Low Cost Solution for RMN and MMEA

A CGI of the SPIMM module by MBDA/

SHAH ALAM: Low Coat Solution for RMN and MMEA. As we are all aware many of RMN and MMEA vessels lacked proper capabilities against air and even surface threats. Most of the ships are equipped with unguided 40mm, 57mm and even 76 mm guns which are aimed locally, the old spray and pray method. Even the Kedah class, built to the fitted for but not equipped concept, have yet to be fitted with its anti aircraft missile system.

Lack of money and competing claims from other services meant that the lack of protection against airborne threats – from aircraft, missiles, guided bombs and even drones – is expected to continue into the near future. As the current vessels are expected to continue service for the foreseeable future, at the minimum we could armed them with VSHORAD missiles to counter air threats, for lack of anything else. There are a variety of these missiles available from manned to remote launchers. At the current Navdex show in Dubai MBDA is displaying one interesting solution to our predicament.

A CGI of the SPIMM module by MBDA

From MBDA.

At Navdex 2019, MBDA will be presenting the SPIMM (Self-Protection Integrated Mistral Module), an all-in-one air defence module based on the SIMBAD-RC system and designed to equip ships of all types, particularly those without a combat system (such as supply ships).

The SPIMM module consists of a SIMBAD-RC automated naval turret equipped with two ready-to-fire Mistral missiles and a 360° infrared panoramic system to detect and track air and surface threats. The system is entirely controlled by two operators located in a shelter inside the module, which is also used to store four additional missiles. This ISO standard “all-in-one” module, 10 feet long and weighing some 7 tons, can be easily positioned on the deck of a ship using a crane, and requires just a standard electrical connection.

Designed to protect surface vessels against most conventional airborne threats (anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, helicopters and UAVs), the SIMBAD-RC and Mistral demonstrated, at the end of last year, its ability to neutralise asymmetric threats such as Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) by day and by night.

“The SPIMM enables the urgent and rapid adaptation of supply vessels or landing platform docks to cope with new threats, or for using them in contested areas,” says Naval Defence Systems Product Executive Christophe Leduc. “This system illustrates MBDA’s ability to understand its customers’ needs and to quickly come up with effective and functional solutions.”

Another CGI of SPIMM.

Such a system when coupled with other containerised weapon systems could easily make cheap, merchant vessels as potent naval assets. This containerised system could also be moved around the fleet as ships are refitted or even retired.

A closeup view of the SPIMM

Of course, corvettes and frigates are more sexy but these are mostly left in planning rooms and exhibition halls when the politicians and bean counter goes through them.

MBDA has also integrated the twin Mistral launcher on the Leonardo WS30 30mm RWS.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1163 Articles
Shah Alam

54 Comments

  1. We dont use mistral.

    A nice idea all round anyway. Probably aselsan malaysia could do something containerised using the naval LMM launchers. Would be a good addition to the LMS boats.

    https://topwar.ru/uploads/posts/2014-08/1407846986_naval-mount-for-thales-lmm.jpg

    http://www.navyrecognition.com/images/stories/news/2016/july/LMM_Aselsan_launcher_Thales.jpg

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/8Et7v5PaeeaWEKTP1RqBuaqngtoImStBBlbc6BgrzIPh5Bu4SSQjsBX2HoC7V1OAZ-Rtk_dOzK0TOQ

    Reply
    We also don’t have LMM. Since MBDA is promoting the system of course it featured its own missiles. If I am going to wait to run stories on things we do have in our inventory they will be a lot of empty pages….

  2. @ marhalim

    Well LMM is developed from the starstreak, and the missiles is backwards compatible with all our current starstreak launchers.

  3. I think a medium gun – missile platform is a brilliant idea that we shall have had a long time ago. Money is tight so we shall focused on equipping the NGPV first then the LMS. We shall also equipped the NGPV with SSMs during the upgrade, preferably the NSM or the MM40 Exocet Block 3 as to promote commonality.

    As for the LMS, I would have preferred to pass on the Made in China ship to MMEA. The idea of RMN operating a ship from a country we have a maritime dispute on and on the contested area itself is a security leak we do not need. If we want to trade brownie points we shall considered their land combat systems only, not air and sea system. VT4s shall fit nicely into the Army 2nd MBT Battalion requirements while being among the cheapest brand new MBT on the market, as do their various type of MBRLs for another Army requirement for a new rocket regiment. I understand that some may disagree with me by citing the military requirement and the politics angle but it is also my opinion that we also need to adapt to our wallet also. Money is tight and by the look of it, it will stay it is no matter which govt of the day we have. Best bang for our buck, eh?

  4. Is this kind of a system really effective?It might be a deterrent albeit a very last minute one. How if the enemy uses multiple launch from stand off range. Honestly its best that either we have nothing or have something higher than bare minimal. The malay saying “jangan lepas kan batuk di tangan”. Any SAM should be at least 15km range.

    Reply
    The problem we have is the lack money. I am not saying this kind of stuff is a replacement for the real ones but it’s a start

  5. I must add we.have in the bag 6 NGPV and 6 LCS. Isnt this enough. Retire all our FACs our covettes.and FS1500. The savings goes to buying real.weapons for our.NGPV and 6 helis for the LCS. Dont even bother with 15 to 5. With 12 decent boats isnt that enough to protect malaysian waters?. Again i benchmark.vs the Royal Navy. They have 19.major.combatants but they operate all over. We.have no.worldly ambitions.

