Another Helicopter Tender in 2025?

A US Army Blackhawk helicopter flies during Eks Keris Strike which comes under Exercise Bersama Warrior in 2017. US Army

SHAH ALAM: In his 2024 budget speech on October 13, PMX announced that RMAF will be getting twelve new helicopters as part of the national security sector allocation.

Last month, Defence Minister DS Khaled Nordin stated that the allocation for the new RMAF helicopters was RM2.8 billion, some RM1.2 billion more than the contract for the twelve EC725 helicopters we bought in 2008.

With PMX scheduled to deliver the 2025 budget this October, industry sources told Malaysian Defence that the Army is hoping that he will release the funds to purchase a fleet of new medium utility helicopters.

It must be noted that the Army Air Wing – PUTD – has been seeking funds to purchase medium utility helicopters since the 2000s as the service aspired to conduct air mobile operations. And as usual although the requirement was approved in successive RMKs, the funding was not.

Republic of Korean Air Force KUH-1 Surion helicopters. ROKAF picture.

In the aftermath of the Lahad Datu incident, the requirement for utility helicopters was up for funding again though this time it was together with the attack helicopters. As money were not enough to get both, PUTD had to make do with Nuri helicopters – which were stored by RMAF – allowing the procurement money to be reserved for attack helos. The Army had only to spend operational money for maintaining and operating the Nuri.

In the end, PUTD ended up with the MD530G light scout attack helicopters as the decision was made to buy them via a direct commercial deal. One cannot buy Apaches, Cobras or Tigers via a direct commercial order. Even if they could, no local company can afford to pony up the funds to pay for them.

A PUTD Nuri hauling an Oto Melara 105mm Pack Howitzer at the Firepower Exercise 2017. The helicopter like the Nuris of RMAF were retired in mid 2019.

Four years later, in 2019, PUTD was left in the lurch when the RMAF decided to retire the Nuri even as it had just become to grips with medium utility helicopter operations. During the Covid years it was then decided that in the short term PUTD will lease utility helicopters to prepare for when it will eventually get the funding to buy them which had happened with RMAF.
A close up of the MD530G LSAH taking part in the Army Day parade flypast.

And here we are in 2024 and the Army is seeking to get the funding for fourteen new medium utility helicopters with the first machines expected to be delivered in 2028, if the contract is signed next year. Just in time for the Black Hawk lease to expire as with RMAF.
A PUTD AW109 LOH and MD530G LSAH at LKT 2022. BTDM

So, will the Black Hawk be the favourite? If the leasing deal goes without a hitch. More importantly, will PMX sign off the funding for the new Army helicopters then? Your guess is as good as mine.

–Malaysian Defence

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60 Comments

  1. the opening paragraph is about rmaf but the rest of the article is about the army?

  2. I gonna bet Azlan will bring up the issue will we have enough manpower to fly all new ordered 12 TUDM CSAR choppers, 14 PUTD utility choppers, prolly 6 TLDM ASW choppers, and a dozen or so incoming MMEA, Bomba, PDRM choppers.

    A positive aspect the leased Blackhawks can be a good training ground to start building the flight & service crewmembers in preparation for the new Blackhawks if they are selected.

    “requirement was approved in successive RMKs, the funding was not”
    The irony is that while the requirements predates other vehicles, somehow funding for Gempitas, for the KJA (HMAV & HMJLTV), for dozens of light & medium trucks, for the LG1 guns, & the ongoing SPH saga, have gone thru ahead of that utility choppers. Or perhaps it was up to TDM to prioritise where to put their money?

  3. Ok question:
    I know many armies across the world operate utility helicopters eg US army and the Australian army which is now ditching the Taipan for Blackhawks.

    One notable exception is the British army. They rely on the RAF for transport. Why can’t we follow their model?

  4. Of course things like Gempita will get priority not because of military requirements but its supposed local content. Helicopters are expected to be imported so it will get lower priority. Furthermore, a fleet of helicopters will cost a set amount which made them not feasible to be bought from local companies…

  5. >why can’t we follow their model

    You mean relying on the AF for 100 percent of your vertical lift need? We did exactly that until the 90s, when every other services decided they also need their own helo

  6. ” gonna bet Azlan will bring up the issue will we have enough manpower to fly all new ordered 12”

    Well you ”bet” flat wrong.

    I’d however raise the pertinent question of how long will the army take to raise the needed manpower and support infrastructure given the Air Wing is small and has its hands full with 10 A-109s, 6 Little Birds and Blackhawks.

