Army on the Move, 2024

5 RMR at a recent parade. Note the Cendana Auto mortar carriers together with a single FFR vehicle which made up the regiment's mortar platoon. Note the 81mm mortars in firing positions. 3 DIV

SHAH ALAM: It appears that the equipment, vehicles, and firearms which the Army took delivery has been distributed down to its units. We can see the combat boats, rubber dinghies and boat trailers with Army units already.

The other items, vehicles from three-tonne trucks to weapon carriers could now be seen operated by Army units. They are not publicising them of course but if you trawl Facebook, you could see them some of which I am posting here.

4 RRD Cendana Auto mortar vehicles and a single FFR vehicle at a recent parade. 4 RRD.

It is interesting to note that one unit – 4 Rejimen Renjer DiRaja – has taken delivery of almost all new vehicles procured within the last two years or so. Similar units like 4 RRD has also taken delivery of the same equipment and vehicles though they have not posted them yet on their social media sites.

5 RMR at a recent parade. Note the Cendana Auto mortar carriers together with a single FFR vehicle which made up the regiment’s mortar platoon. 3 DIV

I do not keep track of the unit’s TOE, but I believed other infantry units – not mechanised or paras – have received the same vehicles and equipment. At least, units under the Western Field Command. Eastern Field Command infantry units are likely to receive them this year as these equipment and vehicles need to be shipped to Sabah and Sarawak first. This was the case with the Cendana Auto FFR, first we saw them with units in Semenanjung but in 2023, many of them could be seen with units in Sabah and Sarawak.
Soldiers of 26 RMR in a parade in October, last year. Note the Cendana Auto FFR in the middle flanked by Weststar GKm1 weapon carriers. 26 RMR.

And they are not limited to the divisional, and brigade specific units but the regular infantry units as well.
4 RRD with their new vehicles and combat boats on trailers. Among the vehicles are the Iveco 3-tonne trucks, Cendana Auto weapon carriers, scramblers, Cendana Auto mortar and FFR vehicles and one-tonne GS Cargo vehicles.

What will happen to vehicles retired from the regular units then? As the second line infantry units are not numerous as the regular infantry ones – RMR and RRD – it is likely that these vehicles will be refurbished at the central depot with some returned to service with the mechanised units especially the three tonne trucks.
7 RRD using a rubber dinghy during training for flood relief operations on December 24 2023. It is unclear whether the rubber dinghy was recently delivered to the unit. 7 RRD.

Some of the vehicles will be returned to service with the Rejimen Sempadan battalions and the territorial units. The rest will be kept as spare source to keep these vehicles running for at least a decade or so.

Happy New Year, every one.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

98 Comments

  1. “And they are not limited to divisional, and brigade attached units but regular infantry units as well”

    All regular infantry battalions (RAMD, RRD, RS) are attached to a brigade, and each brigade is attached to a division.

    For example 26 RAMD is attached to 13th Infantry Brigade. 13th Infantry Brigade in turn is attached to 5th Division.

    5 RAMD is attached to 7th Infantry Brigade. 7th Infantry Brigade in turn is attached to 3rd Division. 5 RAMD should be one of the battalions that will receive the KARAOK ATGM as it was previously armed with the Metis-M.

    4 RRD is attached to 6th Infanty Brigade. 6th Infantry Brigade in turn is attached to 2nd Division.

  2. So basically, each Batalion Infanteri Standard will get 1 Cendana Auto FFR, 6 x Weapon Carriers (Cendana or Westar), assorted 1 ton GS Cargo vehicles and a couple of 3 ton Cargo truck….plus scramblers and ATVs

  3. There will be at least 6 FFR per unit actually, 6 weapons and 6 mortar vehicles, around a dozen or so 1 tonne GS Cargo and around six 3 tonnes.

  4. The vehicle is the mortar carrier, it is fired on the ground, outside the vehicle. It has been that case since the 50s actually. We have not yet move to firing the mortar from the vehicle, which needs a different vehicle and mortar.

  5. “Some of the vehicles will be returned to service with the Rejimen Sempadan battalions and the territorial units.”
    I hope the Condors will be one of them as we have plenty to go around and they are good enough for such secondary troop transports role with semblance better protection than softskin trucks.

