SHAH ALAM: It appears that another maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) programme is likely to be tender out – no time frame yet – to meet the requirements of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
I havent got much details on the requirements apart from that the MMEA is looking for two aircraft. And no, this not connected to the RMAF requirements as a law enforcement agency, MMEA maritime patroller requirements are mostly likely for surveillance and border monitoring and other utility roles as well as search and rescue. Hence the term of maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) is more apt to described the programme though clarity sake I will still use the MPA term for the programme.
CN235 MPA of TNI-AL displayed at LIMA 2015.
It is also likely that the MMEA programme is more exciting to local players as it will probably not be an international tender like the RMAF one. For the record MMEA already has two aircraft – the Bombardier CL415s – which are equipped with the Swedish MSS 6000 Airborne Surveillance System.
PDRM Super King Air 350 on finals at Subang airport. The aircraft is fitted with an unknown type of ISR equipment. Note the radome under the belly.
Anyhow based on the little things I know about the programme, I am assuming that a large number of aircraft could be offered from Super King Airs to even a modified ATR or Q400. I believed the latter ones are too expensive for the programme unless MMEA allowed for second hand airframes to be offered.
Saab 340 MSA.
Yes I know a Cessna 206 fitted with an ISR equipment could also do the job but realistically it will not have much chance to win the deal. Of course a MALE drone could do the same job at a lower cost than a manned aircraft but it will not make the cut as well if the requirements say otherwise.
Cessna 206 StationAir equipped for ISR. Textron picture.
Anyhow, a few months back, the MMEA announced that they will be getting up to four helicopters soon. It appears that it will be a medium type likely to be the Leonardo AW139.
MMEA AW139 M72-03. Apart from its duty with APMM, the helicopter is also used for various other duties. Picture taken in late 2013. Malaysian Defence
I was told that initially the helicopters would be purchased outright like the six helicopters already in service – three AW139 and three Dauphin (these were originally to be leased like the CL415s) but it was decided recently that the new helicopters will be leased instead.
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Wahhhh…another good news…after the MPAs news from the air force now its time for the coast guard ehh. Feel great to heard that.
Hmmm…this is a little bit confusing
Can’t we have one agency handling the MPA role instead? Both tenders are for maritime mission types, shouldn’t both MMEA and RMN be the ones handling these things and RMAF concentrates on getting AEWC and AWACs?
Yes in no time our country will be known as malaysia darul ‘lease’ hahaa..Lets just lease everything..Here hoping Navy also lease MUH,ships to save some money and the army lease howitzers, apc, tanks and what not
Yeah i seconded that asm suggestion but i believed RMN short of manpower to handle mpa task maybe thats why MPA will be helmed by RMAF..
What about the Dornier 228?
Yes it could be one of the aircraft that be could offered. I cannot remember every aircraft that could be offered
Firdaus – “ i believed RMN short of manpower to handle mpa task maybe thats why MPA will be helmed by RMAF..”
It will take some time to get the trained crews and support personnel and it will have to share an existing base.
ASM – Can’t we have one agency handling the MPA role instead“
It makes sense to avoid overlaps/redundancy but in this case MPAs operated respectively by the RMAF and MMEA (it’s aircraft requiring a more modest fit out) will have slightly different roles; even thought some of the roles can be conducted by either.
It should also be noted that UASs are never a substitute for MPAs and vice versa. Both have their respective strengths and are intended to complement each other; also used in slightly different circumstances.
What about the CL415? Since MMEA ady using it, would it have a higher chance of winning, plus the advantage of an amphib hull.
Yes and no really as the maintenance for CL is higher than a similar size twin turboprop due to the amphib hull
So these MPA/MSA for MMEA would be bought outright or also leased?
MMEA has a history of asking for a budget but will stretch it out to get more bang for the buck. For example the OPV program approval was only for 2 ships, but with the same budget they managed to push and get 3 ships instead.
MMEA IMO should have its own MPA/MSA. Their mission is more towards safety and peacetime security of maritime areas. Right now even a lot of times PDRM air wing airplanes are used for maritime surveillance, and they even have a few B350 specially equipped for maritime surveillance.
Back to the MMEA new MPA/MSA. Ideally the equipment/consoles should be the same as the CL415 so that all observer officers can fly in all aircrafts with a common training. That would mean getting MSS 6000 management systems too.
As for the airframe, I dont see a need to really get a brand new airframe. I would prefer the B200 King Air as they are numerous flying around, and low houred and well equipped one could be had for around USD2 million each. Why B200? Probably the smallest sized airplane we can have that can have toilets! With used airframe, we could probably get one for around USD8 million each.
My proposed setup for the B200 MPA/MSA
– used B200 King Air with less than 2500 hours flying time
– BLR winglet
– blackhawk XP52 engine upgrade
– Saddle tank 190gallons (additional tanks behind the engine)
– Halo 275 STC kit 14,000lb GW (increases maximum takeoff weight)
– G1000 NXi EFIS cockpit system
– MSS6000 system
– Leonardo Seaspray AESA maritime search radar
– FLIR EO turret
– AIS receiver
G1000 NXi cockpit
Another option is the DA62 MSA. But you will be flying 8 hours or more without toilet breaks!
BTW PDRM B350 was modified by MAG Aerospace in USA. It is used more towards SIGINT missions.
Its to be bought outright AFAIK
Cessna 206 the cheapest ISR aircraft?
Nah, I think this one is
” Its to be bought outright AFAIK ”
It is better if those planes are to be owned outright by MMEA.
Leasing is not an option as AFAIK no one has a suitable fleet of twin engine aircraft readily available locally for the job unlike helicopters…
What is china’s intent actually?
To harass and alienate each and every one of its neighbours?
