SHAH ALAM: AS I was scouring my directories for sources to find out which yard got the MMEA/APMM NGPC tender, I was informed not to be bothered as the project will be re-tendered.
Unfortunately, the people who told me the latest development on the NGPC were unable to give the reason for the re-tender.
There are various reasons for a re-tender exercise – the winning bidder did not comply with the official requirement etc or simply the MMEA was ordered to do so by their higher ups after a peeved competitor complained.
Unfortunately as I am not in good books of MMEA (following my report on the grounding of the Bombardiers – that said soon after the report came out MMEA got the funds to fly the amphibians!) we will not get any official information on the re-tender exercise. Personally I preferred the NGPC project is re-tendered for technical reasons and not due to the antics of a jealous competitor.
However the exercise may well delay the NGPC date of entry into service by at least six months. The re-tender also means that the usual suspect, BNS and the others are back in the hunt then.
Anyhow, apart from the NGPC, APMM among other things is looking to re-stock their small arms inventory. Apart from the GPMGs, they also want to buy some HK416 A5 assault rifles, HK UMP sub machine guns and CZ SP 01 semi-automatic pistols.
I am told the numbers are small but its instructive that as the quotation document specifically stated the type and make of the firearm, it disqualified other makes at the starting gate. It is maybe unfair to other dealers but by stating the make and model of the small arms in the official document, MMEA officials probably wanted to ensure that they will get what they wanted in the first place.
I am not sure whether they will succeed with the 416s though, as the government had stated that its partially owned SMEO will supply the assault rifles – the M4s – to all agencies, no matter whom. As even the Paskal has to make do with the M4s – with accessories of course – I do not think MMEA can get away with buying the 416s. That said stranger things had happen before so we have to wait and see.
The 416s and UMPs are likely slated for MMEA special forces unit – STAR – which is also looking to add to its ACU digital grey camouflage uniform. Unfortunately, instead of moving to the combat shirt, they have settled for the coat version of the ACU!
The STAR current small arms inventory include the SG 553s, UMPs, Sig Sauer P226s and Glock 19s while regular MMEA personnel are primarily arm with M16s and Glock 19s. The CZ pistols I am told is for the MMEA’s IPSC team.
As for the GPMG, the quotation document did not specify any make which gives the impression that the MMEA is looking for another weapon than the in-service Denel SS-77. Perhaps another chance for the FN Minimi/MAG or HK MG5 this time around.
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