  7. Tom Tom – ”They rely on the RAF for transport. Why can’t we follow their model?”

    The AAC is happy to focus on ground attack and the RAF is happy to continue meeting the army’s lift needs; there is no conflict. Over here the RMAF felt that it was pointless to continue meeting the army’s rotary needs whilst having to pay for it; thus it was more than happy for the army to get its own helis.

    The army on the other hand wanted the funding that comes along with its own Air Wing and happily got the RMAF to agree to transfer the attach helicopter role. Note that although the Army’s Air Wing was raised in 1995 plans were first made in the early 1970’s. Several army pilots [including the owner of a well known blog] received rotary training [during that period from a private company] but were transferred to the RMAF when plans for the army’ Air Wing were cancelled.

  8. Just like how it was easier to sell the LCS deal rather than the MRCA one. Constructing the LCSs in Lumut created jobs; created Bumi vendors/suppliers; contributed to the ability of a yard to eventually design its own ships in the future; gave the politicians bragging rights, etc. Contrast that with the MRCA deal for which there was little spinoff to the local economy and industry.

  9. What about the Surion, Marhalim? If KAI promises local assembly since the FA50s will also be assembled in Malaysia?

  10. The numbers are too low for local assembly, IMO. Nope the FA-50s will not be assembled in Malaysia. They are talking about local MRO for FA-50s which is to me is sheer idiocy.

  11. What ever it is, I am for PUTD to take up its own medium lift helicopter missions with its own helicopters.

    But buying brand new medium lift helicopters now that will only arrive in 2028? I am not agreeing to this.

    Why?

    This is why
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GIa6HzxWEAA3jYz.jpg

    US Army already selected their UH-60 replacement program, the Bell V-280 Valor. This will start to be inducted into US Army starting 2030.

    Any brand new medium lift helicopter PUTD buys now will be used for 40-50 years into the future (just like the Nuri). That means PUTD will miss out on things like V-280 for the next 40-50 years (up till 2065 at least).

    Buying used blackhawks now for PUTD requirement is actually the best solution so that PUTD won’t be stuck with obsolete and outdated helicopters in the future. Used blackhawks are cheaper and will have 15-20 years of operational use.

    Let say if we buy used blackhawks in 2025, that will enable PUTD to use them up to 2040-2045. By 2040 it would be a good window for PUTD to look at medium vertical lift capabilities such as the V-280 Valor or other available aircraft at the time.

  12. … – ”What ever it is, I am for PUTD ”

    ”What ever it is” I’d be be contend for a contract to be actually signed; whether for the army or RMAF; with follow on batches to be followed on schedule and not postponed indefinitely.

    … – ”Any brand new medium lift helicopter PUTD buys now will be used for 40-50 years into the future (just like the Nuri). ”

    Can current gen platforms with all the complex systems onboard be used for ’40-50 years into the future”? Doubt it.

    … – ”so that PUTD won’t be stuck with obsolete and outdated helicopters in the future. ”
    Getting a AW149, Blackhawk or Cougar in no way means the army will be ‘stuck with obsolete and outdated helicopters in the future”; just like there’s nothing to say that in the coming decades traditional rotary platforms will make way for stuff like the V-280. Some 2 1/2 decades ago observers were claiming that by the 2020’s stuff like Opsrey would be the norm. Wasn’t the case.

  13. I would be interested in knowing how the AW149 compares to the Cougar and Blackhawk in terms of operating costs; amount of fuel per hour of flying and number of maintenance hours for every hour in the air. Then there’s also the cost of spares and technical support; as well as figuring out prices increases throughout the platform’s service life. It’s these factors we need to know rather than just quoted per unit prices.

    On the AW149 I like the stowage space to the rear and the downwards facing camera for when using the underslung hook. Like all current fen rotary platforms it comes with a NVG compatible cockpit; a FKIR, winch and other things but all these don’t necessarily make it a “CSAR” platform.

  14. Funny enough the brits and aussie are buying soon to be obsolete and outdated helicopter and plans to used it for the next 30 years.

    While the valor may well be a game changer it also comes with a high risk that it may well be a duds. And if the brits and aussie don’t think the risk is worth the reward. What more poor old us?

    The US is on a different league. They have plenty of legacies platforms to utilise while waiting for the new game changing platform to mature. Nor they would be operationally handicapped if the valor turn up as another dud Loke the opsrey.

  15. …. – “Why? This is why”

    You might think so but this is purely based on the assumption that traditional rotary platforms will make way for one’s like in the link you provided. Maybe, maybe not. Suggesting they will is highly speculative. It will take time for them to mature and be available and affordable to countries beyond a selected few. If we were to believe all the claims/hype made in recent decades, by the 2010s lasers would have made it impossible for subs to remain undetected and tilt rotor platforms would be the norm now. And to add; UASs and loitering munitions; to add to the AT rifle; AT mine; aircraft mounted cannons; ATGWs and gunships; would have made the MBT go the way of the dinosaur.