  6. Question. Are the army will buy more cendana rover to replace all old assets likes g wagon and land rover?

  7. It is likely the G-Wagons will be replaced by the Cendana Auto weapon carriers. Do note at the current number of Cendana Auto Weapon Carrier, contracted, they could be issued to twelve units, if its four vehicles per unit. As for the Landys, they will be replaced by the one-tonne GS cargo trucks and the Cendana Auto FFR.

  8. Currently contract for Cendana auto

    70x Fitted For Radio (FFR) vehicles (40 M’sia, 30 UNIFIL)
    49x ARTAC Armed Tactical Ground Vehicles
    72x MT-815 81mm mortar transporters

    the MT-815 mortar vehicles are enough for 12 infantry battalions.

    Currently minus Para (3x RAMD, 1x RRD), Mech (3x RAMD, 1x RRD), Ceremonial (1x RAMD, 1x RRD), there are 20 RAMD infantry battalions and 8 RRD infantry battalions.

    if current 72 mortar vehicles enough for 12, then 96 more needs to be bought to equip another 16 battalions.

    As for 120mm towed mortars, if want free items, USMC has retired all of theirs. This is one of a few 120mm mortars that is rifled (umlike most that is smoothbore) like our 120mm mortars on Adnan and Gempita. There should be around 66 units . We can also request their 120mm rifled mortar rounds.

  9. @hulubalang

    What is the atgm used by the platun AKK of the BIS? I am assuming AKK means Anti Kereta Kebal.

  10. US Army are planning to retire hundred plus of Lima Blackhawks est each for USD $2mil (RM 9mil)
    https://www.defensenews.com/land/2023/12/20/us-army-to-trim-black-hawk-helicopter-fleet/

    A fleet of 12 units to rebuild PUTD haulage force will only need RM 108mil a small dent on TDM 2024 DE of RM 1.1 Bil, and these are choppers fresh from active service so they are still functional with minimal refurbishment required. However it is likely these lacks the digital cockpit and subsequent performance enhancements of Mike variant so might need to pay more for the upgrades but even if it tops up to RM 200mil for dozen improved choppers is still far less expensive than buying brand new. This will tie in very well with TDM miserly budget, their urgent need for hauling birds, their lack of attention (hence lack of budget) for the PUTD arm, and they will have more money for their other more priority buys.

  11. I have been told previously that the leasing contract is the only money the Army going to spend on PUTD medium lift helicopters for the next four years.

  12. @hulubalang

    That’s a nice diagram. It would be good if someone can provide a detailed explanation on the role of each unit, number of personnel, type of equipment, etc.

  13. The Blackhawk lease is budgeted for RM 187mil. Even if we reduce the fleet buy by 1/3 (to 8units) it still only cost under RM 150mil after upgrades. Well within that budget above plus we will have 8 units, DOUBLE, as compared to 4 leased birds which will not be ours anyway. Not to forget these are Lima variants which are far younger and better equipped than the Alpha variants of the lease, after upgrading them of course.

    Understandably that meagre budget do not allow us to buy 4 brand new, but this program by USA has given us an option to buy used but still serviceable choppers.

  14. @ hasnan

    AKK – yes Anti Kereta Kebal.

    Currently all battalions under 7th Infantry Brigade has Metis-M. Others mostly have Carl Gustaf. I assume some has AKK platoon replaced with AGL or gatling gun platoons, or none at all.

    BTW this is from an old document, this was prior to them getting RPG-7 at infantry (rifle) sections.

    @ h

    There are detailed explanation of the diagram, but that is for another day i guess.

    @ joe

    I thought you are against used blackhawks?

    anyway

    The PUTD blackhawk lease when divided per helicopter comes down to RM46.75 per helicopter. Portugese air force buy of used blackhawks, with similar upgrades, training and service support for 5 years comes out to only RM36.6 million each. That is RM10.15 million less per helicopter.

    If we are to buy outright used 4 blackhawks as per what Portugal is paying, it would amount to just RM146.4 million, that is RM40.6 million cheaper than what we pay to lease!

    To buy 12 units, that would be RM439.2 million, or just USD94.8 million. Surely a number we can find a way to pay them? Or if we really want for free, ask for offset of 12 UH-60P Blackhawk from south korea for our FA-50 batch 2 buy. Those USD2 million price is really for non-flyable blackhawks, which is why they retired them in the 1st place. They will need at least overhauls and thorough IRAN (Inspect and Replace As Necesary) to be flyable. Adding things like glass cockpits something should be done anyway as the helicopter is already torn down for overhaul, and the upgrades does not cost a bomb yet will significantly improve the flying ability of the blackhawk.