“maintenance for CL is higher”
Yeah heard about the higher cost involved but really having the amphib hull does give it a distinct benefits not available on normal planes such as rapid refill water bombing and overwater retrieval during SAR and emergency landing on water. Having more of them could be reasons to boost the maint budget on these planes giving them better uptime.
” as rapid refill water bombing ”
This should not be a task for MMEA anyway.
” overwater retrieval during SAR and emergency landing on water ”
Can be mitigated by having this system (which we have even for our MKM it seems)
Not to say that we have no value in getting additional CL415s. I would think another one will be good for MMEA. Probably we could buy retired thai CL-215 and convert them into CL-415EAF version.
But for the same cost of a single of even the rebuilt CL-415EAF version, we could probably get 4 B200T King Air MPA/MSA version instead.
Can we just send another 3 of Our CN-235 coverent into MPA to APMM. Rather thrn Using as a Transport aircraft ?
… “What is china’s intent actually?To harass and alienate each and every one of its neighbours?”
Agreed that while it should be BOMBA task, their firebombing choppers can’t fly as fast nor rapidly reload with water as the CL415s. Granted if we had money we could instead use fire retardants from choppers or converted firebombing planes, negating the need for a water scooper.
Getting King Airs is not too bad since we had been using them so maint won’t be a problem, but imho it doesn’t give a different capability apart from the current AMASCOS ones nor the future MSA/MPAs.
“but imho it doesn’t give a different capability apart from the current AMASCOS ones nor the future MSA/MPAs.”
Do we really need that different capability right now joe? Trading a possible purchase of 2-4 airframe for 1 bigger airframe is not a good option right now imo. I agree that there is a value of adding another cl415 but for now firefighting is not the main focus. MMEA should be focusing on adding as much more assets for maritime surveillance which also meant getting as much bang for the buck as they could possible. Down the road MMEA could add another CL415 but not in the near future.
I think.. Textron Scorpion ISR.. a good choice
Coming to our waters in a few months time.
So how is malaysia going to react to the HMS Queen Elizabeth deployment to South China Sea next year?
1) Praise UK for its commitment to ensure a free and open South China Sea. TLDM and TUDM to do exercises and sail together with the QE task force?
2) Denounce the deployment as trying to aggravate the precarious situation in South China Sea?
I hope it will be no. 1.
” I think.. Textron Scorpion ISR.. a good choice ”
Can you sit still in a small cockpit for 8 hours without a toilet break?
Last salute to a general
“MMEA should be focusing on adding as much more assets for maritime surveillance”
Don’t forget we still have the 2 CL415s, the 3 B200Ts, incoming 3 converted MSAs, and 2 new MPAs, that gives us up to 10 MPA/MSA in usage. And we still have 4 more CN-235s that we could seek to convert into MPA/MSA. IMHO for conventional MPA/MSAs, we would have plenty and having more planes that gives us a different capability (ie amphib, water bombing) and somemore one that MMEA ady using, will be an added advantage. Moving forward with global warning, we will expend more efforts to fight forest fires than we would be fighting other parties. Any extra resource we could use to put out such fires would be most useful.
Someone once said: Why drink from 1 cup of tea when you could drink from both cups?
Pick option 3) Praise UK and do fleet exercises with both QE task force and Liaoning/Shandong task force 😉
… – “I hope it will be no. 1.”
No. 2 is unlikely and something totally out of character with how we handle things – hedging our bets and maintaining ties with everyone.
Given that the U.K. is a FPDA partner and we have long ties with it; we’ll welcome the deployment. Even if there are no “passing” or other forms of exercises; there will be interaction; e.g. RN officers from the task group might fly in for a short visit or some of our people might be invited for a visit.
The requirement is for a prop driven “maritime patrol aircraft” with a certain range and endurance. How can the Scorpion even be considered when it’s in a different category of aircraft?
” but imho it doesn’t give a different capability apart from the current AMASCOS ones nor the future MSA/MPAs ”
What kind of different capability do you want for MMEA?
IMO what the MMEA MSA capability that can be skipped.
– Secure datalinks such as link-Y, link-11 or link-16. just use commercial data transfer protocols.
– ESM systems.
– ASW systems.
– target lasing and designating capability of EO turrets.
from that article
” Chinese historian Cho Yao Lu, who says that the entire Pamir region belonged to China at one time and consequently, he implies, Tajikistan should now or in the future return it to Beijing ”
Well the whole of china belonged to Mongolia at one time (conquered by genghis khan) and consequently Beijing need to surrender all their power to Ulaanbaatar??
There is a reason why it is called history. Because it is in the past.
” Last salute to a general ”
A great leader gone west. Hopefully we will see more of leaders like him in our military.
Certain parties prefer an alliance with China, so they will do 2, mark my words
Who? Those who stand to gain from the Chinese style of doing things, and not the US style. Less transparency, less governance, one party system.
And these people will leverage their allies to play their usual tactics: deception, disinformation, racial provocation.
” Beware ”
Something we need to make sure does not happen.
MMEA can use its MSA to patrol the malacca strait as well to look out for encroaching vietnamese trawler boats with their usual shenanigans and lift the burden off RMAF shoulder so it could focus their upcoming MPA fleet on SCS (read: PLAN).
We also need MSAs on ESSZone.
No doubt about that. I saw one of those proponents for Sarawak out of Malaysia group has is leaning towards China – judging by the PLA style fatigues that he worn previously.
Doesn’t really help that Kuching has a Chinese consulate too, and there are a lot of China workers in Sarawak. Wonder how many of them are undercover PLA intel guys…..
Is letting a carrier dock considered a message of strong support? We used to have USN carriers dock on and off at Port Klang but not anymore it seems. If we allow QE for port visits during their deployment, would that constitute as tacit support? What about if we allow both sides in for port visits (obviously not at the same time).