    As it stands the U.S. at present is the only country with actual firm plans to get a new tilt rotor platform and that in years to come. Can’t realistically suggest that what the army and RMAF does as of 2025/2025 be based on something that far in the future and something which lacks more clarity. It’s like saying we should not invest in a high tech MRCA platform in 2030 and should instead get a upgraded platform designed in the 1980’s or earlier because by 2 decades or so UASs armed with AAMs might replace manned platforms.

  16. @hulubalang
    the V280 will take at least another 2 decades for hidden issues to be ironed out, so that’s at least another 20 years of guaranteed Blackhawk sustainment programmes and on top of that another 20 years of displaced Blackhawks going into spares market. This will be the real reason to pick the Blackhawk not the prospect of a more advanced chopper.

  17. ” decades ago observers were claiming that by the 2020’s stuff like Opsrey would be the norm. Wasn’t the case ”

    Ospreys are not replacements for a widely used airframe like the Blackhawk. The Valor is.

    What i am proposing is for PUTD to have the option to change to the V-280 Valor in 15 years time (whether it is taken or not). No way the government will agree to replacing anything that is just 15 years old in 2040.

  18. … – “spreys are not replacements for a widely used airframe like the Blackhawk. The Valor is.”

    That’s being very selective.

    The point I’m making is that the Valor won’t be ready anytime soon and even when it is; it might not replace traditional rotary platforms operated by various countries. Not only that but you seriously think we’ll be able to afford it? Just like you seriously think whatever platform the army or RMAF gets will soon be obsolete?

  19. ” Not only that but you seriously think we’ll be able to afford it? Just like you seriously think whatever platform the army or RMAF gets will soon be obsolete? ”

    1. Are we buying the Valor now? No. If we get used Blackhawks, the timeframe to be able to buy Valor or anything new at the time would be 2040-2050, which is more than 15-20 years from now. At the time we even might have the option to buy used Valors.

    2. Whatever we buy now will be obsolete? Take the Blackhawk for example. It entered mass production more than 45 years ago. Yes of course you can still fly them in 2050 (22 years from its projected initial delivery in 2028), but at a time where the US Army main helicopter is the Valor? Buying used Blackhawks will still enable us to fly them till 2050 if we want to, but at a lower cost and at the point where its value is 0 and ready to be replaced by something new.

    3. What are the estimated cost for the Valor? Around USD40-45 mil each. Even TUDM budget for 12 CSAR Helicopters is more than that.

  20. … – “Are we buying the Valor now?

    You seriously think that in a decade or so it will be affordable? Years after it was made available Osprey is still largely unaffordable to all but a select few. Also, your mention of us not buying it “now” reminds me of the fact that in the midst of all this talk about affordability we’re not buying MBT’s now.

    There is fact and there is opinion. Like many things you’re personally enamoured with you only look the plus points and hope things appear the way you’d like. Will the V240 be available on time? Can you point me to any major programme which has not been hit by delays and cost overruns? Even if the V24 is available as planned; what makes you so sure it will be ready for export? Apart from the U.S. there anyone else who has firm plans to introduce a similar capability with the next decade or so?

    Line I said any so did another poster; your assumption is based on the fact that the V240 will be available in time and not be hit by any delays. You pointed out figures; we’ll figures in 2024 and actual figures when the V240 does appears might be profoundly different.

    … – “Even TUDM budget for 12 CSAR Helicopters is more than that”

    You mean multi role helis. The CSAR moniker was added for political reasons, but all current gen rotary platforms have a FLIR, winch, NVG compatible cockpit and other things. So will future army helicopters but does this mean they’re “CSAR” configured? “CSAR” is only one of the many roles the said platforms will perform‘

  21. …. – “but at a time where the US Army main helicopter is the Valor”

    Good for the U.S. army but I really see no direct connection to us and I see no actual indication that in 15/20 years time that traditional rotary platforms will have made way for tilt rotor ones. You’ll also need no reminder that the services tend to be conservative and tend not to rush into new technologies.

    Also, amidst all this talk about used Blackhawks not only do they come with certain penalties [like anything aged irretrievably if condition] but all indications point to the fact that the AW149 is a leading contender and that whatever does get selected it will not be operated for 40/50 years like the Nuri [as per your assertion] because current gen stuff are not made to last as long as old gen ones. I have no idea what the RMAF’s position is on the Cougar but it does appear that Leonardo is in a stronger position.

