SMASH, AV4, DSME corvettes and others

SHAH ALAM: AS it was obvious from the earlier report, I was in Bangkok last week for the Defense and Security 2015 show. As I was working for a regional publication for the show, I held back reporting for Malaysian Defence apart from the AV4 in Camo piece.

Anyhow since I am back home, lets dive into things which I found out at the show concerning the Armed Forces police and not to forget, the MMEA. For example, the Polaris MRZR (below) – 10 in service with PDRM in ESSCOM – is now supported by Global Komited Sdn Bhd, which recently signed contract to supply 8 Jaws APC for the police.

Polaris MRZR. PDRM bought 10 of these buggies for ESSCOM duties.
Polaris MRZR. PDRM bought 10 of these buggies for ESSCOM duties.

Speaking about MMEA, I did a story on the Aselsan SMASH 30mm last September. Basically, I reported that Aselsan had issued a release stating that it had won a contract to supply six SMASH 30mm guns to the MMEA. The release however did not state the programme which the RWS had been contracted for, either the NGPC or the arming of six MMEA patrol vessels.

SMASH 30mm gun at Aselsan stand. Contracted for the NGPC.
SMASH 30mm gun at Aselsan stand. Contracted for the NGPC.

I can report now that the SMASH guns have been selected for the NGPC programme, which put it in a great position for the other project. That said personally I think the 30mm gun is way too big for the unarmed MMEA vessels though that is the type of weapon specified by the tender. A 12.7mm RWS like the Aselsan STAMP is probably a better solution for these boats.

The land version of the STAMP RWS. The naval variant is covered much like the SMASH gun to better withstand the elements at sea.
The land version of the STAMP RWS. The naval variant is covered much like the SMASH gun to better withstand the elements at sea.

As for the AV4, please check out the video below for a better view of the vehicle. The mini-gun fitted on the turret is a replica only and not the real thing.

Deftech Av4 in digital camo.
Deftech Av4 in digital camo.

Meanwhile, I spoke to a DSME spokesman about the corvettes that they are proposing to RMN. The spokesman said DSME expected the project to start once Malaysia overcome “the current financial difficulties”. He said its Malaysian partner was still NMEL Sdn Bhd.

A model of the DSME corvette (right).
A model of the DSME corvette (right).

Anyhow, word is that the Agusta Westland AW159 is the odds-on favourite to fulfill the RMN’s ASW requirements. However, I have yet to find out whether funding – supposedly under RMK11 – will be released or not.

Exocet family at the MBDA stand.
Exocet family at the MBDA stand.

By the way, the Thai MOD Defence Technology Institute unveiled the latest prototype of its Black Widow Spider 8X8 at the show. Some people commented that it looked very similar to the Singapore Terrex 8X8.
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Thai's Black Widow Spider 8X8. Armed with a 30mm gun RWS turret.
Thai’s Black Widow Spider 8X8. Armed with a 30mm gun RWS turret.

I must admit it looked very similar to the Singapore vehicle but that is my opinion. The Black Widow was developed with a British firm, Ricardo and also Thai firm, Chaiseri ( the builder of the AV4). Yes, the digital camouflage of the 8X8 looked similar to the one the AV4 displayed at the show. Most probably painted by the same guys at Chaiseri!

The roomy cabin Black Widow Spider 8X8. Sits 12 soldiers and two crew.
The roomy cabin Black Widow Spider 8X8. Sits 12 soldiers and two crew.

Anyhow, the cabin at the back feels much roomier than our own Gempita. However, as it is a prototype, it is an unfair comparison. Having a 30mm RWS turret and an engine located to the front right of the vehicle certainly helps

Thales Starstreak missile. Malaysia joined Thai and Indonesia into the Starstreak club.
Thales Starstreak missile. Malaysia joined Thai and Indonesia into the Starstreak club.

As in other regional shows, China defence companies made their presence from state owned Norinco to smaller companies. One of them is Bosma, an optics company which manufactures “binoculars, spotting scope, rifle-scope, red dot sight, laser range finder, astronomical telescope and night vision.

Bosma red dot sights.
Bosma red dot sights.

A representative said their red dot sight retails for US$60 dollars only (above). Perhaps something to consider for our fiscally challenged services.

— Malaysian Defence

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