  6. The cheapest solution is buy standard portable Igla and fire by human. Since most of our old patrol boat still using manual way to operate our guns

    Reply
    Yes it’s cheap but will it work?

  7. @ hazwan

    I am for buying chinese weapons, even ships too. My only gripe with the LMS is it is too poorly armed for the price that we paid for it. Other countries got fully armed OPV from China for that price!

    @ Shahrudin esa

    Just 12 large ships is not enough actually.

    from various studies, IMO 30 large ships would be needed, to enable 10 to be always out on patrol.

    our operating areas are (with ideal number of ships in the bracket)
    1) selat melaka (9)
    2) east coast of peninsular (6)
    3) south china sea off sabah and sarawak (12)
    4) east coast of sabah (ESSCOM) (3)

    IMO 2/3rds of the number should be OPVs of APMM, as any direct actions (against foreign fishing boats for example) would not be seen as a military move.

    Fully arming the Kedah class does not add any value to normal patrols. Money saved IMO better used to buy more Gowinds and Scorpenes.

    as for those mistrals sold as able to take on anti-missile threats, I think it is a bit over the top to think that it is capable to do that.

  8. I don’t see a point because enemy air units have no reason to close to within the Mistral’s effective range. They can perform any missions related to detecting/observing/acquiring/engaging the ship from a greater distance. Mistral is also not a substitute for a CIWS because it cannot engage missiles.

    Something we can do more effectively within our means is to counter the threat from fast, small boats. The Mistral only does this as a secondary capability, and more expensively too.

  9. Other than going for bare minimum, the navy should invest in more sophisticated CIWS options like the 35mm Millennium gun or RIM-116 rolling airframe missiles as these systems can intercept other missiles. Our current msi 30mm chain gun could only fire 200rpm which is inadequate to intercept missiles. Imo if the Kedah class is not fully fitted with SSM and a CIWS or SAM, they are just a waste of tax payers money.

  10. Other than going for bare minimum, the navy should invest in more sophisticated CIWS options like the 35mm Millennium gun or RIM-116 rolling airframe missiles as these systems can intercept other missiles. Our current msi 30mm chain gun could only fire 200rpm which is inadequate to intercept missiles. Imo if the Kedah class is not fully fitted with SSM and a CIWS or SAM, they are just a waste of tax payers money

  11. Luqman Hakim “Other than going for bare minimum, the navy should invest in more sophisticated CIWS options like the 35mm Millennium gun or RIM-116 rolling airframe missiles as these systems can intercept other missiles. ”

    Our Seawolf and soon to arrive Mica are at least something. Of course, when relying solely on short range systems and/or CIWS one must have lower expectations.

    The systems you mentioned still require upgrades and integration work to be done on our ships. Even with nominally stand alone systems like SeaRAM or Phalanx, full potential is realised only with integration.

    “Our current msi 30mm chain gun could only fire 200rpm which is inadequate to intercept missiles. ”

    Of course, it’s also a matter of our current radars not having missile engagement modes and the gun being standalone.

    That said, as hopeless as it is, a ship will fire the autocannon against an incoming missile. This obviously has better chances with a non-maneuvering subsonic missile and with something other than manual sighting and traverse.

    “Imo if the Kedah class is not fully fitted with SSM and a CIWS or SAM, they are just a waste of tax payers money.”

    We need a surface combat force AND a good number of OPV hulls for peacetime patrol duties. To equip every ship with expensive systems would be a greater waste.

  12. When I saw that system I was certain it would appear here. It’s nice but I don’t see a real need for it. I’m not even sure what it could be used to shoot down – a careless helicopter maybe.

    @Luqman Hakim
    @Rocks

    The cost however is expensive. Without looking at installing, certifying, training and operating costs, the cost of upgrading the Kedah-class is at least US$30 million EACH boat ie the cost of 21 RAM missiles and 8 Harpoon missiles, not counting launchers. Add launchers and at least 1 test launch each, and the capital cost is US$35 million easily.

    US$35 million could buy another patrol boat for RMN/MMEA. Or a light patrol helicopter. Or a set of UAVs with some money left over.

    Looking into other areas, 6 x $35m = 6 LIFT TA-50s for the TUDM. Or 18 more MD530G light attack helicopters (where are the ones we bought by the way?).

    Maybe the Army would like around 200 ATGM systems? Or 200 MRAPs for patrolling Esscom?

    Either way, US$ 210m is a lot of money, and I’m not sure the best use is to equip the Kedahs with missiles. Though it would be nice, I agree.

  13. @ chua

    I agree with you that fully arming the kedahs would be nice (i was one that wanted something like that too in the past). But when you look at the bigger picture and consider :

    1. The intended mission of the ships
    2. Survivability of the kedah class even fully armed in future conflicts in south china sea or melaka straits.
    3. Better performance of gowinds and planned buy of more gowinds.

    It is better to leave them as is and pass them to APMM as they are the service that is assigned to manage peacetime security and safety of malaysian waters.

    IMO for the intended peacetime OPV tasks, more Kedah class to be build is a luxury we can do without. The cheaper DAMEN 1800 OPV that APMM is buying would be a better fit for the mission and a lot cheaper and simpler to operate too. We could also look at what india is building for its coast guard.