    It would be great if the RMAF and army ’s air wing have a similar platform and I hope they do but the question is how the respective services feel about what they need. I’m all for commonality/ interoperability and have been ranting on this for before in became an in thing but commonality/ interoperability if it meets requirements and not for the sake of it. If GAPU it the RMAF feel they need NASAMs or something else rather than Mica which the RMN needs; so be it.

  22. I concur with Sdr Marhalim. The FA50s will be sold ‘built-up’ to Malaysia. No Malaysian assembly. Except probably MRO. Even if RMAF were to get the 2nd batch of 18 fighters.
    The politicians must be high on Ecstasy if they think they will get the assembly done locally.

  23. ” but all current gen rotary platforms have a FLIR, winch, NVG compatible cockpit and other things. So will future army helicopters but does this mean they’re “CSAR” configured? ”

    As i written before (and as usual you conveniently ignore) a medium lift helicopter equipped with all the FLIR, winch, NVG compatible cockpit etc. does not cost USD50 million each.

    Thailand EC725, which is fitted with armor plating, missile warning sensors, chaff/flare dispensers, guns, FLIR Turrrets cost them only USD128 million (THB4 bil) for 4 helicopters
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GJppR24a8AAl4tw.jpg

  24. If the decisionmakers can be so tightfisted with even RM 200mil for 4 used Blackhawks whatmore the billion $$ needed for a fleet of brand new choppers? And looking at how little attention PUTD gets from TDM chiefs, even if budget were approved, would it be squandered to other ‘more priorities’ buys?

    And even if TDM chiefs were to give a rope to PUTD, its likely the budget will not be enough and that used chopper route is the most viable (unless we can stomach less than numbers we wanted but brand new).

    Rather looking at the situation, its more than likely, a PUTD buy would be on ice further pending the intro of TUDM new choppers and how their rotary arm (12 EC725 + 12 new CSAR/utility) be reorg to cater for TDM airlifting needs. The reason for delay because of limited local involvement is moot as that same limitations is also for TUDM choppers yet that gotten thru earlier.

  25. Taib – ”The politicians must be high on Ecstasy if they think they will get the assembly done locally.”

    It can be done even if it turns out to be counter productive and bleeds the end user and the military. Since when is ensuring the end use and taxpayer get the best value for their money a priority? It’s all about bragging rights and superficial stuff; never mind the substance. Remember how at one point we were supposed to have been the ”centre of excellence for small arms : exporting AUGs and M-4s. We were also supposed to have exported AV-8s. For those who remember we were also offered the chance to be the regional MRO centre for the Fulcrum.

  26. ”And looking at how little attention PUTD gets from TDM chiefs, even if budget were approved, would it be squandered to other ‘more priorities’ buys?”

    We have no idea if it’s really the army’s leadership which gives ‘little attention” or the overall direction as dictated by the government.

  27. Lets say we get used Blackhawks + all the bells and whistles that even some of the new Blackhawks does not have.

    1) used blackhawk as per Portuguese Air Force Contract. With NVG compatible touchscreen Garmin cockpit. USD7.83 million per aircraft including training and support for 5 years.

    2) Rescue winch – USD0.15 million

    3) FLIR turret (STAR SafireII) – USD0.6 million

    4) Garmin GWX75H helicopter weather radar – USD0.03 million

    5) BLR Fastfin system for Blackhawk – USD0.07 million
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-kEQ1NbwAEdNpJ.jpg

    6) Aerometals inlet filter – USD0.012 million
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-kEpdqaQAAwNcF.jpg

    7) external gun mount system
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-kFwX6aEAAdiIN.jpg

    8) Slingshot helicopter SATCOM system

    In all around USD9-9.5 million per helicopter with all the up to date systems installed.

  28. … – ”As i written before (and as usual you conveniently ignore) ”

    We are talking about different things here and yes you’ve written many things before as you keep mentioning. Bear that in mind before ”conveniently” claiming others are ”conveniently ignoring” something. Back to brass tacks the RMAF’s helis will not perform CASR only or CSAR mainly but will be multi role birds and in this day and age having FLIR, winch, NVG compatible cockpit and other things does not make a rotary platform special.

    You are ranting about prices but my discussion was on something else which was apparent.

  29. We can talk about used Blackhawks and prices all we want; quote all the prices and list all the links but in actuality there is no indication we are going down this route. Now of course we can talk about possibilities but we have to make a distinction between what we’d personally like to happen and what will actually happen.

  30. “We have no idea if it’s really the army’s leadership”
    We see little much have been done for PUTD since the decision to retire Nuri as compared to TUDM which managed to get the dozen EC725 and now the 12 new CSARs ahead of PUTD lifting requirements. That says a lot where the push is coming. It also says a lot that each TDM change of leadership drives it course to different directions unlike TUDM & TLDM that largely stuck to their long term plans.

