AMRAAM, Malaysia and UN Conventional Arms Register

KUALA LUMPUR: Thanks to reader N. Mohamed, we now know that in 2005, MINDEF purchased 20 Amraams from the US. The matter was reported to the UN Conventional Arms Register.

What is the UN Conventional Arms Register? According to its website:

On 6 December 1991, the General Assembly adopted resolution 46/36 L entitled “Transparency in armaments”, which requested the Secretary-General to establish and maintain at United Nations Headquarters in New York a universal and non-discriminatory Register of Conventional Arms, to include data on international arms transfers as well as information provided by Member States on military holdings, procurement through national production and relevant policies.

The Register comprises seven categories of major conventional arms, namely, battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships (including submarines) as well as missiles and missile-launchers. It has been in operation with effect from calendar year 1992. Thus far, a total of 170 Member States have reported to the Register one or more times. The Register captures the great bulk of the global arms trade in the categories of conventional weapons covered by it.


So now we know. However, since the purchase was made in 2005, there is still a chance that the missiles have not been delivered, so since Lima is coming along, it will be another thing that I will have to remind myself to ask the Few Good Men!

If you want to look for yourself you can go to the website and read up about our register and those of our neighbours. I have taken the liberty to download and listed below is the arms that we have registered so far.

There is no mention of the Kedah class and the combat boats, while the PT91 and Flanker should be in the register next year. Also note there were five years (2006,2004,2001,1998 and 1992) that Malaysia did not report any major arms purchases. 1998 was academic but the rest?). Also for the 1999/2000, we registered the same purchases.

There is also no mention of the missiles and bombs purchased for the Hornets and Fulcrums in the register, which led me to wonder why they listed the AMRAAMS?

Those in the italics are my comments. Sorry it may look convoluted as I have no idea to convert it into Excel! Thanks again N.Mohamed!

Malaysian Register in the UN Conventional Arms Register’


United States of America

20 units Advance Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) AIM120 C-5

Brazil 1,296 units Astros SS-30HE Rockets


Pakistan 160 units 72 Missiles Short Range Surface to Air Missile (ANZA MK11)

450 units Anti Tank Guided Missile (Bakhtar Shikan)

Large calibre artillery system South Africa G5/155mm Mk 111 Towed Howitzer

Armoured combat vehicles Turkey 211 (Adnans) – Infantry Fighting Vehicle-116

Anti Armour Vehicle-8 ; Armoured Mortar Carrier-10; Armoured Command Vehicle-24

Armoured Ambulance Vehicle-25; Armoured Ambulance Vehicle-13, Armoured Vehicle Signal-13; Armoured Vehicle Filter-7 (fitter?) and Armoured Vehicle Recovery-8


Large calibre artillery systems South Africa 6 /155mm 45 calibre Gun (Denel G5)

Warships France 2 Submarine (Prime Minister’s Class)

Missiles and missile launchers UK 9 Launchers/72 Missiles (Jernas) Air Defence System

Russia 40 Launchers /382 Missiles Air Defence System (Igla manpads?)

France 30 Torpedo (the report mentioned Italy is the originator, so its most probably Whitehead torpedoes for the submarines)


Warships 2 Italy Corvette (the last two of Laksamana class)

2 UK Frigate (Lekiu and Jebat)

Missiles and missile launchers 12 Otomat missiles Italy ( Laksamana class)

8 Aspide Italy (Laksamana class)

16 Exocet (MM40? Lekiu class?)

32 Seawolf (Lekiu class)

All fitted on board (ships?)


Combat aircraft United States of America 8 FA/18 D Hornets Procurement through contract

Warships Italy 2 Missile Corvette Laksamana Class Procurement through contract


Large calibre artillery systems Switzerland 8 35 mm Artillery Gun Procurement through contract

VII. Missiles and missile launchers France 20 Exocet MM40 Block 2 Missile Procurement through contract


Armoured combat vehicles Republic of Korea 47 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicles

IV.Combat aircraft Russian Federation 18 units MIG 20 Aircraft Series 20/39 UB (? Probably a typo

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 5 units HAWK Series 100 – 200

VI.Warships United States of America 1 unit Landing ship tank


Armoured combat vehicles Republic of Korea 22 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicles

IV.Combat aircraft United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

23 units HAWK Aircraft Series 100 200


II.Armoured combat vehicles Republic of Korea 42 Korean Infantry Fighting Vehicles

III.Large calibre artillery systems United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

3 units 155 mm Artillery Guns.



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About Marhalim Abas 2207 Articles
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  1. I am taken by surprise as well about the availability of the AMRAAMs. At least we know our F/A18s are now equipped with AMRAAMs. Small in numbers as compared to our neighbour, but better than nothing.

