Mobility Programme of the Army

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

SHAH ALAM: Mobility programme. It appears that the Army is embarking on a mobility programme that could be the start of recapitalisation of its vehicles fleet and perhaps even of its whole asset including weapons. As the Army has been shy to share its modernisation plans unlike the RMN and RMAF (not detailed) I am guessing that we will get them by drips, if we even get them.

As for the Mobility programme, I have nothing more on it apart from the advertisements on the Defence Ministry etender page. As usual as I do not have access to the tender documents, I am not purview to numbers or exact requirements of the vehicles being sought.

Army
The advertisement for the Mobility II programme.

The first two advertisements – dated 27 Aug. 2019 and closing on 15 September – are for weapon equipped vehicles – one for Anti Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW) and the other for automatic grenade launcher. They are seeking 24 4X4 vehicles that could be fitted with the ATGW, AGL, HMG and also the 106mm recoiless rifle, for the 10th Para Brigade.

Metis-M ATGM on the way at the 2017 Firepower exercise.

The other two are for motorcycles (10) and scramblers (186, the first one for the military police and the other is for scramblers, used by various units.

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

Interestingly the four advertisements stated that the vehicles are intended for the Mobility II programme while another tender for 40 1-ton Fitted For Radio (FFR) advertisement – dated 22 Aug and closing on Sept. 15 – stated that it was for the Mobility III programme.For details of the Mobility Programme Phases go here.

The latest Army signals vehicle is the GK-M1 from Weststar. RSD picture

Anyhow back in the 1990s, some of the infantry battalions were equipped with G-wagons equipped with ATGW (Metis M) , 12.7mm machineguns and AGL. In the last few years, the Army also bought a number of vehicles equipped with weapons – Uro Vamtac (10th Para) and the Weststar GK-M1 weapons carrier.

A G-Wagon fitted with an AGL during the exhibition held at Port Dickson for the 2018 Army Day.

As for the FFR, previously, the Army used the Land Rovers which are now being replaced by the GK-M1. Again I am not sure whether this means that the Army are standardising to the GK-M1 vehicles but due to the government new open tender policy they have to open it to the others as well.

A GK-M1 weapon vehicle, equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun. BTDM

Hopefully I will get more clarity in the near future.

* updated with number of vehicles sought.

–Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

14 Comments

  1. Tenders must be open, but modernization plans are not open. How?

    If they want to standardize on something, they could do a contract with Indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity clause.

    https://www.gsa.gov/buying-selling/new-to-gsa-acquisitions/how-to-sell-to-the-government/indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity-contracts

    The kenderaan pembawa senjata should be those to replace the G-wagens that carries the ATGM and AGL, which is mostly in the 7th Brigade. This looks like just a normal replacement programme for worn equipments, not a capability upgrade or such.

    If the 7th Brigade (which is tasked to defend the south of our peninsular) to be transformed into a motorized (MRAP) formation, I would prefer for the kenderaan pembawa senjata to be J-LTVs. with each battalion formation of

    48+6 MRAP
    6 MRAP command
    2 MRAP ambulance
    4 MRAP maintenance
    4 MRAP logistic
    28 J-LTV (6 HWC, 6 ATGM, 12 GP, 4 ambulance)

    total of 70 MRAPs plus 28 J-LTV per battalion (3 battalions in 7th Brigade)

  2. Eh not exactly. Some of the Land rovers are being replaced by Isuzu DMAX

    Reply
    Not the Land Rover FFR but the general purpose Land Rovers

  3. Off topic but while we are on the army.
    I have wanted to ask this…how significant is the recent purchase of MBT LAW from SAAB. Does it indicate that the army’s scenahrio for any future conflict will be urban or semi urban? Any comments?

    Reply
    I have been told its not significant

  4. @Tom Tom
    No one would be interested on us buying more LAWs. They would be concerned if we were to buy significant numbers of AT-4 CS.

  5. First of, I didn’t mean to disrespect our men and women in the service, I appreciate them all but I have this peculiar thing for aesthetic. I’m specifically talking about the last picture where it seemed like the vest and helmet is too big for their size. Really wish we have incorporate the tactical helmet all across the division or if we really have to go full size helmet, pick something that is fit to size. I also know the fact that we lack funds for these sort of stuff as well, so I kind of get it. I just want them to look good and proficient in the photos as it can instill confidence within themselves and to those who are looking. Image is important too specially in this day and age. I apologize in advance for speaking my mind.