    Also currently there are quite alot of aftermarket upgrades that can be applied to the blackhawk, such as :
    – GARMIN G5000H advanced touchscreen avionic system
    – BLR Fastfin modification
    – Aerometals inlet barrier filter
    – Honeywell aerospace Aspire 200 SATCOM
    – Robertson conformal auxiliary fuel system
    – and others.

  15. @hulubalang
    “I thought you are against used blackhawks?”
    Im against getting older high mileage birds that some might have structural fatigue due to addons it werent designed for. Those like Aussie blackhawks are a no go. But the US Army ones would have been treated better and used much less per bird (since they have plenty). These are freshly retired so they dont spend much time in storage and topping for upgrades to bring them up still worth the money. Im also apprehensive to getting used Korean made versions as the risk of localised parts might no longer available and ori US made parts are incompatible with these kimchi birds. If want to get used, it should be from the origin country.

    “Portugese air force buy of used blackhawks”
    These are for firefighting usage so its close to demilitarised hence their cheaper overall price meant it doesnt have to be modernised to current military standards, other than the glass cockpit much of the upgrades are related to it lugging firefighting gear. And unique to its role, its not an issue to get older variants with high mileage which might factor into its lower pricing.

  16. @ Marhalim – I’ve always been wanting to know, why Malaysia as a maritime country doesn’t invest much on maritime equipment, vehicles etc for war? And no Marines?

    It’s always the Tentera Darat getting the biggest budgets and buying all these land vehicles but not even enough pax to man the PUTD.

    Never enough emphasis and allocations with the Navy and Air Force. Also so much focus on the RMP having up to 3 SF! As though Malaysia is like Israel, facing so much domestic and border threats. Don’t understand it.

    Care to explain the reasons why? Thanks.

  17. @ joe

    The difference for Portuguese Air Force Blackhawks is that it is to be fitted with bambi buckets to douse fires

    http://www.aeroflap.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/613919-I-PCM25-090.jpg

    It will have same cockpit avionics from Garmin. Only additional equipment of PUTD Blackhawks that i can see (compared to Portugese blackhawks) would be a Garmin GWX weather radar in the nose (cost usd24 thousand each)
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/F-kGkYcbkAA56M9.jpg

    And after 5 years those helicopters will still be Portugese Air Force owned assets unlike PUTD which is only leased for 5 years.

    BTW there should not be any major differences of Blackhawks between those build in usa, korea or poland

  18. Melayu ketinggalan “Care to explain the reasons why? Thanks”.

    MY is a maritime state with continental roots is a policy that our gov cooks up just a few years ago. Before that we always act more like a continental country rather than a maritime one.

    Geographically true blue maritime state like UK & US have huge expanse of water and enemies can only reach them by sea.

    In our case land route are a viable option as in the Japanese occupation & konfrantasi land route either through segenting kra, quick hope over across the straits of Malacca or just go across the border into sarawak was use. These route as well as the sulu sea mean while we are surrounded by water, it’s ain’t wide enough to act as a natural boundary as evident in the huge amount of illicit trade going on across the straits of Malacca & sulu sea.

  19. @Hulubalang
    “The difference for Portuguese Air Force Blackhawks”
    It will most likely still be from stocks older than the Limas just retired by USA. Between variants there will be significant changes that even upgrades may or may not have taken onboard. Imho the USA Lima stocks are cheap enough for us to buy as is without too much compromises.

    “BTW there should not be any major differences of Blackhawks”
    Localisation esp when talking about local made parts in liew of US made ones, could be significant incompatibilities ie much of Japan F2 avionics not interchangeable with F16 avionics. How much difference the Surion vs Blackhawk I cant say but why take the risk when USA stocks are available?

    @Zaft
    “Before that we always act more like a continental country”
    What is this meaning?

  20. Joe “What is this meaning?”

    A true blue maritime state would often figure that keeping a large navy is a lot more operational & cost effective mean of defence compared to keeping a large army. Something that’s Countries with land border can ill afford.

    We are not a true blue maritime state even when we are surrounded by sea. Our seas lack strategic depth and are calm (unlike the English Channel) thus it quite porous as evident in the huge number of cross border smuggling.