The US Navy stopped having its carriers and even other ships stopped at Port Klang due to the Fat Leonard scandal, it was nothing to the MY government. That said in the last few years of the BN Government, it was wary of having foreign naval ships even from Australia to dock here apart from LIMA of course. The PH government also followed the same policy during its 22 months tenure. I was told that they had discussed RN sending its carrier here, when PH was still the government, the response was not positive. Unless it was for LIMA.
If you’ve seen US sailors on shore leave in Singapore you’d know that there’s zero interest in docking in Klang, haha. Not well situated at all for the necessary R&R considerations
Besides. They are expanding their presence in SG to the point of forward basing. Why not continue docking there? Makes the most sense.
I will tell you how they’ll play it. They will have people make pro-China statements and then other people come up and say “X are pro-China pengkhianat negara”
Meanwhile they themselves making deals with China. As anyone looking upwards in KL can easily see, standing tall and proud there
“Those who stand to gain from the Chinese style of doing things…” I think it should be Beijing/PRC, not the whole Chinese ppl per see.
MMEA new MPA, maybe they either go for CL415 (familiar with its operations), or ATR72 (the plane is operated by local airlines)or Super king Air 350 (follow PDRM)…just my 2cents
Chua – “. Why not continue docking there”
Yes. If they indeed dock here; it will be seen and understood by everyone that it’s mere diplomacy/goodwill – “showing the flag”. Nobody will complain or accuse us of anything.
ASM – “ Doesn’t really help that Kuching has a Chinese consulate too, and there are a lot of China workers in Sarawak. Wonder how many of them are undercover PLA intel guys“
– There are number of places nationwide in which Chinese firms are involved either are sub or main contacted; there are Chinese workers.
– None of the places where Chinese workers are is a military base or one of utmost strategic importance. It’s not as if Chinese workers are in the position to provide intel to Chinese intelligence. BTW, local companies providing certain services are allowed to bring their foreign workers into bases – the workers are of course vetted and their movement is controlled.
– The main means for the Chinese to collect intel will be open source material, the Defence Attaché (whose job is also to collect info) and other means. Chinese workers/nationals are unlikely to be in a position that would enable then to obtain sensitive/valuable data.
A more flexible plane would suit the MMEA. There is one additional requirement by the MMEA n that is search n rescue which may include the dropping of inflatable boat bundle. So a larger aircraft of the ATR/ Q400 class would be the most flexible n provide the best endurance
“What kind of different capability do you want for MMEA?”
Something that isn’t mostly overlapping with TUDM MSA/MPA functions. Something that MMEA could do more often during peacetime operational situations, like putting out fires. Also in a way, it becomes a diplomacy tool when we sent them to help put out fires in Sumatera. Of course I’m saying that after we have the 3 MSAs and 2 MPAs in usage and hopefully converting the remaining CNs into 3 more MPAs with the B200T AMASCOS gear.
“it was nothing to the MY government”
I wouldn’t say it wasn’t for nothing, as it does gets press coverage and sometimes minister visitations so at the very least I believe it did help to boost our relationship even a little, Fat Leonard notwithstanding.
“there’s zero interest in docking in Klang”
Port of calls are more than just going from Point A to Point B.
“Meanwhile they themselves making deals with China”
Those who shout loudest about freedom, fairness, democracy, and equality has no qualms about doing business with China. Ironic.
” Something that MMEA could do more often during peacetime operational situations, like putting out fires ”
MMEA MSA operating circumstances should be mostly doing missions during peacetime. Putting out fires should not be a prime consideration for MSA. It should be just an additional capability that is not required, but is there so we will use it anyway.
Primary requirement would be to be able to do surveillance from the air of our maritime areas, with low acquisition and operational costs, and adequately comfortable for the crews flying it.
A rebuilt CL-415 from CL-215 airframe goes for USD30 million. A brand new King Air 350 with MSA conversion goes for around USD15 million. A used King Air 200 installed with new more powerful engines, long range tanks, latest advanced glass cockpits, winglets and MSA equipment can be had for around USD8 million. So which one to go for?
Back to putting out fires.
BOMBA should be the main department to do it. Sell off the expensive 2 units of AW189, and get 4 used AW139 and fit the simplex water tank system.
what we need is
1) TUDM with MPA capable aircraft. MPA capable means able to support other military units in defensive and offensive missions. It would also be capable for ISR missions over land in support of tentera darat.
2) MMEA wirh MSA capable aircraft. doing mostly surface surveillance of civilian activities at sea, including IUU fishing, smuggling, illegal immigrants. Also to ensure safety of people at sea, and can do SAR support.
This is why i planned for
– 6 CN-325MPA
– 3 CL-415MP
– 6 B200 MSA
Those tudm B200T is to be retired anyway in a few years so put that away from the plans. A new B200 MSA for MMEA should be much more capable than TUDM B200T but with more newer techs and mostly COTS equipment which would be cheaper to get and maintain.
I don’t see what’s far fetched about it. About a quarter of the population speaks Mandarin, and the sight of a Chinese, local or otherwise, doesn’t faze us so blendng in will be easier. Besides its not uncommon to find locals who speak Mandarin only.
The intel gathering may relate to the terrain, the local political scene and political influence, recruiting of informants etc. Not to say these activities dont occur in other countries, but our situation makes it easier.
@Lee Yoke Meng
“A more flexible plane would suit the MMEA”
Exactly my point, something that could bring a different dimension to the conventional MPA/MSA, moreso since MMEA ady using amphib plane. SAR could also be done overwater since depending on situations, not always the drop survival kit could be deployed (ex. if the person was too weakened or unconscious).
Marhalim “The US Navy stopped having its carriers and even other ships stopped at Port Klang due to the Fat Leonard scandal, it was nothing to the MY government.”