    “7) external gun mount system”
    The cost of this would come from the overall side guns buy similar to;
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/quotation-notice-for-hom-guns/

  31. I really have no idea if the army leadership indeed does not prioritise the Air Wing or is it a matter of the actual decision makers deciding so. It could well be a case of the army making a “push” but the decisions makers having other thoughts or intent; as frequently happens.

    As for the Cougars; public attention and outcry following the Genting Sempah crash made it imperative that the Cougars be ordered to supplement and eventually replace the Nuri. The RMAF has been pushing for a comprehensive upgrade since the 1990’s; unsuccessfully.

  32. Forgot to add

    In all around USD9-9.5 million per Blackhawk with all the up to date systems installed (Touchscreen MFDs, Radar, FLIR turret, Rescue winch etc.) – that is almost similar cost as the 5-year leasing that is currently done by PUTD.

    Whether used blackhawks will be the chosen path is immaterial for now. I am just putting out this option for all to see and compare to the other options that are available.

  33. It’s interesting that despite being a SS-77 user the RMN still seeks MAGs and also selected the M2 for the Lynxs.

    The question as to whether a MAG or HMG is more effective is of course dependent on the situation and requirement. If the aim was mainly self defence a MAG or HMG makes sense. If however the requirement was for suppression then a mini gun makes sense. Its high ROF enables large number of rounds to be placed on target; essential as a gunner on a moving platform will have a limited window. Problem is in a low threat environment or in circumstances where the aim is not to kill or to kill in large numbers a mini gun would not be practical.

    With HMGs prices as high as they are [even without the markup] a mini gun with 6 barrels and electrically driven would cost more.

    As for what’s been done for the Army Air Corps may not be significant but it has received 6 Little Birds; new facilities in Kuantan and some extra manpower; as well as leased Blackhawks. If anything my guess is that decisions made by the decision makers are based on the limited funding and what they think should be prioritised is the main obstacle; rather than the army’s leadership deciding not to prioritise the needs of the Air Wing. I would like to hear Marhalim’s opinion on this.

  34. We leased used blackhawks because there is an opex available due to the retirement of the Nuris.

    For capex, nobody internally will be pushing for used equipment unless its an interim solution or budget constraints. Usually its made by the politicians like the Skyhawk purchase or the cancelled M109s.

    No rent seeker is going to push used equipment especially from the US. Does not make good business sense.

  35. The mini gun is wonderful if you have a fixed base where reload is readily available and under cover. The HMG is good if you want range and firepower, ships and aircraft door guns are the main use for them and if you have an RWS. GPMG is good if you need to lug them around.

    Note RMN only buying FN MAG for the AW139 as it is the only gun that has been certified to be fired from inside the cabin and came with the proper mounting.

    Most of the Army money in the last 20 years was consumed by the Gempita especially between 2014 and 2018. They only managed to buy other stuff by delaying the deliveries of the Gempita from 2018 onwards.

    It was the same with the RMN, they only managed to buy other stuff when the LCS project was held up.

  36. Miniguns could lay down the most concentrated weight of firepower but the problem is limited ammo as most choppers will only able to carry just minutes of fire vs an MG. We also have both to compare with as we got the TDM/PUTD Dillon miniguns.

  37. @ Hasnan

    ” No rent seeker is going to push used equipment especially from the US. Does not make good business sense ”

    We are not here to discuss on how to keep all those rent seekers in business are we?

    I am putting out all the options to have a better defence capability for the country, not to empower all those rent seekers.

    In proposing the buying used Blackhawk route, I want PUTD to have the best multi-role medium lift helicopter available right now for the money (that cannot be locked-in by any one interested party, as the spares and support for blackhawk can be done by many people), and I want in 15-20 years time (2040-2045) PUTD will have the option and opportunity to get the best vertical lift aircraft that is available at that point of time (as those used blackhawk helicopters must be replaced)

  38. @hulubalang

    I geddit where you are coming from but if you understand government procurement process then you will understand that the process of procurement starts with budgeting. Here the principals and their respective agents will push the products. A very lengthy process and expensive process. Sometimes there’s proof of concept, sometimes prototyping, sometimes field testing, overseas trips, etc.

    Once the product is in the proposed budget, then the lobbying at EPU and Ministry level.

    Eventually when the budget is approved, the speccing of the tender to make sure aomewhere inside the tender there is a “lock” on your product. Somethings others don’t have.

    Then lobbying again at technical and procurement committees. Eventually the LOI and agreement. Can take years and millions of dollars.

    So…nobody is going to propose a second hand product and go through all that hardship just to make a measly profit.