  21. We are neither a true maritime nation nor a purely land based one, somewhat of a mixed. Unlike island nations we are still land bound to Thailand and then a long land border with Kalimantan. We cannot afford to solely defend at the seas nor is it strategically practical. Recall that the last invasion we had came from Thai border (by IJA).

    By historical context, apart that, our other recent threat was land based CPM hence the bulk of manpower and focus is on TDM. Being the most senior and largest of services comes with the power, privilege, & weight of incumbency and they will want to maintain that seniority.

  22. Malaysia has always been a maritime nation. The WW2 overland invasion of West Malaysia through Thailand required anamphibious landing on the Thai side of the border to enable troops to advance down the west coast. Another invasion force landed amphibiously in Kota Bahru to advance down the east coast. Less people forget, East Malaysia was also invaded in WW2, only through amphibious operations. Konfrontasi for West Malaysia involved martime incursions. Fast forward to the Lahad Datu incursion where militants crossed the Sulu Sea. A decade later Malaysia’s number 1 concern is EEZ in SCS. Malaysia has always been a maritime nation. Malaysia still has a amphibious force requirement that only the Army having the manpower and infantry experience can provide, and the Army is still aviation capabilities crucial in modern land and amphibious warfare.

  23. Melayu – ”It’s always the Tentera Darat getting the biggest budget”

    The army is the senior service; the one that has the most clout and for decades we were faced with a land threat; albeit and internal security one.

    Melayu – ”As though Malaysia is like Israel, facing so much domestic and border threats.”

    No Malaysia isn’t ”like Israel” security wise ….

    zaft – ”Unlike island nations we are still land bound to Thailand and then a long land border with Kalimantan.”

    Lets keep it simple and get to brass tacks. We are a littoral based country; one that sits astrides major sea lanes and one that – like most – depend on uninterrupted access to the sea lanes in order to engage in trade.

    zaft – ”Our seas lack strategic depth and are calm (unlike the English Channel)”

    Do you even know what ”strategic depth” depth is in this context? Are you referring to a ”sea barrier”? Britain is an island…

    zaft – ”Before that we always act more like a continental country rather than a maritime one.”

    A silly statement ….

    zaft – ”keeping a large navy is a lot more operational & cost effective mean of defence compared to keeping a large army. ”

    A navy is inherently more expensive to acquire and sustain than an army; more resource intensive.

    kel – ”Malaysia has always been a maritime nation. ”

    A lot of countries – in fact most – are ”maritime power” but some more than others.

    kel – ”Malaysia still has a amphibious force requirement that only the Army having the manpower”

    It actually dos not have an ‘amphibious force requirement” [although I’m convinced that we should have a ”littoral battalion”] and the army has the manpower but not the needed lift or other enablers.

    kel – ”Less people forget,”

    Well apparently you haven’t; you are included in the ”people” I would assume?

    Yes threats have traditionally come from the sea [we can go as far back as the Dutch and Portuguese] and trade and religion came from the sea but today as of 2023; our greatest fear [notwithstanding the penchant some have on amphibious assault] the threat and concern is not from the sea per see but threats at sea; i.e. the maritime domain. Not men landing on a defended beachhead and moving inland but us being unable to access the sea; whether for trade; to maintain SLOCs or other things.

    kel – ”Konfrontasi for West Malaysia involved martime incursions”

    Which were a minor irritant and seen much less of a threat/concern compared to the overland threats from Kalimantan.

  24. We should definitely invest more in 81mm mortars as well as tandem HEAT for both RPG-7 and CG. The conflict in Gaza shows how versatile these otherwise “light” weapons are in asymmetric warfare

  25. That conflict only shows the IDF juggernaut rolling over Gaza with little difficulty. The Zionists are more afraid of shipping lines to & fro being threatened by Houthis & Hezbollah than any form of resistance/counterattack that Hamas can possibly mount.

  26. 2013 – the version the minister said
    https://thediplomat.com/2013/10/malaysia-to-establish-marine-corps-and-south-china-sea-naval-base/

    2013 – the version the minister proposed
    https://www.theborneopost.com/2013/09/29/marine-team-with-amphibious-capability-for-sabah-hisham/

    2015 – the version MAF executed
    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/when-airborne-goes-feet-wet/

    2019 – the version actually wanted
    Defence White Paper paragraph 16 – quote “…the MAF will establish an Amphibious Force to protect national interests in the core area and beyond. The Amphibious Force needs to be equipped with new Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) as the current logistic support vessels are not designed for amphibious operations. The MRSS is also essential in conducting two-theatre operations and MOOTW when needed.”