Apart from the facts that Leonard is Malaysian by nationality and that his gang directed USN ships to call at Malaysian ports -among other South East Asian ports, the scandal had very little to do with Malaysia per se. His company was registered in Singapore.
ASM “No doubt about that. I saw one of those proponents for Sarawak out of Malaysia group has is leaning towards China – judging by the PLA style fatigues that he worn previously.”
I remember that guy too. Was he famous for his fatigues or something else he did, or did we just happen to find him by chance?
Chua “I will tell you how they’ll play it. They will have people make pro-China statements and then other people come up and say “X are pro-China pengkhianat negara”
That said, a lot of the people making pro-China statements are not plants. We all hear their message face to face at some point. Not saying there are no plants but these people are real- someone started a thread to discuss them titled “My dad has been self-radicalising every night with extreme pro-China/anti-non-China propaganda videos.” The thread is from Singapore and they have this problem too, but to a far lesser extent.
nimitz “Those who stand to gain from the Chinese style of doing things…” I think it should be Beijing/PRC, not the whole Chinese ppl per see.
All Malaysians -except the collaborators, whatever their colour- stand to lose. But there will always be people who are too brainwashed to see anything wrong with us adopting the “Chinese style of doing things” and people who are happy to see the country subjugated. These are the guys who subject the reasonable and Chinese among us to ethnic shaming.
I would fully agree on your assessment if MMEA didn’t already have the CL415s. But since we have them, getting more would be filling in the “additional capability that is not required, but is there so we will use it anyway.”
Different than your plan, mine would be:
3 converted MSA + 2 new MPA + 2 converted MPA with existing AMASCOS from B200T (totaling 7 units). All these will be put under TLDM responsibility instead of current TUDM.
For TUDM then, they need to be incharge of AEW/AWACS possibly with GlobalEye (if got money) or used E-2C Hawkeyes we can beg from Uncle Sam (if no money).
MMEA will have total of 4-6 CL415 (existing + used/new) with primary focus on overwater patrols for SAR duties rather than MPA, with 2ndary role of waterbombing. Imo peacetime surface surveillance should be done with ships so MMEA should focus to get much more ships rather than planes.
” SAR could also be done overwater since depending on situations, not always the drop survival kit could be deployed (ex. if the person was too weakened or unconscious) ”
which is why MMEA have dedicated 20m SAR boats
MMEA helicopters is also SAR capable.
Human intel is so passe. Your Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oukitel, etc phones can glean so much more intel including what your favourite food you tapau from Food Panda, and where your mistresses are from your Grab travels 😉
ASM – “The intel gathering may relate to the terrain, the local political scene and political influence, recruiting of informants etc”
That is the job of the Defence Attaché. his assistant and members of the embassy who are intel people (some will be accredited as such and known to us – some will be operating lunder different job titles); who will utilise various sources including open source material, informants and other means.
If Chinese intelligence had well placed sources here able to
deliver valuable political/military intel; chances are it won’t be a Chinese national ….
I’m very aware it happens in other countries but the situation here differs. For one we don’t have Chinese nationals working in any defence R&D places or think tanks; the bulk of Chinese nationals employed here are not employed in any sensitive capacity. Neither do we have out of the way inaccessible secret military bases which the Chinese are keen to penetrate.
The bulk of Chinese nationals working here will not be in the position to supply intel of much value – whether economic or military – for the simple reason that they’re not in a position to do so. Valuable/sensitive intel will be via other means.
“chances are it won’t be a Chinese national”
Wait how did you know about the mistresses?!?!
Mr Marhalim how safe is your website?!?!
” 3 converted MSA + 2 new MPA + 2 converted MPA with existing AMASCOS from B200T (totaling 7 units). All these will be put under TLDM responsibility ”
3 different MPA operating systems. 3 different capability that need to take into consideration when you want to assign mission to. 3 different pool of system operators, spare parts considerations, pilots etc.
TLDM also has less support personnel pool, less available infrastructure (hangars around malaysia)
TLDM would also not want to do much with supporting ISR mission for the army.
Airmen would also have less carrier path advancement in TLDM compared with TUDM.
CL-415 have high operating costs, due to the need to be on top of corrosion mitigation tasks. MMEA is the only operator in the world using CL-415 for maritime patrol, all other users using them for firefighting, which is not a continuous all year round task.
Then there is the acquisition costs. Wanting to add just 2 more rebuild CL-415EAF can get us 8 B200 MSA instead.
“which is why MMEA have dedicated 20m SAR boats”
In rescue, every minute count. If the spotter plane could perform the rescue by itself, it could mean the difference between life and death.
“3 different capability that need to take into consideration”
Platform-wise it shouldn’t be too different if all are using CN-235s per my suggestion. Its not like comparing B200T with Poseidon. If the new MPA could go for either AMASCOS or US-sponsored MSA path per my suggestion, we would only have to deal with 2 systems. Not exactly a challenging task.
“TLDM also has less support personnel pool, less available infrastructure”
Sharing infra isn’t uncommon with our Forces. They could start from basing in TUDM airbases, eventually having separate facilities or expanding TLDM bases with new airfields. TLDM already have a pool of rotary wing pilots and personnel, so expanding that to cater for MPAs isn’t stretching a lot.
“TLDM would also not want to do much with supporting ISR”
It doesn’t seem like this is part of the MPA requirements from TUDM. Therefore regardless it wouldn’t have matter who is refusing to do it.
“Airmen would also have less carrier path advancement”
Well isn’t that something they’d have to fix anyways, in view they do have an existing rotary wing and if that career limitation was real, the resentment wouldn’t just happen overnight once they inherited the MPA role.
