobile Fire Controller (MFC), Mortar Command Post (MCP), Mortar Section and also coordinating fire with the artillery through Mortar Fire Control System (MFCS). To increase its mobility in operation, the 81 mm Mortar Platoon shall be equipped with Mortar Transporter

Denel 81mm mortar system. Denel

Based on the specifications, apart from the mortar and its fire control system -72 units – the bidder must also include a mortar transporter or vehicle. As it is I am assuming that the vehicle is used to transport the mortar to the field, where it is dismounted for a firing position. As the bidder must supply the mortar and its accessories with a vehicle, the company which can work or already a subsidiary of a company bidding for the weapons vehicle or one-tonne cargo vehicles will be in an advantage for this tender.

10th Para Brigade Pathfinders company leading the parade at the 2019 Merdeka Parade. Note the two soldiers carrying the FN Minimis.

The LMG

There is requirement to equipped infantry section with 5.56 mm LMG that provides immediate and continuous fire support in offensive and defensive phase. The size, weight and sustainability in provide fire support justify it suitability to remain as a section support weapon. It shall be operated by single operator in all types of operation”.

The number being sought is 240 units. The FN Minimi is the standard LMG operated by the Army so it will start as the favourite, of course. Cheaper variants from South Korea and Indonesia could be selected instead, if offered of course.

Soldiers carrying RPG during the 2018 Merdeka Parade. PDRM picture

LAW-RPG
In a previous post, I wrote that the Army will recapitalise its Carl Gustav recoilless rifle stock. However, the wording on the advertisement – the header stated Light Anti Tank Weapon – Rocket Propelled Grenade is really ambiguous, so I am not sure that the tender is to get new CGs. There is a more detailed specifications available though I don’t have access to that. Anyhow, the units being sought is 150.

There is requirement for light anti-tank grenade launcher as section anti-tank weapon to counter enemy armour threats in offensive and defensive phases of war. Currently there are six anti-armour weapons held by Anti-Armour Platoon and it is insufficient and leaves gaps in the anti-armour capabilities especially at the section level. Light anti-tank grenade launcher shall provide layer of anti-armour. It also has significant importance during Operation in Built Up Area (OBUA) and Small Unit Operation (SUO)

It may well be that the Army is looking to buy more RPGs or M72 LAWs.

A sniper team from 4th Mech. Brigade equipped with a scrambler motorcycle.

Sniper Rifles

The number of sniper rifles being sought is 40 for 12.7mm and 28 for 7.62mm rifles.

Specifications for 7.62mm rifle

The employment of snipers is generally an extension of normal military operations where they can be employed both, through conventional and unconventional means. With the large and wide frontage faced by ground commanders, the employment of snipers has proven their worth to fill up the gaps to dominate and carry out offensive tasks. The mere presence of a sniper in the area instils fear in the enemy. It influences the enemy’s decision and actions thereby assisting the ground commanders to maintain their offensive posture. In counter terrorist operations like releasing of hostages which usually takes place in urban areas where civilian lives are involved, the employment of snipers to eliminate terrorist is one of the options available. As such the first shot hit probability cannot be compromised.

The last line likely indicates that the Army wants a bolt action rifle which generally regarded to have better accuracy than semi-automatic sniper rifle. Anyhow most armies do field bolt action rifle for the sniper role with semi auto rifles for the designated marksman rifle like the currently fielded Colt CM901 rifles.

An Army sniper with his weapons, an M4A1 and Accuracy International sniper rifle.

As for the 12.7mm rifles Or .50 BMG

There is a requirement to equip the Infantry Sniper with a long-range precision semi-automatic Sniper Rifle that is designed for use against strategic military equipment (materiel) such as radar, missiles platform, logistics dumps, parked air craft and Command and Control vehicle in the range not less than 1800 m with aimed fires. The rifle shall also be used in the long-range anti personal role from stand-off range or when targets are behind the cover. It shall be able to engage multiple and opportunity targets in quick succession.

For 7.62mm rifles, the Army are mostly equipped with various versions of the Accuracy International sniper rifles while for the 12.7mm it is mostly the Barrets of various models.

GGK personnel displaying their weapons. The nearest is the Barret M95 12.7mm anti material rifle.

— Malaysian Defence

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13 Comments

  1. in the picture of 10th Para Brigade Pathfinders company, do note that the M203 is attached to a M4, not a M16A1.

    Reply
    Yes they also have the 203s on the A1, as well as the GGK and other units of course as does the M4 with the 203s

  2. It will be interesting to see which system is picked. The fancy one offered by Kembara Suci or something rather basic like the Thales Scorpion bolted on the back of a 1 ton truck!

    Reply
    The Thales Scorpion is a complete system complete with remote firing capability though manually loaded. The Denel mortar system I used in the post is the simple one.

  3. So?! we might expect our TUDM bring in MANPADS or anti-aircraft guns for the first time.

    By the way, is our Nexter LG1 Mk.III still on?

    Reply
    Wait for it

  4. These mortars are almost certainly intended to replace the Yugoslav ones bought in the 1970’s (deployed on KIFVs in Bosnia) and to supplement the Expals and ones from Denel.

  5. I “fancy” something we can buy in numbers (to add to the initial batch); something we can also maintain without grief (in complexity. availability of spares and cost) and something that actually suits the army’s requirements; not something that is imposed on the army to benefit a local company.. Also, hopefully we don’t end up buying a completely different system/platform in a few years time.

    I know, I’m asking a wee bit too much.

  6. Objectively speaking, i would like that the army to stop using the fn minimi or its identical counterparts.

    We should use a lmg with
    – less weight to reduce gunner fatigue and more ammo can be carried
    – less sustained firing rate to reduce recoil and shaking which increases accuracy, controllability and weapon service life
    – less sustained firing rate also translate to more ammo can be use efficiently instead of spraying all around hoping to hit something

    For example, the singaporean ultimax 100 or US kac lmg.

    Just my sekupang.

  7. Interesting. The minimi is heavy?. Then you all have not carried the Bren LMG that has been adapted to gire the 7.62 mm round. Thats heavy. The minimi uses 5.56mm bullets while the Bren fires 7.62mm. The Bren is really a beast to carry. But its the most accurate LMG even up to this time. Can be used as a rifle too. Rate of fire is not from mechanical action but teaching the doldier to squeeze out 2 to 3 max 4 rounds per shot

  8. nihd-“of spraying all around hoping to hit something”

    They don’t do that. They fire bursts (they actually count) to conserve ammo and prevent the barrel from overheating. It also helps a lot if optics are fitted.

    nihd – “ultimax 100 “

    The few former SAF mean I asked gave nothing good to say about the Ultimax. Whether it was personal preference or not is something I didn’t pursue.

  9. Lee – “Can be used as a rifle too”

    Carlos Hatcock used a 12.7mm HMG for a single round long range shot.

  10. For the LMG, I suggest we should go with 7.62mm FN MINIMI Mk3 so the ammo can be shared with FN MAG rather than 5.56mm FN Minimi

  11. The question is do we need a 7.62mm chambered gun as a LMG and is it suited for the role?

    One disadvantage of 7.62mm is that it’s slightly larger and heavier than 5.56mm and less rounds can be carried. Unlike a GPMG a LMG is operated by people who are mostly of foot.

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