    Side reading:
    https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1147713.pdf

  27. The proposal for marines were just proposal – from the civilian side of MINDEF – really without any support from the military. Only the defence minister, who when really pressed about it, cannot say much about it, he had to pass the mike to the then CDF. Of course, he could talk all he wants in Sabah but in KL, he has really nothing to say about it. The civilians who made the proposal were quietly eased out of Jalan Padang Tembak.

    Even the RMN wished it was never made as they knew it needed the MRSS to work but no funding was made during that time.

  28. Sure, but this is a case of does Malaysia need it or don’t need it. If MAF confidently can say no Malaysia does not need it, MAF will have to either demonstrate they can replicate amphibious capabilities without setting up a new unit, or that amphibious capabilities is not needed to safeguard Malaysia’s interests. To some or many its clear some form of amphibious capabilities is required – we just dont know in what form, something only MAF can answer. Is it a USMC type force, a Royal Marine raiding party type, or SAF Guards quick reaction force. Clearly right now, the civilian leadership has something in mind however unclear it is, and most outside MAF and Mindef would agree something is needed even if there is no agreement on what it is, what about MAF?

  29. To have an amphibious capabilities we need the MRSS, to have the MRSS we need LCS, LMS, attack & ASW helo and a whole lot other enablers because MRSS is a high value target but incapable of self defence.

    We need a navy that can respond to threat at sea but at the same time they are bog down at the littoral doing national security activity of fighting illicit activity because MMEA neither have enough personnel nor ship. They can’t have neither because they are in competition with PDRM for resources as PDRM is handling the illicit activity that had make it onto our shores.

    Am I’m getting these right?

  30. Without the means to move them, there is no reason for an amphibious capabalities. RMN do not want the marines, they just want the ships. The Army has no need for them as well.

  31. @kel
    “what about MAF?”
    Its clear from MRSS requirements, the MAF, or at least TLDM, knows what kind of amphib capability they want or willing to do. And for the umpteen time, no its not the USMC storming the beach with amphib invasion force type of operation. We need them in case to land men, equipment & vehicles, where there are no docks or such were rendered unusable. The MRSS are to work hand in hand with MPSS where it lacks a well dock.

    @Zaft
    “threat at sea but at the same time they are bog down at the littoral”
    Threats at sea & threats at littoral are the same thing when talking in the context of peacetime operation. Even if MMEA are fully equipped, TLDM LCS still has littoral missions (its practically in their description). As for resources its neither a MMEA nor Polis Marin fault, its a Malaysia problem where none of the services has ever gotten enough. Yes overlapping jurisdiction does play a role, but what about TUDM. Who competes with them for fighter jets allocation?

  32. kel – ”To some or many its clear some form of amphibious capabilities is required – we just dont know in what form, something only MAF can answer. ”

    As has been explained previously; we are looking more at ”amphib movement” rather than ‘amphib assault”; i.e. the ability to rapidly move men and material from Point A to B.

    zaft – ”Am I’m getting these right?”

    There abouts.

    zaft – ”To have an amphibious capabilities we need the MRSS, to have the MRSS we need LCS, LMS, attack & ASW helo and a whole lot other enablers ”

    Depends on the context doesn’t it? Is the MPSS going to move in contested waters? We performing ‘amphib assault’ or ‘amphib movement’? What level of opposition is being faced?

    kel – ”what about MAF?”

    Quite obviously it has a lot on its plate a the moment; a long list of long unfulfilled requirements which it needs to focus on first.

  33. kel,

    I’m talking about 2024; not 2015 or other years. There was a plan but a cursory one at that when the then Defence Minister had a USMC visitor; like others it fell through – dead as Elvis. If it ever comes to fruition it first should be a RMN not army unit; for obvious reasons and it would be a unit trained and equipped to operate in a coastal/littoral environment rather than a ”marine” unit per see. As it stands there is little likelihood; not a priority in the order of things and funding is an issue.

    kel – ”The Amphibious Force needs to be equipped with new Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) as the current logistic support vessels are not designed for amphibious operations. ”

    Yes but more for ”amphib movement” rather than ”amphib assault” [one administrative and the other operational] and not necessarily to move ”amphibious” units per see.