There is always a chance that foreign nationals in the country will pass the info if they happen to see or hear anything of interest whilst they’re in the country: this can apply to not only
to Chinese but also Thai, Singaporean and Indonesian nationals.
Apart from taking certain precautions there’s not much we can realistically do about it – we’re not the Stasi which has tens of thousands of staff and informants; we’re not officially in a state of tensions with anyone and are no limits set on where foreign embassy officials can travel throughout the country.
In the 1980’s we uncovered a Singaporean spy ring – a number of people including RMN ones were caught. In “Cambodian
Wars” Conboy mentions how Malaysian/Singaporean cooperation over Cambodia (both countries supporting rebel groups) was affected due to the discovery of the spy ring.
” Platform-wise it shouldn’t be too different if all are using CN-235s per my suggestion ”
It is not about the platform. it is about the capability of the platform.
3 different systems will have 3 vastly different capabilities, with it different operational circumstances.
Which one has ESM system? if 2 have ESM system, what is the frequency range that it can cover? Which one has ASW capability, which one have not? 3 different systems will have 3 different training for systems operator. That means someone good using and operating system A will not be for system B and C. Also spare parts of the system is not interchangeable. Say a part of the amascos system broke down, you cannot share parts with say the merlin system of the MSI paid CN-235.
How about the technicians? TUDM has a large pool of technicians from C-130, A-400, CN-235. You can move to different transport squadrons if you are going up your rank. TLDM technician pool will be smaller, and less chance to move up in your career.
Given time and the needed budget; the RMN can acquire the manpower and infrastructure to operate a small fleet of MPAs.
Such a possibility however remains in the very future; no possibility of it happening anytime soon. For one: the RMAF might object: pointing out that fix wing platforms should be under its exclusive purview. Such things have happened before; to be expected given inter service rivalry is very much alive and each service is guarding its turf and the funding which comes with it
In a perfect world however the RMN should be the operator of MPAs. A guys start would be for mix RMAF/RMN crews. The RMAF in 2018 announced that it would seek the RMN’s feedback on the MPA requirement.
“3 different systems will have 3 vastly different capabilities”
Which is why I am suggesting keeping to either AMASCOS or MerlinMSA. Just 2.
In terms of maint, from the rotary airwing perspective, they had been managing different chopper systems with Superlynx & Cougars, and soon the MUH & ASW choppers into the mix. Operational-wise, yes, they have to manage the differences but that goes the same for the new ASW choppers they are planning and the Superlynx currently.
“TLDM technician pool will be smaller, and less chance to move up in your career.”
Again if there were an issue, it would have been there way before taking on the MPA role. I would say by having the added hardware, the current crop of technicians moving from chopper to rotary fixed-wing planes could be seen as THE career advancement path for them. In any case, isn’t maint done by AIROD or something? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Imho, MMEA should consider the Viking Guardian 400 (with scar pod) 1. Its a STOL aircraft, suitable to use coastal airfields ( which is equal to a forward operaring base ) like Semporna, Kudat, Pulau Tioman/Redang to name a few. Even the Viets are using them. 2. Its operating cost is relatively very low compared to king air & CL415. 3. Complete MRO, engineering and initial crew operating experience can be settled by local airline, maswings. Engineering full support available in kota kinabalu & miri… also kuching. 4. For coastal surveilance, we don\’t need high speed airceafts to patrol. 180kts for camera capture in a king air is too fast for the coast guard imho. Being able to fly slower with good loiter time with full IFR capability is preffered. 5. Its a twin engine turboprop aircraft, perfect for \” over the water \” ops. The single engine cessnas and twin engine piston da42 wont be suitable.
Different systems for different tasks s not much issue. the problem is different systems for the same task.
The 2 new MPA project is surely be a different platform with different systems. There is no way IPTN will win that new MPA tender.
Why i suggested we cancel the new MPA requirement altogether and concentrate on CN-235 MPA conversion programme
AFAIK none of our military nor civvie airlines nor cargo haulers are operating Twin Otters, so to get your proposed would mean setting up an entirely new MRO, facility & manpower/training just to keep a couple of planes in use. I doubt all that effort would be cheaper than expanding the CL415 maint budget to cater for additional 2 more planes on top the existing MMEA ones. Besides, our Armed Forces haven’t touched a De Havilland aircraft since retirement of the Caribous.
“There is no way IPTN will win that new MPA tender.”
Any reason why you are confident in that regards? I mean since TUDM is willing for them to convert our planes into MSAs, so I am curious is there other reasons TUDM would refuse the Merlin system put forward by IPTN if this round we are buying?
“Why i suggested we cancel the new MPA requirement altogether and concentrate on CN-235 MPA conversion programme”
This I fully agree. We will have 2 systems in use anyways so lets keep it to just 2 if we ever make the purchase in future.
Joe, Mas AirWings are operating Twin Otters in Sabah and Sarawak. I flew on one of them in 1997 from Miri to Mulu
Ahh, my mistake. Thanks for correction. But adding another plane type into our mix… hmm. Even if MAS Wings does operate Twin Otters, none of our Armed Forces do and having to rely on civvie crew to do maint (unless we go to AIROD or setting up anew)… double hmm. IMHO I would still prefer keeping to the existing mix of planes that we currently have, even with regards the extra cost of maint on the CL415.
Its not like moving from a Proton to a BMW. We ady have 2 BMWs so adding another couple of BMWs, we know how much the actual maint would cost us and we could then justify to expand the budget catering for the existing & extras units, leveraging on volume since maint cost per unit would go down with more examples.
If its already operated by civilians, an LE operated aircraft will enjoy the same benefits from the larger pool of same aircraft even though none of the government agencies operating them.
joe “We used to have USN carriers dock on and off at Port Klang but not anymore it seems.”