  39. @ hasnan

    Why do you have GLC or LTAT owned companies when it does not contribute to getting the capabilities that the military needs with the best cost to the MOF? Technical & sustainment of the asset that the government can control (and can maximise local sustainment activities using local human resources), rather than rent seekers or foreign companies?

  40. It’s not allow local companies to service MAF. It’s allow certain type of local companies to service MAF, regardless if those companies are good or competitive. Because defence falls under affirmative action, it goes through the if fail or overbudget or under deliver, the “tidak apa” approach because “still learning”. Keep trying until succeed. Until the self sufficiency strategy in the National Defence Policy and related Industrial policies is revised, all governments, regardless of one’s affiliation, will continue to throw MAF money to support affirmative action based self sufficiency goals. If people are not willing to revise the policy for defence, then no point blaming policy and the government. You reap what you sow.

  41. ”Miniguns could lay down the most concentrated weight of firepower but the problem is limited ammo as most choppers will only able to carry just minutes of fire vs an MG.”

    They are only intended to lay down brief bursts. The standard load out is 1,000 rounds in a can/tin but the firer will be firing in bursts to conserve ammo. The whole idea behind the high ROF was because being heli mounted they only had a brief window. If the intention is to lay down sustained fire then one would go for a GPMG or HMG but even then the firer would only fire in bursts to avoid over heating the barrel.

    kua – ”If people are not willing to revise the policy for defence, then no point blaming policy and the government. ”

    Are you of the ”people”? Can you revise the policy? Or are you merely pontificating?
    And yes we do blame the government and the policies it introduces; it was the government which introduces policies not the seven dwarfs or the smurfs.

  42. … – ”PUTD will have the option and opportunity to get the best vertical lift aircraft that is available at that point of time (as those used blackhawk helicopters must be replaced)”

    Putting aside the ”best” part; there’s nothing to indicate it will be ready at the scheduled period’; nor will it be ready for export and whether we can afford it. Your assumption is based on everything falling into place.

  43. kua – ”It’s not allow local companies to service MAF.”

    Like I said many years before there was an individual with the ”kua/kel” nom de plume here: from the 1980’s onwards as we got on the road towards industrialisation the policy was not to place priority on the taxpayer; nor the end user but national interests. As far as Mahathir was concerned we were never going to be in a actual war; thus things like actual effectiveness, commonality and cost effectiveness was not vital. As Dzirhan Mahadzir once put it; Mahathir was a pacifist.

    kua – ”It’s not allow local companies to service MAF. It’s allow certain type of local companies to service MAF, regardless if those companies are good or competitive. ”

    kua – ”Until the self sufficiency strategy in the National Defence Policy and related Industrial policies is revised,”

    Thanks so much but we actually figured this out quite a long time ago. It’s also not only the ”self sufficiency strategy” [as you put it] but the overall attitude towards defence. From how we allocate funding to how we conduct selection to how we view defence in relation to national strategy and how we perceive the threat environment.

  44. … – ” that is almost similar cost as the 5-year leasing that is currently done by PUTD.”

    Yes you’ve mentioned this on numerous occasions but nobody here claimed we do things cost effectively or get the best or most optimum value for what we spend.

    … – ”Whether used blackhawks will be the chosen path is immaterial for now. I am just putting out this option for all to see and compare to the other options that are available.”

    Yes it is ”immaterial” but it’s still uttered frequently despite there being no indication of it ever seeing the light of day and like everything else buying aged and used platforms come with penalties.

    … – ”I am putting out all the options to have a better defence capability for the country, not to empower all those rent seekers.”

    That may be so but actual prescribed/institutionalised policy calls for ”rent seekers” or local companies to supposedly benefit from what we buy abroad. The idea or purpose of the exercise as you’re aware is so the local companies can supposedly learn and so revenue gets generated locally. It will take a major concentrated effort to revise things; to undo years and years of rot or doing things in such a flawed and self defeating manner.

    Hasnan – ”Sometimes there’s proof of concept, sometimes prototyping, sometimes field testing, overseas trips, etc.”

    Sometimes proposals going missing or having pages torn out and sometimes having specs abruptly and arbitrarily altered to favour selected companies. Then we have cases where everything has gone through due process and is just waiting to be signed but alas a new leadership has different priorities.

  45. “Are you of the ”people”?”
    That would be Kel, you, me & every other voter. If we continue to elect into Govt politicians who only take care of our own interests and not the interest of the country, & dont hold them accountable to their actions & promises, then yeah things will never change and water continues to flow under the bridge. To change the policies we need to change the policy makers & decision makers and hold them accountable. Protest in front of their ministry, in front of their homes if we have to but they must know the rakyat wants real actions. Time for our politicians to evolve but for that the rakyats/voters must evolve first!