    This is Indian Coast Guard’s latest OPV, the Vikram class.

    https://www.iastoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OPV-Vikram-iastoppers.jpg

    The vessels are approximately 97 meters long, displace 2,140 tons and have a range of 5,000 nautical miles. They can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots. It is equipped with a helicopter hangar and sailed with a crew of 102 persons.

    Built by Larsen & Toubro, they only cost about USD32 million each! And that is complete with radars and guns. This ship actually only costs half of the LMS68 we are getting!

    Btw looks like there is no way of commenting on the A400M article.

  14. @AM
    @Chua
    @…

    True. If the RMN wish to use the Kedahs as OPV they might as well just handed them over to APNM. The crews from the Kedahs can be trained n transfered to the 2nd batch of Gowinds. The remaining funds for 2nd btach of Kedahs can be used to further upgrade both batchbof Gowinds or buy additional 3 Gowinds or buy more LMS. But if RMN wants a ship that has almost all the capabilities of a gowind but on a corvette sized ship then fully arming the Kedahs either for anti submarine operation or anti ship operation with a CIWS system is the option

    Why am i having trouble submitting the comment. I always get the captcha not ticked message

  15. @AM
    @Chua
    @…

    True. If the RMN wish to use the Kedahs as OPV they might as well just handed them over to APNM. The crews from the Kedahs can be trained n transfered to the 2nd batch of Gowinds. The remaining funds for 2nd btach of Kedahs can be used to further upgrade both batchbof Gowinds or buy additional 3 Gowinds or buy more LMS. But if RMN wants a ship that has almost all the capabilities of a gowind but on a corvette sized ship then fully arming the Kedahs either for anti submarine operation or anti ship operation with a CIWS system is the option

    Why am i having trouble submitting the comment. I always get the captcha not ticked message

  16. I Think it is going to cost more than USD35 million per ship to upgrade the existing kedah class as if i can remember based on 2015/16 Auditor’s general report, some of the electronic modules has not been delivered to some of the kedah class. Even if it requires USd100 million each to upgrade the kedah (remember by now the first two hulls are already atleast 14 years in service), i arithmetically it still 1/3 of the cost of a new gowind but whether it is value for money (in terms of overall capability) it still debatable.

    So in my opinion, i agree RMN should transfer these ships to APMM and concentrate only on the 6 gowinds,2 Lekius, 2 Kasturis (These two classes Lekiu and Kasturi can still be dragged till 2030 with proper maintainenance and refurbishment budget) and 2 TAR submarines. What i believe the navy should concentrate in the next 10 years more are on Anti Submarine Heli of at least 6 (brand new such as Wildcat or 2nd hand such as MH60) and MPSS.

  17. @ kamal

    I am more with the opinion of using the budget for 12 new Kedah class instead to build more subs (maybe 4 more). Leave the mundane patrol stuff to APMM and concentrate on building asymetric deterrance factors. The next 10 years we should try to bring forward additional gowinds and subs. We cannot afford not to be prepared when most major powers (us, china, uk, france, aussie) are mentioning our backyard the south china sea as the next hotspot in the world.

  18. @ hazwan . With helis and uavs why isnt 12 large vessels enough? We are no longer mark 1 eyeball technology. Why is it that the RN and RAN can achieve global patrol with so few ships..

    How many square miles per ships does global navies work at? perhaps some stats would help. I am talking soverign control not using a 300 mil boat catching a 5 mtr fishing boat. If you really want to be on the spot if an LCS needs to go from Kuantan to Labuan at full ahead @25knots to intercept a foreigh coast guard ship with its heli sent ahead….how early can it be….? I think 12 NGOPV ships is the bottom limit but doable in the context of $$$.
    Your option precludes this overiding $$$ or lack of it issue. Its nice to have even i want it BUT.

    I am trying to get people to face reality and make the best out of a bad dream

  19. @Kamal
    Would appreciate if you can dig up that info you recall, good to know.

    Yes ASW helis are something we really need.

    Although the SCS situation is hotting up – even the French are coming in with Charles de Gaulle on its way – I believe our priority is to manage the Esscom and Sulu border and the continued Indon buildup. That is already a big enough problem for us. SCS is already far out of our hands.

    Offtopic; word that our southern neighbours have received more Leo2s.

  20. ASW heli is something we need, but with our tight budget it is difficult to get top of the line ASW helicopters. Doing away with the Kedah Batch 2 will free some of the required budgets.

    As for SCS, we cannot afford to just do nothing. 100% of our oil and gas resources and probably 70% of our fishing resources are from SCS. Of course we have no budget to ramp up our military to match their strength, but what we can do is to have an asymmetric response. Peacetime policing and enforcement of our rights in the SCS EEZ with expanded and strengthened APMM force, with deterrence and wartime response given to submarines and maritime strike fighters.

  21. @ Shahrudin esa

    Sorry but my name is not Hazwan.

    Global navies does not patrol their own seas. Global navies does not have another superpower claiming their EEZ as terratorial seas. Global navies rarely has the same problem of its territory divided into 2 by the sea.