About ten years ago I saw the 7th Fleet band perform at a local shopping mall. Of course, public appearances by uniformed US personnel were rare to begin with and have become scarcer due to various security and political reasons. In Singapore, US personnel are also asked not to go around in uniform and I could be wrong but I believe the band has not performed publicly for some time.
joe “our Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oukitel, etc phones can glean so much more intel”
Interception can also take place via the telco’s grid or via local wired and wireless networks. A supposedly secure device can also be tampered with before or after an individual acquires it. In Kosovo the Russians put spyware on USB drives sold at shops near KFOR camps. A crude form of spying was available from our local shops in the days before smartphones. You brought them the target’s phone, and they made it send a duplicate of every outgoing SMS to your chosen number. You hoped the target didn’t notice the bill shock.
… “Can be mitigated by having this system (which we have even for our MKM it seems)”
joe “If the spotter plane could perform the rescue by itself, it could mean the difference between life and death.”
The CL415s can be deployed in a SAR event, but in a large search operation it has to be accepted that the majority of assets involved will not be amphibious.
Another option is to deploy rescue swimmers from helicopters equipped with a winch. This would provide a faster response than rescue boats.
you sure like your twin otters.
0) SCAR POD does not need a dedicated aircraft like twin otters. it can be carried by our current TUDM PC-7 Mk2 and PDRM PC-6 without any modifications. A large twin otter just carrying SCAR POD is a very low capability investment. Twin otter fixed landing gears blocks radar coverage if you want to install a maritime surveillance radar, unlike retractable landing gear b200 king airs.
1) STOL? Semporna, Kudat, Pulau Tioman/Redang all has more than 800m runway. More than enough for B200 King Airs on Blackhawk XP52 engine upgrade. Even Layang2 airstrip can. Anyway why do you need to deploy from tioman/redang when there is not much difference anyway if you deploy from kuala terengganu, kuantan or senai?
3) MRO for king airs also not a big issue. it is not a complicated aircraft anyway with plenty of examples flying in malaysia.
4) 180 kts with EO turrets, surveillance radar, AIS transceivers is IMO not a big issue. Flying faster can cover more area too.
5) King airs, DA42 or even DA62 are also twin engine aircrafts. DA42 and DA62 also uses avtur fuel, so no issues of avgas high cost and availability.
MMEA, like PDRM is a civilian outfit.
“an LE operated aircraft will enjoy the same benefits from the larger pool of same aircraft”
Yes, provided the outfit has no problems using civvie tech crew to do the maint.
While MMEA, like PDRM are civvie outfit, there are certain sensitive equipment onboard an MPA/MSA, so I’d prefer if certain personnel clearance are in place to perform maint. IMO the easiest is to sub-con AIROD to do the job since they have all the necessary clearances.
The maintenance of all aircraft operated by MMEA are done by civilian outfit apart from the flight line ones done by MMEA personnel. Its the same for PDRM and even to some extent the RMAF ie A400M and the EC725. It will be the same for whatever MPA they buy. If the chosen aircraft is already in service in the country , flight and technical training will be done in country reducing the cost of the procurement which will be highlighted by the bidders. In this case only the Dornier 228 will be at a disadvantage as no one is operating the aircraft locally.
I see. Thanks for the info.
I mean, it’s not rocket science; clearly the ones who can pass on the most information are people within the system, not outside observers…
Not likely unless MMEA allowed second hand airframes.
I would say the best fit of aircraft for the MMEA is the ATR. The ATR is in service by both Maswing n Firefly. Servicing n engineering would not be a problem. Large enough for logistic support, room for expansion, its range can be increased n also accomodate a relief crew too.
A brand new ATR airframe will cost around RM100 million alone without the equipment. So clearly unless MMEA will allow for a second hand airframe I don’t think it will be suitable based on the budget, though I must admit I don’t know how much money is allocated but I doubt it will be more than RM200 million
” I must admit I don’t know how much money is allocated but I doubt it will be more than RM200 million ”
For rm200 million you can get 6 MSA based on secondhand B200 King air with brand new engines, avionics and extended fuel tanks.
Supposedly the B350ER airframe is only a few million usd
Here is a very interesting definition on the difference between MSA, MPA, & ASW planes
A brand new B350ER costs about RM32 million each.
A low houred used B200 costs about RM8 million each. B200 blackhawk XP52 engine upgrade (swap with a brand new more powerful engine) costs about RM4 million.
Like I said in an earlier post – “had well placed sources here able to deliver valuable political/military intel; chances are it won’t be a Chinese national”
It’s a documented fact that Malaysian nationals have been caught passing info. Same elsewhere; the “insiders” can do the most damage : Pollard, Vanunu, Ames, Walker, Philby, Pentrovsky, Blunt, Burgess, McLean, Fuchs, etc, etc. etc. The list is a long one.
Did you know that SOPs call for serving MAF members to first seek permission before marrying a foreign national and before travelling abroad for personal reasons? We are well aware of the various means of espionage which may be employed against us; whether HUMINT, ELINT, cyber, etc. We do take whatever steps are within our means to prevent/minimise things.
The problem is resources. We are not in a state of tensions with anyone; there are no curbs placed on foreign nationals when it comes to travelling the breadth of the country and our intelligence services do not have a vast manpower pool which would enable us to keep regular tabs on Military Attaches; embassy staff we suspect are intel people serving under cover assignments (in case they meet with Malaysian nationals or drive around bases); have permanent “watchers” outside certain embassies to see who enters; etc.
” Here is a very interesting definition on the difference between MSA, MPA, & ASW planes ”
Why is that interesting anyway?
I have said the same thing so many times before here. Why not all airborne maritime surveillance planes should be under TLDM only like you suggest.
Interesting as it clears the definition between MPA & MSA (we had this discussion before) and that in theory we could upgrade the US-sponsored MSA into MPA.