    “Mahathir was a pacifist.”
    Mahathirism policy was basically to monetise everything; the Govt agencies was semi privatise & GLCed to reap money, the UMNO/BN hierarchy became cronified & money politics became the lingo, industries was setup (Proton, P2, Perwaja, etc) to monetise it, the defence sector was monetised priority given to local involvements with a side trip of political advantage angle, the various tycoons & businesses were roped into his scheme with promises of deals & more money.

    Coming back to the choppers, it all boils down to how much money the Govt is willing to give and then how much TDM chiefs are willing to spend on PUTD. If money is not enough its either; used, lower numbers new but no firm for more, or not doing anything.

  46. So Azlan, will you support if we take affirmative action out of defense spending? No more restricting tenders to certain type or class of business. No more requiring local equity participation by certain type of companies. No more needing to source certain percentage from certain type or class of contractors. As a minority I did vote to change things, or improve things with the goal of reducing leaks and wastage in MAF’s budget. If the person is from the majority, did he or she vote to protect or to change?

  47. Kel,

    My position on defence matters has been made clear for quite a number of years now. You will no doubt will claim that you haven’t received your answer or other nonsense about not having an opinion or a position but as I’ve stated in unequivocal language : priority should not be on national interests but on ensuring the end user gets the capabilities they need and the taxpayers get their cash’s worth. I have also been very critical of the role local companies play and they way we go about things; not to mention that we have a MAF whose capabilities don’t reflect what we’ve spent on it and that unless fundamental deep rooted changes are implemented; nothing much will change.

    Thus the answer to your question is fairly obvious.

    As a Malaysian I voted before but I was under no illusion that the needed changes would actually be made with regards to defence and I have a low opinion of politicians in general regardless of race, creed or political affiliation.

    As for your last question you have a knack for rhetorics but it’s too generalised. People voted for change but change is subjective and the very last thing on the mind of the vast majority of voters was defence issues.

    “that would be Kel, you”

    Thanks but I was actually hoping he’d answer that given he’s made numerous references to “people” as if they were an abstract thing and he was excluded.

    Mahathir’s policy was great on paper but it was done at a huge cost and it created a whole list of issues which we’re still grappling with. The defence sector is merely one example; we can also look at the education sector and other things including race relations. He also ushered in [being facetious] a new way or culture of doing things which remains ingrained in our system to our detriment:

  48. “As a minority I did vote to change things”
    As things did not change much did you hold your elected MP to task for the nonchanges? As I see, voting for the other side did not change much (and some things became worse!) because people did not hold them accountable to the promise of change. Even on the incumbent side there are good & hardworking MPs but because of blind politics, they were voted out and to me that was the real sad part of UBAH. People think; vote for the other side, job done, see you next 5 years. It was just an exercise of replacing a group of incompetents with a new group of incompetents. The only UBAH was the shirts they wear.

    Im all for moving towards open tenders but rather than taking a step further to a blind procurement policy, it seems to have somewhat reverted to direct nego for big ticket deals.

  49. Joe, as a minority.. as in a minority. The current defence procurement policy in place has affirmative action in it. A minority can only do so much 1 vote at a time. Change has to come from the majority. So the question is did you – if you are in the majority – voted for change or protect. Until that happens, no point blaming policy and politicians. Reap what you sow. Sow wastage, sow cable pulling, sow restricted tender, sow local company requirement, then reap wastage, reap delays, reap cost overruns, reap rent seeking. Hence why I applaud what the public DWP and 15to5 Strategy Document represented. A public document to educate the public and bring MAF issues to be discussed in public. At least for Navy and Air Force we know what big ticket items they want – no more planning behind closed doors, no more hidden hands inserting a random big ticket item or some random asset being procured against MAF’s actual plans. Politicians can use the DWP to slam the sitting government if they deviate from “the plan” or to ask on progress of achieving the DWP. Yet those documents, that small change, was ridiculed as documents not worth the paper they were written on.

  50. Kel – “ . A public document to educate the public and bring MAF issues to be discussed in public”

    You really miss the point but then I forgot; anything you don’t understand or agree with by default you ignore.

    The whole purpose of the CA55 and 5/15 was political dressing. Politically expedient and was a product of the political environment then. The stuff about keeping the public informed was not the aim. Both were the intended to make things palatable for the government; to ensure some level of long term commitment and both were meant to tweaked. Do you realise how the 5/15 came to be?

    As for “not worth the paper” perhaps made the effort to understand the context before hitting the keypad. Both are stretched over too long a period. Both have aims which are to modest and met with opposition from within the services.