    Just 12 ships will mean only 4 available patrolling at sea (3 to 1 ratio). So 1 in selat melaka, 1 in east coast, 1 in SCS sabah/sarawak and 1 in sulu sea. Is that enough? Right now chinese coast guard ships permanently anchored in our EEZ, that needs a ship to constantly shadow that too. The mission is actually to have a constant presence at the area, not just how quick you can intercept something. So is 12 enough?

    BTW even right now arguably we have 14 big ships (6 kedah, 2 kasturi, 2 lekiu, 2 ex musytari, 2 ex JCG). So is the current situation manageable for us?

  22. @…
    “what we can do is to have an asymmetric response. Peacetime policing and enforcement of our rights in the SCS EEZ with expanded and strengthened APMM force, with deterrence and wartime response given to submarines and maritime strike fighters.”

    Our submarines and fighters are not enough to deter a Chinese incursion.

    Unless we have a major increase in APMM hulls AND are willing to engage in a fishing-boat war with their oversized CG ships, PLUS with backing by allied nations, we are helpless to deter any EEZ incursion.

    Actually the one thing we can do is set up our own coastal AA/AD zones, investing in ASMs and SAMs, plus allying with the one force capable of deterring Chinese aggression – US & NATO.

    But that is unlikely to be a desired option.

    Which leaves us at square one, helpless against China. So, better to focus our efforts on deterring the neighbours, which is already difficult enough to do that we don’t have to dream about swinging dicks with the Chinese.

    Believe me, I wish it wasn’t so as well, but these are the facts, which remain the facts, unpalatable as they are.

  23. @ chua

    That is why i suggest we beef up our APMM. Peacetime chinese coast guard agression in malaysian EEZ will be a bad image for them, and will cause them to back off eventually in a skirmish.

    As i have shown before, if there is an all out war, submarines are very difficult to track, and out of proportion resources from the enemy needed to counter our submarines.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/1982-one-diesel-submarine-took-royal-navy-and-survived-27596

    Attacking fighter jets with supersonic ASMs will have higher survivability and greater kill probability than big frigates in small sea areas like SCS.

    The same thinking is why vietnam bought 6 kilo subs, and now rapidly expanding its coast guard fleet, latest build is a big 4000+ tonne OPV from damen.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DUjf4SwUMAEjRjx.jpg

  24. @… “if there is an all out war”

    And there is not going to be one ever unless we fulfill the other conditions re: allies which I outlined above.

    For one thing, even disregarding the N-word, Chinese ballistic missiles hold the country at ransom, unless we acquire (or borrow) a highly robust ABM system.

    Even disregarding ballistic missiles, we will need a massively larger air force to penetrate a Chinese naval battlegroup. Soviet military planning called for a hundred aircraft to attack a US carrier group. Even assuming the Chinese AA-AMS net is not as capable as a late-80s CVBG, we have nowhere near that number of fighters nor can we ever hope to operate that many.

    Sadly there are some threats we just cannot face alone, much as we desire to.

  25. @ chua

    There would not be a nuclear response to any SCS conflict that would not involve other nuclear powers (us,uk,france).

    And regarding the soviet doctrine…
    There is no advanced AShM, no GPS, no advanced electronics, no UAVs etc etc in soviet times.
    In 1st gulf war, you need a whole squadron to destroy 1 airfield. Now? Probably 1 fighter could destroy 2.

    Also note that the SCS is small, and it limits how a large battlegroup can maneuver. Attacks from multiple directions (remember, we have land on east and west of the SCS) and different times can be attempted by TUDM. Or you can attack by air on one side, forcing the battlegroup to sail into a kill zone of waiting TLDM (or even singaporean and vietnamese) subs.

  26. Any confirmation that the plan to retire the Laksamana class has changed?

    Reply
    No it appears that new chief wants more hulls ASAP

  27. @…
    I said ballistic missile, I didn’t say nuclear missile. They can do a lot of damage with conventional warheads too you know.

    Pray tell which advanced antiship missiles, advanced electronics, UAVs etc which we have that the Soviets did not? And what kind of an edge that will give us against the Chinese?

    And don’t forget to look at the other side and include the advanced missiles, electronics, etc which the Chinese have as well.

  28. @ chua

    China cannot just lob a ballistic missile whether it is nuclear or not into malaysian soil just because there is a conflict in south china sea. That extreme escalation would have instant response from UN and other major world powers. That is not how the world goes round.

    May i remind you soviet union went extinct in 1991, there is no precision weapons (gps guided etc etc) at that time or earlier, that is why soviets think it would need 100s of fighters to stop a naval battlegroup.

    I would also remind you that our defence capability should not (and probably cannot) beat a major power one on one. But we must strive to have a resilient military reply to hold our ground, and force the attacker to the diplomatic negotiation table (in the 80s it would be called to give our enemy a bloody nose). The way to do that is to have asymmetric military response that would cause the attacker to deploy out of proportion responses to counter our military.

  29. @…
    Houthis are lobbing SRBM shots at the Sauds. So far no international action.

    No Soviet precision weapons in 1991? Our Sukhois are using early-90s RVV-AE and early-80s R-73 AAMs. Against ships they would launch Kh-31 “Krypton” ASMs which are late-80s. However it’s a relatively short-range missile, the engagement range is nowhere near the USSR’s bomber-carried supersonic anti-carrier missiles like Kh-22 “Kitchen” and Kh-15 “Kickback” which are older. All these missiles including ours don’t have GPS but they had inertial guidance and terminal active homing.