Again, as a civvie outfit, I don’t expect MMEA to have the full MPA package as what TUDM will get. Neither did I said MMEA surveillance role should be under TLDM purview but more towards focusing their surveillance patrols for the purpose of SAR duties.
What I did suggest was TUDM’s MPA responsibility should be handed over to TLDM as it jives more with TLDM interests rather than TUDM’s.
Yes. In an ideal world that would be the case; the RMAF would have no objections to the RMN taking over the role and the RMN would be granted the funding to create the needed manpower and support infrastructure.
I’ve long maintained that this should happen but unfortunately it won’t anytime soon. For RMAF MPAs to really do whet they’re supposed to do will entail real “jointness” with the RMN.
The through-life operating costs though…
” Interesting as it clears the definition between MPA & MSA (we had this discussion before) and that in theory we could upgrade the US-sponsored MSA into MPA ”
I have been telling you the same thing many many times before. I have even explained the difference (additional ESM, datalinks,etc…) So you are discussing without knowing the difference of MSA and MPA (which is small anyway)? Why for so many times I have suggested that we put in additional money from our own budget to upgrade the CN-235-220 MSA spec into a MPA level capability, by adding ESM and datalinks. That is the little difference between MSA (maritime surveillance only) or MPA (which can support offensive and defensive military maneuvers like OTHT).
” The through-life operating costs though… ”
Care to elaborate more? which one?
Although the airplane is called ” Maritime Patrol Aircraft “, in reality it can do more than just maritime patrol.
For example his is the capabilities of the Leonardo Seaspray radar
› Track While Scan: Automatic up to 200 tracks
› Track Identification: AIS integration, ISAR and IFFi (optional)
› Mode Interleaving: Simultaneous dual-mode operation
› EO Integration: Option
› Surface surveillance: Long Range Search, Priority Track, Small
› Navigation: Land Mass Discrimination, Weather Detection,
› Beacon Detection: Search and Rescue, Transponder (SART)
› Target Imaging/Classification: ISAR, Range Profiling
› Spot SAR: High resolution ground
› Strip SAR: Medium resolution wide, Area ground mapping, Oil
slick detection, Iceberg detection
› Moving Target Detection: GMTI, Air-to-air MTI
› Air-to-Air: Dedicated Air-to-Air mode, ADS-B (option), IFFi
Other than maritme functions, the Seaspray can be used as SAR (synthetic aperture radar), in laymans terms, can use the radar to take pictures of the ground. Another is GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indication) which by the use of radar, can track movements on the ground and create a pattern of life picture of the area. This is useful for supporting operations on the ground, like the Royal Australian Air Force support with the P-3 Orion during the Marawi conflict.
The Seaspray can also be used for air-to-air mode, becoming a mini AWACs of sort.
Other than the maritime surveillance radar, other equipment in the MPA, like the ESM and EO turret could also be used for the support of ground and air operations.
So can you see my justification on why the MPA would be better off operated by TUDM rather than TLDM?
… – “So can you see my justification on why the MPA would be better off operated by TUDM rather than TLDM?”
Yes but in our context: irrespective of the full capabilities offered by the sensor suite and the fact that the aircraft’s “MPA”
designation may not accurately describe its full potential; the aircraft will spend most of its time patrolling the maritime domain. The maritime domain will be its primary stomping ground.
Very rarely will it be required to perform tasks/roles in a non maritime environment. As such; even though the RMN has neither the immediate manpower, ground support infrastructure and budget: and the fact that the RMAF might object to another service acquiring a fixed wing capability (and the budget that goes along with it); the RMN – ideally – would be the operator of MPAs.
.. – “the ESM and EO turret could also be used for the support of ground and air operations.”
ESM also provides a certain ability to intercept land/cellular lines and the EO set up can be useful in the event the aircraft participates in a SAR op; over land or water. Ultimately the platform is going to be used primarily in a maritime environment.
Off topic a bit, more on the TUDM MPA fitout for ASW.
As you can see the MAD-XR system is so small that it can be configured as a towed system.
This concept can also be implemented for the CN-235 to give it a MAD capability for ASW mission.
“that in theory we could upgrade the US-sponsored MSA into MPA.”
By the time somebody decided to upgrade, probably the airframes have logged 25yrs since the MSA conversion. Maybe its better to buy new ones instead, with better capabilities.
How much was the contract for MMEA CL415? was it rm200 million?
A good read on capabilities and mission of MMEA
It must be more than that. A plain waterbomber CL-415 version costs more than RM150 million each, MMEA has the CL-415MP version, which has the MSA equipment build in.
“I have been telling you the same thing many many times before”
I would honestly admit I did not really got the full picture on the difference between MSA & MPA and even Marhalim did mention there weren’t much differences. But the mission capability map does made it clearer on such differences and hence why its interesting. It does mean your concerns on the capability differences between the MPA config’ed and MSA config’ed planes aren’t all that big of a gap that we should worry on how to juggle their mission profiles. On peacetime patrolling, perhaps only the missing datalink would be the notable difference in capability between the 2 platforms but that could worked around or, in theory, be added easily during our conversion or thereafter.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be upgrading the MSAs into MPAs, that I agree with you eventually we should. Just that we could still make do in their MSA config while prioritising the budget to convert more planes into MSA or MPA firstly. Once after this, we should squeeze more budget to convert the MSAs into fully MPAs (perhaps in 2030/35 budgeting or earlier).
Yes maritime radars can be used for a certain degree of ground monitoring. That is why the British deployed the Sea King Mk7 to Afghanistan. So we could have a certain degree of AEW capability here. However we don’t know how suitable the Seaspray is for this particular job.