    I suppose with the purchase of SU-30MKM in 2003, it doesn’t make sense for US to withold sellling AMRAAMs. I wonder whether the softening by US in allowing such sale to go through could be due to pressure from Boeing who intend to sell the Super Hornets.

    Thanks N Mohamed for the update.

  2. Thanks admin,
    I have also read the website and come to the conclusion that it is far from accurrate as alot of acquisitions were not reported. Like you I’m intrigued as to why we chose to report the purchase of AMRAAMS if indeed we did not actually buy any. IMO if we choose to make some information public then its probably true. Yes, I think we readers would all appreciate any more info that you can get on this from your contacts.
    Anyway the number is too small compared to the 300 S’pore have in its inventory. It’s probably academic anyway since the Hornets are optimised for strike and the MiGs & SUs will take on the air superiority role and we would instead opt for AMRAAMskis.

    Tks & Rgds

  3. I checked another website. which listed the sales and more importantly listed the deliveries of Amraams. Initially, I thought our version of Amraam, the C5 was an inferior version but it seems it is the standard export version. Maybe it was too expensive to make a third version of the Slammer or perhaps they did but it did not work as advertised so they had to settle with one export version!

    Take note that the website also listed that 20 Amraams were delivered to Malaysia in 2005 which confirmed what was reported in the register. Still I feel strange that they decided to register these missiles and not some other weapon systems or maybe it was the US that insisted that we registered the missiles lest our neighbour S?) complained!

    The website listed each missile as US$450,000 each, so our 20 missiles should cost us around US$8 million or RM29 million!

    From Deagel website

    The AIM-120C missile is the latest AMRAAM variant and is re programmable like the AIM-120B. The AIM-120C has smaller control surfaces to fulfill F/A-22’s internal carriage requirements also features an improved warhead.

    On 11 August 2004, the UK MoD awarded Raytheon a $144 million contract to provide AIM-120 C-5 AMRAAM missiles as well as associated equipment and services. The contract funds a period of 10 years with options to increase it to 25 years. The AMRAAM is an interim solution to the BVRAAM (Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile) program which would be fulfilled with MBDA’s Meteor long range missile.

    As of April 2005, the US Air Force and US Navy AMRAAM missile production was expected to conclude by 2007. In December 2004 Raytheon received the last known contract from the US Air Force worth $200 million for the follow-on production of 434 additional missiles.

    On 29 September 2006, the US Air Force awarded Raytheon a $66 million procurement contract for 123 AIM-120C5 missiles, related services and equipment on behalf of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to Saudi Arabia and Singapore. Deliveries were scheduled for completion November 2008 with the United States receiving 9 missiles.

    AIM-120C AMRAAM – Contracts, Orders & Sales

    Friday, November 17, 2006 AIM-120C5 missiles purchased by Pakistan through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program.
    Items: 500 Options: 0 Purchase Rights: 0

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 157; transferred from United States of America to South Korea in 2006
    Items: 157

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 39; transferred from United States of America to Canada in 2005
    Items: 39

    AIM-120C5 AMRAAM; items: 20; transferred from United States of America to Malaysia in 2005
    Items: 20

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 39; transferred from United States of America to Netherlands in 2005
    Items: 39

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 82; transferred from United States of America to United Arab Emirates in 2004
    Items: 82

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 4; transferred from United States of America to Oman in 2004
    Items: 4

    AIM-120C AMRAAM; items: 68; transferred from United States of America to Italy in 2004
    Items: 68

    Harpoon, Maverick, Sparrow, AMRAAM
    Items: 333

    AIM-120 AMRAAM; items: 120; transferred from United States of America to Taiwan in 2003
    Items: 120


  4. Lekiu,

    The decision to allow us the Amraams may well be a commercial decision by the US to soften us to buy the Super Bugs. Notification of Malaysian interest to purchase 18 Super Hornets was made in early 2004. The deal will cost us about USD$1.43 billion (around RM4 billion), which is about US$500 million more than the Sukhois (around RM1 billion). Perhaps this time around they will throw a seat on the Space Shuttle as an added sweetener. Our dentist major cannot be training until 2011 before he got another chance to be the second Malaysian to have the most expensive flight ticket!

  5. it probably our way of saying that we’re not going all Russian. weapons purchase are not just for defence purpose only. it’s also a foreign policy tools. it seem’s the type of weapons a country have were perceived as a sign of allegiance. 20 are too small a number in a operational sense. We do have RVV-AE for advance BVR missile, so the AMRAAM purchase are redundant. plus, RVV-AE has better range and larger warhead compare to C5.

    Marhalim: The AMRAAMs was an upgrade for the Hornets.

  6. whatever sophicated weapons that we have still cannot defeat the human brain.

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