    Hence, our Sukhois would need to penetrate even deeper into a CVBG’s air defence zone to kill it, whereas the USSR expected to launch from much further off. AND YET they expected to take losses of 50 aircraft minimum. Are we truly that much greater that we can do so much better? Against modern AA-AMS-CIWS networks?

    An asymmetric response isn’t an automatic “give the enemy a bloody nose”. Sure, it can be a force multiplier. But even if it multiplies your force 3x so 1 can fight like 3, it can do nothing against an enemy that is “10”. (As a matter of fact the Malaysian armed forces would be hard-pressed to match a single Soviet conventional division in anything other than raw manpower, and it’s doubtful whether we could actually fight an ISIS/Taliban-level insurgency in our backyard.)

    What we need to do is PICK our fights, focus on what we can do, and let go of what we can’t. If we are not focused in resource allocation, we spread out too little trying to do too much to the point that it’s worthless. The 80-20 principle doesn’t always apply, because in many situations you have to achieve a critical mass in order to create an appreciable effect.

    E.g. 50 combat aircraft is useful against 1 carrier. 49 aircraft is not useful against 0.98 carriers, it’s equivalent to 0.

    Aka Sometimes, a miss really is as good as a mile.

  30. @ chua

    Yes we need to PICK our fights, and we need to pick defending SCS. For that specific fight, no big divisional infantry force to face. It would be mainly naval and air fight, and a full CBG will have very limited space to maneuver in the tight confines of the SCS. And a full on fight has a very slim chance, but daily confrontation between coast guard ships can happen, and that is where we need to rapidly build up our forces (APMM) to counter that scenario.

    BTW you are pushing for malaysia as a country to just give up our seas. Unlike the philippines which is mainly losing their fishing grounds, malaysia is going to lose the majority of our oil and gas incomes.

    I am starting to ponder where actually your allegiance is.

  31. @…
    Yes it would be naval and air fight, where we are weakest.

    “Fishing war” means nothing without big power backing.

    I’m not pushing for Malaysia to give up the seas. I’m pushing for Malaysia to 1) prioritise, 2) spend effectively, and 3) swallow our misplaced pride.

    In the context of defence, that means first prioritising seaborne border incursions, then EEZ policing; secondly buying the right items to support this mission at the right price regardless of crony manufacturers’ income statements, and thirdly forming effective alliances to deal with threats that we cannot hope to face.

    This third point in particular is something the vast majority of Malaysian defence enthusiasts don’t seem to have the intellectual honesty to accept. We do not have the capacity to go it alone, period. Either seek help, or die.

    Don’t question MY allegiance sir, rather question the allegiance of people who prioritise lining their pockets over the defence of the country.

  32. @ Chua

    ” In the context of defence, that means first prioritising seaborne border incursions, then EEZ policing; secondly buying the right items to support this mission at the right price regardless of crony manufacturers’ income statements, and thirdly forming effective alliances to deal with threats that we cannot hope to face ”

    1) prioritise
    To protect our sea borders and to ensure the safety of our EEZ, for the next 10 years IMO the priority is to beef up the APMM. Next is to make sure TUDM can effectively support that effort. Right now MPA and ISR asset is lacking in TUDM. 3rdly is for TLDM to pass patrolling duties to APMM and create a leaner but more prepared force for any possible escalation in SCS. This does not mean we need to spend more, but with less peacetime duties, TLDM could better prepare for the day no one hopes it would come. IMO this is better done with more subsea assets.

    2) spend effectively
    IMO there is no need to buy USD300 million Meko OPV when something like APMM USD56 million Damen 1800 OPV or even the Indian Coast Guard USD32 million Vikram-class OPV can do the same mission and tasks?
    https://www.iastoppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OPV-Vikram-iastoppers.jpg
    You could effectively get 9 Vikram-class OPV for the price of 1 Kedah Class!
    To secure SCS we need:
    – more large OPVs with APMM
    – more MPA aircrafts
    – more coastal surveillance and patrols to ensure border incursions to be kept at a minimum.

    3) swallow our misplaced pride.
    This is actually the hardest. even within ASEAN we have more differences than common agendas. In the context of SCS, IMO we should collaborate more with Vietnam as we have many similar agendas on the SCS. More collaborations with Vietnam government could reduce the current high number of illegal vietnamese fishing vessels in our EEZ, while putting a common front to push back chinese plan to dominate the SCS. With other countries? We should leverage UKs need to engage with its commonwealth post Brexit, and their plans to be more proactive in the Pacific.

  33. @..
    I suggest the primary focus should be on securing the East against incursions from the Philippines.

    Re: SCS the realistic best we can do is monitor Chinese ships and raise an almighty stink about it in international courts but god knows what that will achieve.

    UK has more in common with Singapore and an established naval presence there, plus a very significant army presence in Brunei. Given the very different stances they and we have on hot international political issues, not to mention our usual selfish non-committal approach, I see little incentive for them to engage with us.

    Reply
    UK wants to work with us on defence, but we seems to be hesitant to do that. On other matters we are fine, the government recently signed MOU with UK on health, others are coming up soon. But not on defence which is weird considering FPDA

  34. “I’m pushing for Malaysia to 1) prioritise, 2) spend effectively, and 3) swallow our misplaced pride. ” – “thirdly forming effective alliances to deal with threats that we cannot hope to face.” – “We do not have the capacity to go it alone, period. Either seek help, or die.”