Note that the first the Seaspray series was also present at the Falklands War, but it was not capable of AEW as it was designed for antiship work. Now I know that the new Seaspray is quite different from 1970s Seaspray, and it’s quite likely that we have a budget form of AEW here. However bear in mind also that AEW has progressed as well and the latest AEW systems would likewise also be 45 years more capable than 1970s AEW.
P.s. if TUDM and TLDM misbehave over who gets control over MPA, I say we punish them by giving it to Kor Risik! =D
“the airframes have logged 25yrs since the MSA conversion”
Hopefully, when the MSA usability are appreciated, they would get the necessary upgrades much sooner than you expect. Which is why I am pushing for MPA role to be under TLDM jurisdiction as only this service arm would truly appreciate their role’s importance and the equipment they needed to be fitted with. Whatmore these doesn’t seem to be expensive upgrades so we could leverage on cheaper prices if we upgrade more units at once.
2nd top on the list: “To perform maritime Search And Rescue (SAR)” 😉
LoL, yeah give it to kor risik like the camcopter.
Anyway okay on the through life operating costs. My take on the B200 is to give it the XP52 engine upgrade for around USD1 million. This will give the B200 brand new engines, and will extend the TBO (time between overhaul) to 3,600 hours. So basically it will have a comparable servicing to a new aircraft as the engine and avionics are all brand new. A saving of RM 20 million compared to B350 can be used to cover maintenance for like 10 years or more.
” To perform maritime Search And Rescue (SAR) ”
Of course. But nobody says you need to do SAR just by using amphibious airplane. SAR will be mainly by boats.
Which goes back to my point that in SAR, every minute to rescue counts. If the amphib plane could land and pickup, that could mean the difference between life and death. Of course not every situation will allow that, but if I’m the one in need of rescue, I wouldn’t care what comes for me as long it reaches me soonest.
Depends. Mechanical systems tend to conform to some similar general rules, and I’m sure you all have experience maintaining 20 year old cars. It’s quite different from a 3yo Myvi, no matter new this or that.
As such when other nations are not opting for relifed equipment, they must surely also have done the numbers. Can’t be that only we are so smart to figure out how to squeeze a few more years out of secondhand equipment.
How’s this Azerbaijani thing going? I’m not even sure where the country is…
” Can’t be that only we are so smart to figure out how to squeeze a few more years out of secondhand equipment ”
Aircrafts are not cars. Other countries do it too. Why US army apaches and chinooks are rebuild (called reset) many times. Why RAF Chinook that was flying in Falklands war is still flying now and was even flown over Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lets look at the CL-415 for example. It is barely different that the piston engined CL-215 first flown 53 years ago (1967). Why now Viking is offering the CL-415EAF conversion of the piston engined CL-215 into a configuration much more advanced than even our MMEA CL-415.
Also look at HM Coastguard (UK). They are flying used B200 King Air too for MSA.
Actually how many coast guards now in 2020 have and are using amphibious aircraft? Just one, MMEA. What does that tell you?
“I say we punish them by giving it to Kor Risik! ”
Nah, give them to the SB. They are the main spooks agency after all
ah, i meant to reply to chua, but attributed to AM instead.
How many more effective coastguards have equal or lesser bases, ships, aircraft & manpower than ours? None AFAIK. What does that tell you?
If we hadn’t already have the CL415s I would agree with you. But since we have them its rather a “It should be just an additional capability that is not required, but is there so we will use it anyway.” Unless we sell the amphibs and get conventional patrol planes.
That additional capability i explicitly mentioned before is the waterbombing, not SAR. So that is way out of context.
But you are advocating to buy plenty more CL-415s explicitly for SAR.
I never say we should sell off the CL-415s.
Its just we cannot afford to have a huge fleet of them like you wanted. We cannot affford to buy and fly them often. We cannot afford to have an all amphibious MSA aircraft fleet.
Why I say we should get more conventional planes instead.
Why I propose a fleet of 3x CL-415MP and 6x B200 MSA for MMEA.
Chua – “How’s this Azerbaijani thing going? I’m not even sure where the country is”
Along the Caspian, north of Turkey – Noah’s Ark’a location.. The fighting in Nargano
Karabakh in the early 1990’s was one of several which took place in
ex Soviet republics; others being Moldovia, Tajikistan and Abkhazia.
ASM – “. They are the main spooks agency after all”
They are not the “main” anything. They handle certain things and the MAF’s and our external intel people handle different things.
“So that is way out of context.”
Not so. Just as we don’t have other fixed wing waterbombers that could reload rapidly, we also don’t have other amphib plane that could land on water. Both are specialised capabilities which the CL415 has. I advocate SAR duties because that’s what in MMEA prime directive and during SAR, any possibility for the quickest rescue must be used as it involves life & death situations. The ability to land on water and perform the rescue would give us that crucial time advantage over losing a life.
Again, we don’t have that many resources to call upon, if we have plenty of choppers on ready nearby to pluck victims, of course that would negate any need for amphib planes at all.
Having a mere 2 examples won’t allow us to maximise their unique capabilities. Therefore we can either forget about it, sell off the CL415 and get more conventional patrol planes and more choppers, or we try to fill out their numbers so we could make full use of CL415 advantages.
Rather than getting new MPA as per planned in their 2nd Horizon plan (like TUDM recent MPA tender), the Philippines Navy is going the US EDA route to get free 13 TC-12B Hurons (military equivalent of beech 200 king airs but with a larger cargo door).
The plan is to convert 8 of them to MPA aircrafts with the budget
Is the PN budget of USD59.9 million for the conversion of 8 TC-12B into MPAs sensitive?
I don’t support websites which just used information from other websites
okay noted. but i didn’t find that article copying any other articles, especially with the detail of budget and total airframes.
it is based on this Philippines navy magazine “the flight log” :
if anyone wants to browse through the whole “the flight log” magazine