  6. joe – “They would be concerned if we were to buy significant numbers of AT-4 CS”

    I would be interested to find out how that’s so.

  7. Tom Tom – “Does it indicate that the army’s scenahrio for any future conflict will be urban or semi urban”

    Depending on the circumstances; if it’s again a non state threat like in 2013 then it will be in a jungle or semi jungle environment. If ii’s a land border clash with Indonesia over Ambalat then it will be in a jungle environment but the nature of the conflict will be unlike the Emergency or the Confrontation.

    If it’s in Peninsular Malaysia and its from down south then it will be in urban and semi urban areas; places of strategic importance in which either side will have to hold or control and places linked by a modern road network.

    The purchase of MBT LAW (which is effective in urban, semi urban or non urban scenarios) is merely an indication that we’ve taken another step to improve our AT capabilities; it doesn’t necessarily indicate whether the “army’s scenahrio for any future conflict will be urban or semi urban” ……

    If we consider there’s less and less jungle and that areas of strategic importance are in urban areas which are conducive for the employment of armoured/mechanised formations; obviously a state oh state conflict will be in urban areas; unlike the Emergency and Confrontation. The fact that the army is increasingly becoming mobile and mechanised is telling.

  8. Out of topic. Any news on our new frigate. The Philippines are about to launch their 2nd frigate next month.

  9. @t(-_- t)
    “vest and helmet is too big for their size.”
    One size fits all unfortunately. In the majority of troopers, it should likely fit well but TDM can’t do a Fredrick and only select men of standard sizes as soldiers.

  10. @Azlan
    AT-4 has a bigger warhead than LAW, making it more a effective weapon. While a single hit wouldn’t have penetrate MBT armour, multiple hit certainly would have a higher chance. Which is why I mentioned ‘significant numbers’.

    And the CS variant meant we are prepared to fire from tight or enclosed spaces if required. In the context of jungle or semi-urban, the user can launch from a hidden foxhole or inside thick vegetation. In the context of urban, anywhere within a building, around a corner, popping up from sewers, or top attack from tall buildings. Engage a kill zone with concentrated anti-armour tactics or guerrilla warfare shoot & scoot tactics. Standard ATW doesn’t give that kind of flexibility but the CS variant can.

  11. When it comes to AT weapons, what has a bigger warhead doesn’t necessarily “make it a more effective weapon” …..

    Penetrating ability is more important than the size of the warhead. Ultimately it’s not us buying anything that would make others “concerned”. What would really make them “concerned” or sit up and notice world be if we changed our procurement policy; buying stuff based on operational imperatives rather than stuff that doesn’t suit us, based on political factors.

  12. Yes I’m a aware of how AT weapons would be employed in various terrains but thanks anyhow.

    There is a profound difference between MBT LAW and the AT-4. One is a guided weapon with a top attack function and one is an weapon : both have their respective merits and both would be employed in a different manner.

  13. joe “No one would be interested on us buying more LAWs. They would be concerned if we were to buy significant numbers of AT-4 CS” “AT-4 has a bigger warhead than LAW, making it more a effective weapon. ”

    Tom Tom was referring to MBT LAW, an ATGM with top attack mode. You seem to have missed this and confused it with another system.

    “Allan says:”

    Victim of auto-correct?

  14. @AM
    Yeah my mistake there. If only we could get more of the MBT LAWs but that is less realistic than if we had gotten a lot more AT4-CS, the AT4 being much cheaper. Regardless, the flexibility in tactics we could employ with CS round meant our battle planners could bring the battle with superior armour to just about anywhere, from even inside buildings. Wishful thinking I know.

    @Azlan
    “buying stuff based on operational imperatives”
    Provided they know what is our operational imperatives. I guess the hodge podge nature of how we do things is one way to keep adversaries guessing, an unpredictable force would be more difficult to counter than one that you would know his playbook in and out. Or they could really just be incompetent, but that’s also just my speculation.

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