    “This is actually the hardest. even within ASEAN we have more differences than common agendas.”

    We need a common front with 1) those ASEAN countries facing SCS encroachment -and move ahead regardless of what the sellouts in Cambodia, Laos and Burma would prefer we do 2) Singapore -whose interests coincide with ours on the SCS- and 3) non-ASEAN powers, especially the US, UK and Australia.

    Recognising that we are not under conventional threat from our ASEAN neighbours, I suggest we aim for a reasonable sufficiency in our ability to meet such a threat. This can be in the form of the defence in depth strategy we currently utilize. We would do well to save money and avoid stick measuring contests like we had with Singapore and Indonesia (which we cannot hope to win anyway). If it’s not too much to ask, we could also avoid alienating our neighbours and certain races among us by blaming them for all our ills.

    We can then move ahead with, as Chua put it, “prioritising seaborne border incursions, then EEZ policing” by prioritising the decent equipping of our air and sea services to police their domains. I do not believe things like having a full armoured division should have priority over this.

    We should only pursue higher end capabilities as second order objectives, and then still prioritising the air and sea services.

    “This third point in particular is something the vast majority of Malaysian defence enthusiasts don’t seem to have the intellectual honesty to accept.”

    A more serious concern is some Malaysians don’t have the honesty to figure out where they loyalty ought to lie in this fight. We must accept some blame for not always having treated them as full quals, but given such types exist in Singapore too, I do not believe this accounts for all of it.

  35. Regarding the problem of illegal vietnamese fishermen. Looks like Vietnam’s Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department is acknowledging that it is a problem and they are trying to educate vienamese fishermen about the boundries of other countries EEZ and actively preventing vietnamese fishermen from entering them. Malaysia and APMM especially needs to collaborate more with Vietnam’s Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department and Vietnam Coast Guard to reduce the problem of illegal vietnamese fishing.

    https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/malaysia-seizes-two-vietnamese-boats-for-illegal-fishing-3889219.html

  36. @ AM

    agree with most of the things you said.

    “I do not believe things like having a full armoured division should have priority over this”

    Of course, as is a dozen or less MRCAs. One of the things why I am not in the opinion that we need to get new MBTs to replace the PT-91Ms. IMO the pendekar is just in the sweet spot between medium mbts that in rage right now, and heavier mbts like Leo2. And this priority to SCS does not actually need lots of extra budgets, just a good sense of priority, and this should be to APMM.

    “A more serious concern is some Malaysians don’t have the honesty to figure out where they loyalty ought to lie in this fight”
    Well of course there will be those who have questionable loyalty to the country. But what ars we doing to instill patriotism among the rakyat? How many of the rakyat, in remote islands or villages in the jungle has been visited by the agong or their state sultans? Why can the british royal family visit rural kenya and fiji when our agong havent even been to pulau banggi? Patriotism and respect does not come by itself. But what i worry the most is, how many especially in our government that is actually an enabler and sympathiser for the chinese government?

  37. “Well of course there will be those who have questionable loyalty to the country. But what are we doing to instill patriotism among the rakyat?”

    Symbolic gestures are good, but people have become cynical of them as mere lip service. A case in point was how “1Malaysia” became a hollow slogan after GE13.

    People are angry with institutional discrimination that affects their finances, their education their careers and in any other facets of life. I say if we cannot get rid of this inequality entirely, we can at least stop adding insult to injury. People will notice if we stop saying certain races are undeserving or certain parties are disloyal, our neighbours will notice if we stop as externalising our politics by demonizing them too. We as individuals have our parts to play as well. I notice that local Singaporeans have become more racially united and less insensitive after years of increased immigration. Maybe the Singaporean approach of using the law against incendiaries will work for us.

    We have to be discerning. Some people, among the older generation, are stubborn and will never change their loyalties for the better. Such people will always exist, as evidenced by their presence in Singapore. But we would be foolish to alienate the rest, particularly the younger generation, rather than try and prevent them from being turned off as well.

    PLKN was instituted to promote racial unity. I can’t say how well it has worked, whether it should be made universal or anything.

    As for careers in the armed forces, I day say the admin policies, the pay, the living conditions, the budget levels which have a direct effect on morale, make the idea very unattractive.

    Lets see what we do with an outreach opportunity like an open house. How many times has one been announced 3 days in advance, had its own schedule screwed with, had everything revolve around (and still be delayed by) a VIP!

  38. @Marhalim “But not on defence which is weird considering FPDA”

    FPDA is old news. Potential allies would look at our current situation. We are a Muslim country struggling with extremist subfactions, known to be a meeting-ground for terrorists, even if we catch them we “rehabilitate” rather than extradite; we stand with Indon and provoke Singapore; we support China’s 1B1R and say nothing about them planting ships on the James Shoals; we refuse to quid pro quo on alliances but beg for excess articles and super-cheap contracts; then turn around and throw a hissy-fit about Israeli athletes…

    Little wonder then that the US, British, even French would rather publicise their port calls at Changi instead of Klang. Do we look half like a reliable partner for the fight for SCS? Haha, no.

    @AM “We need a common front with those ASEAN countries facing SCS encroachment”

    See above.