    If however you want to be shallow and fanboyish and base things of superficiality no skin off anyone’s back. Oh and do look up the wonders of paragraphs rather than turd like blobs.

  51. kua – ”A minority can only do so much 1 vote at a time. Change has to come from the majority.”

    Change has to come from everyone but let’s not be under the illusion that the change we desire is the change we’ll get. But then you actually though that the change you so desired would lead to tangible benefits with regards to defence. Must as well preach about the Abominable Snowman or Waltzing Matilda.

    kua – ”Reap what you sow. Sow wastage, sow cable pulling, sow restricted tender, sow local company requirement, then reap wastage, reap delays,”

    Do you imagine yourself standing on a pedestal and preaching that to an applauding similarly minded audience?

    Now I know to you both plans are the holy grail and and a sacrosanct but both were politically expedient and are the product of the period they were formulated. Same with the White Paper which I’ve mentioned didn’t tell us much of what we didn’t already know but no doubt to fanboys and those with horizons as wide as toilet seat covers certainly look impressive.

  52. “A minority can only do so much 1 vote at a time. Change has to come from the majority”
    Poppycock. Did the politician you voted for won? If not then no need say anything. But they did, then they represent your voice, minority or not, regardless of your creed & colour and regardless of his/her creed or colour. They are in the Parliament and perhaps likely in the Cabinet of the current Govt. If they had this power & influence to wield; what did they do with it? Do you know what your MP is doing?

    It doesnt matter if Im a majority or minority, the person I voted for did not win his electorate so I cannot put pressure onto him to influence as he isnt part of the Govt. If you want change, be the change and make sure the person in power make that change. Real change is not so simple you have a duty & responsibility to make your chosen MP accountable, otherwise it is like I always tell other UBAH acolytes that such change is just superficial and the only UBAH you see is them changing shirts.

    If the rakyat cannot stomach real effective changes then better not to UBAH as such will create upheavals & economic uncertainties, without any tangible future benefits as we are seeing today. Affirmative is not crippling issue here, if those decisionmakers have selected the right Bumi company with sound finances & technical knowhow to perform. So did you make sure your MP made the right choice and if they made the wrong one did you run them up the pole so they never make the same mistake?

  53. In other news about choppers. The British Armed Forces which the RAF & BA are consolidating their requirements to purchase a single next gen medium sized chopper to replace their various existing chopper platforms. Depending on when we are actually buying PUTD choppers, it would be good to take note on the developments of this project.

  54. Ok, so we’re back to blaming others for inaction. It’s back to finding the fall guy. Do minorities, me included, run up their MPs up the pole? Yes, during elections and fund raising. Ever wonder why 2 current BN parties and 1 former BN party are no longer relevant despite being to go to party for decades? That their decline precedded BN’s own decline. Instead of saying one should do one’s own part to make things better, its if it menyusahkan, don’t do. Short term pain not good even it if means long term gains. Despite knowing policy and execution flaws, tak nak ubah if it menyusahkan. Like saying if anti corruption too painful, better don’t do it. It’s like saying fixing projek terbangkalai too painful, better don’t do it. It’s like saying despite knowing local company will lead to MAF paying more for major equipment, don’t fix it because too menyusahkan. The preferred solution is “delay 3,5,10 tahun tak apa, cost naik 50%,100%,200% tak apa, produk akhir tak mengikut spesifikai tak apa. Janji siap.” Then turn around and blame everyone else except ownself for not doing something to fix or prevent it from happening again because the default is to “jangan tanya soalan susah”, and “kalau susah, jangan buat”. Its not right or wrong, it’s just one’s own position. Just don’t go around blaming others or using others as an excuse / punching bag. You reap what you sow.

  55. Who is blaming who now? For decades one side has been blaming the other, saying they can do a better job as Govt. Well now they got the job and for nearly 6 years what do we have to see? Try to be honest with yourself instead of acting like the innocent party wailing that others are blaming you.

    If we cannot carry thru the project/intention to the full limit, then yes better dont do! If anti corruption efforts only goes after the small guys but the big bosses gets DNAA then yes, why bother, as it only reeks of witchhunting. If a project like LCS is not properly financed and those decisionmakers knows it is underfunded to start with, then yes, why bother to do, just to know it will face the current financial crunch and now paying even more to get it completed. If we want to build a pool complex for GGK but knowingly select a 2bit contractor whom risked failing and now failed to deliver until the King murka, then yes, who bother to waste our money.

    This is the difference between Msia & SG, they make sure to carry thru what they intend to do rather than blaming others or saying things are out of their control. USD inflation is out of their control yet their economy is riding high despite unlike ours that are crashing & burning like cheap Hell money. Yes you reap what you folks sow indeed.

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