    “A more serious concern is some Malaysians don’t have the honesty to figure out where they loyalty ought to lie in this fight. We must accept some blame for not always having treated them as full quals, but given such types exist in Singapore too, I do not believe this accounts for all of it”

    Singapore treats its “2nd-class” citizens better than we treat ours. That’s the sad fact.

    “People are angry with institutional discrimination that affects their finances, their education their careers and in any other facets of life.”

    And this extends to the military. I know officers who hit the glass ceiling and were bluntly told they cannot be promoted over other races, but were asked to stay in the ATM and in fact assist their promoted former peers because their services and skills were critical. Of course they left.

    It’s like being shit on and then being asked to provide food, so that they can be shit on some more… and then being told to be grateful for the privilege. And loyal.

    Well you can treat helpless citizens like that if you like, but if that’s how we’re treating our nominal “allies” in the West, don’t need to wonder why they are also holding us at arm’s length.

    “I dare say the admin policies, the pay, the living conditions, the budget levels which have a direct effect on morale, make the idea very unattractive.”

    There were many more who joined when pay and benefits were better.

    @…

    You raise a very good point which affects the whole nation, not just defence talk. However it’s one that I am not going to repeat personally at risk of offending powerful people. I think you know what I mean.

    Reply
    It’s not like the foreign countries don’t want to work with us, it is we are pushing them to a distance. UK because of the historical ties wants to become closer but we want nothing of it, which in itself put Australia on the defensive scrambling to ensure that the ties did not deteriorate further. We have been getting closer to the US after the first Mahathir premiership and it appears we are returning to that era again. As for the French, they have a French navy guy at KK, the only other foreign navy with an embedded representative here apart from the RAN.

  39. Singapore treats its “2nd-class” citizens better than we treat ours. That’s the sad fact.

    Wow.

    Malaysian military has promoted chinese, indians, and other races far more times than singapore. We had an indian for our 1st navy chief. We had chinese generals. We had chinese, indian, eurasian, thai pilots. A malay can’t even be a lowly pilot in singaporean air force. Think about it.

    Reply
    I met a Malay LT who was a pilot flying F5 with RSAF at Singapore Airshow 2016.

  40. @…
    A simple search could have told you you’re wrong in seconds.

    F-5, F-16, F-15SG “even”. And yes there is at least one general rank officer as well.

    SAF have previously said it is more a problem of education as the Malay community lacked the higher education necessary to advance to higher officer ranks and operate high tech vehicles.

    But Singapore has long had a program to tackle the matter, giving significant university subsidies and scholarships to poor Malay students who qualify. With the beneficial results as above.

    Whereas in Malaysia we closed public universities to our minorities, forcing them to pay for expensive private universities or go without, and then wonder why there is resentment.

    There is more, lots more, more that everyone already talks about all over Msia, so I won’t go further into it.

    Suffice to say that race issues is one item. Another is religion – I can tell you the nons in ATM did feel something when Kor Agama was formed and enacted controversial policies – and as I have mentioned previously, pay, perks and benefits.

    Reply
    Yes there was a practice in the early 80s to late 2000 that made it impossible for non Malays to go higher than the colonel rank. Those that were promoted had to convert. I know of one Brigadier who did just that and reverted once he retired. But this ended once Pak Lah took over . That’s why the Army has Maj. Gen. Toh as 1 Div. GOC. As for others it must be said that one has to join the right unit for a chance to go up even for the Malays, one cannot be PTD unless he join the RMR out of his officer basic training, a fighter pilot for RMAF and a ship’s CO for RMN

  41. @ chua

    Sorry my google-fu failed me to search for those pilots. So far there is only 1 instance of a malay raising to general rank in singaporean army. Even then malays are frequently looked upon suspiciously in the armed forces.

    As for our army? When I was in school I even had a chinese teacher who was an ex-commando, he only quit due to parachute training injuries that relegated him to desk duties.

    Our public universities closed to minorities? That is strange as I studied in one, and about 40% of my class are non malays. Only UiTM is allocated to bumiputras, all others are open to non-malays.

    Okay lets concentrate on defence from now on shall we.

  42. @ marhalim

    I am hoping to see a PTD from other units, probably from Armor or Artileri, or a PTU from rotary wings or transport. A PTL with a ship CO experience is a given, but lets see if there will be one from sub force in the future.

    Reply
    They had a PTU who was a rotary pilot before. If the RMAF succession continues as what is being whispered about, the next deputy should be a transport pilot. The RMN Eastern Command CO trained as a submariner and he was in the Scorpene project team, he could be in the running for the deputy soon. Unfortunately only RMR officers are in the pipeline to become PTD for the next five years or so

  43. “We had chinese generals. A malay can’t even be a lowly pilot in singaporean air force.”

    The glass ceiling for Malays in the SAF used to be very severe, during the LKY and GCT days. The way to sum it up is, there used to be no Malays in high or sensitive positions, or serving in sensitive units even at low ranks. In the early days of NS, Malays were simply not required to serve. Later, they predominantly served in the police force and civil defence.

    Things have changed somewhat. Today, there are Malays in some high positions (senior officers, the first Malay general appeared some years back) and there are pilots, but there are no Malays yet in sensitive positions or at any level serving in sensitive units. Sensitive units refer to those in one or more general categories such as those in very critical functions such as those in Signals or those on watch at ADOC (these includes some secret units), those which can give one an overview of the SAF’s orbat and readiness posture (such as general staff or ammunition depots) and those handling the newest technology (various air force units). Many more Malays enter the SAF in NS than in the past.

    In general, Malays are simply not posted to such units but outside of them, the SAF is colour blind and anyone can advance as their ability takes them. I should also point out that this policy is the product of the civilian leadership, not the military.

    “We had an indian for our 1st navy chief. ”

    I would not draw a comparison this way and conclude that a minority soldier can go further in Malaysia. Most Chinese in Singapore, however capable, would never be eligible for service chief and senior posts. For the reason that these posts depend not only personal ability but also the political reliability, exposure and history of one and one’s family.

    In conclusion, I have to admit that Singapore treats its minority better. Despite some restrictions there is no shortage of avenues for advancement for Malays in the SAF. Things are changing for the better, with positions opening up. I do not think this is tokenism, but that leadership recognises the importance of engaging the commitment of the Malays whereas it was not done before, and building unity through the two years of NS by providing opportunity for all to mix with races other than one’s own.

    I also have to admit that in Malaysia, things have been moving in the opposite direction. Chua’s description of things is a common complaint, not only from the Chinese but from non-Malay bumi as well. Our retired servicemen write publicly of them- there are “A dream of Malaysian unity” by a Chinese Wataniah officer, an East Malaysian enlisted seaman’s blog (which I am trying to locate- this guy was so sick of the service that he turned down an offer of commission) and some others. These practices built up in the years since independence, in parallel with those in civilian society, resulting in fewer minorities joining the MAF now than in the past. It’s not hard to conclude that our country has been slower to recognise the desirability and necessity of the colour blind ideal, and we will be paying the price.

  44. @ am

    “but there are no Malays yet in sensitive positions or at any level serving in sensitive units. In general, Malays are simply not posted to such units but outside of them”

    So when SAF does it is good treatment of minorities, but when malaysian armed force does the same it is discriminatory? We have chinese and indians in risik, commandos, and police SB. We have chinese and indian fighter squadron leaders and ship COs. You talk about complaints from malaysian chinese, have you read about the treatment of malays in SAF? They are treated as if they are the enemy. Does the chinese in the malaysian military treated like an enemy?

    Yes what happened in the 80s and 90s pushed non-malays away from MAF, but recently in the past few years they have been trying to put that right, and started actively doing specific recruiting drive for chinese, indian and east malaysia bumiputras. And of course some political faction will use this as a political milage, which i find it disgusting. IMO any effort to attract minorities to join the MAF should be lauded, not alienated.

  45. I will keep this confined to defence-related issues.

    In case anyone is interested and has bad google-fu, Captain Muhammad Iskandar drives F-15SGs.

    @AM
    “In the early days of NS, Malays were simply not required to serve. Later, they predominantly served in the police force and civil defence.”

    Naturally, since the Malay battalions stationed in Singapore mutinied during the breakup of Malaysia.

    In later years when things were not so sensitive, the army had already mechanised heavily and education was a problem. I understand we (and other armies including NATO ones) have similar issues with officer ranks and technical trades as well, because ATM tends not to attract very brilliant and capable people as a career choice. Submarines in particular are extremely demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.

  46. After googleing the name, tried to track down other malay pilots, came out to just 4, the 1st one in 1992, a super puma pilot, an F-16 pilot, and the F-15SG pilot, who was formerly driving the F-5 tiger.

    Anyhow, if you feel malaysia did worse than singapore, you are entitled to your opinion, and i respect that. But it does not change the fact that there is much more minorities in high ranking positions in MAF compared to SAF.

    Reply
    The F5E driver now flies the Strike Eagles, nice

  47. @…
    I don’t know how many more Malay pilots there are in RSAF, however 4 is more than 0 as previously thought.

    You might have found the article where 1 of them talks about the education barrier to training more Malay pilots.

    I apologise if you or anyone else take personal offence at my words. No personal slight is intended.

  48. “have you read about the treatment of malays in SAF? They are treated as if they are the enemy.”

    It isn’t true at all. I’ve met many officers both regular and NSFs (who command Chinese troops). One has to volunteer to be an NSF officer and be highly motivated to graduate as one, which I think few would do if they were treated as the enemy.

    “So when SAF does it is good treatment of minorities, but when malaysian armed force does the same it is discriminatory?”

    It is not good at all, and I never said so. What I said was that it is less bad than what we are doing and things are moving in the right direction. I don’t know if things are improving here, but I would like to take your word for it.

    “We have chinese and indians in risik, commandos, and police SB.“

    Actually I haven’t seen any non-Malay members of any service’s SOF.

    Chua “Naturally, since the Malay battalions stationed in Singapore mutinied during the breakup of Malaysia.”

    Which incident are you referring to- the Holland Road Camp episode involving 5RMR and 2SIR? It wasn’t a mutiny because the chain of command was never compromised, the incident was caused by differences at the civilian level. There was also no racial element here.

  49. @ chua

    No offence taken…

    Yes the 0 is what I (emphasis on I) thought, which is obviously wrong and now i know there is at least 4. But that does not change the fact that there has been probably more than 50 Chinese pilots serving TUDM, and many more Indian, Sabahan, Sarawakian and even Thai pilots.

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