    Also the White Paper like the CAP 55 and 5/15 say a lot of things; things which signify intent and things which are approved politically in principle but funding is another issue and requirements evolve.

    Alex – ”The conflict in Gaza shows how versatile these otherwise “light” weapons”

    WW2 first showed us that; followed by a long list of other conflicts. Shoulder fired weapons are ”versatile” but are essentially short range weapons and in unrestricted terrain the ability of anyone with a shoulder launched weapon to get within range is questionable. Gaza; like the Ukraine; is a reminder of various things we long knew; doesn’t really show much which is actually new and if you’ve noticed; RPGs make nice bangs but don’t really destroy much heavy armour. It’s ATGWs, IEDs and other things which do.

  34. So we get into a chicken and egg sort of situation. Does the country need amphib capabilities? Or do we wait for amphib assets to be ready before developing the capabilities? But if we are waiting for amphib assets, what assets do we need to be buying in the absence of an amphib direction? Just like the discussion on MRSS. Sure RMN would like new ships to replace the Indera Saktis and probably would be happy with a mid sized LPD – nothing fancy. But would a LPD without a well deck fit into MAF’s amphib plans? How many helicopters should the MRSS carry – too few and can’t conduct assault missions, too many and the more expensive LHA type ship is needed. We’re going to be using any new MRSS for 30 years so the design choices have to be done based on future needs. Such questions in my view is something only MAF can answer. If MAF says all good we have amphib capabilities that can defend national interests today, and MAF is able to describe the amphib capabilities they have for everyone to assess, then ok. We’re still in the design phase, which is what we need. The what we can pay for determines the things MAF will be doing – recruiting, training, infrastructure, asset buys.

  35. kel – ”So we get into a chicken and egg sort of situation. ”

    Should get into the paragraphs ”situation” first.

    kel – ”Does the country need amphib capabilities? ”

    Have a habit in engaging in rhetorics don’t we and asking the fairly obvious; as as well as unnecessarily convoluting things . Of course we need an amphibious capability but – again – mainly the ability to move from Point A to Point B; i.e. ”amphib movement” and BTW that’s why we have a longstanding requirement for MPSSs; first to supplement the Saktis [even before Inderapura was lost] and now to replace them.

    kel – ”Such questions in my view is something only MAF can answer. ”

    It’s not something ”only MAF can answer” if you’ve been paying attention all these years and if you know where to look to seek the answers you’ve asked. Something with a landing spot for 3 helos [anything beyond that is seen as superfluous]; for one. Look at the designs offered and the designs considered these past few years [and what was offered before we lost Inderapura] and that gives you a pretty good idea as to what our requirements are.

    kel – ”We’re still in the design phase”

    Are we really now? I was under the distinct impression that after years of evaluating options and having a hard look at things; not to mention a history of sea lift which goes back to the 1960’s; we have a damn good idea of what we need; what we realistically can get and what we don’t need; way beyond the ”design phase”.

    kel – ”If MAF says all good we have amphib capabilities that can defend national interests today”

    You left out the part where the MAF has long said ”all good” with regards to the need to expand/improve on what we currently have with regards to sea lift/amphib capabilities.

    kel – ” too few and can’t conduct assault missions,”

    ”Assault’ or ”lift” sorties? Slight difference.

    Haiqal – ”We already have 10 Para no need for marine forces”

    Really? How much time does 10 Para spend practising littoral ops? 10 Para is a rapid reaction unit; ”marines” or ;;littoral” units are different.

  36. “helicopters should the MRSS carry – too few and can’t conduct assault missions”
    Again the point is not to assault, never has never will be.

  37. @ Joe and others who responded to my enquiry, thanks for the answers but I’m still not satisfied with the reasoning.

    @ Marhalim – “Without the means to move them, there is no reason for an amphibious capabalities. RMN do not want the marines, they just want the ships. The Army has no need for them as well.”

    This is why it’s perplexing to me after reading this. Why doesn’t Malaysia want/need the Marines? We are a maritime country and the bulk of the allocation from the Budget each year goes to the Army to buy more land vehicles. Not even enough manpower for PUTD which is mind-boggling.

    Lahad Datu incident should have been the lesson, right?

    On another note, my question regarding UTK and VAT 69. Isn’t 69 now obsolete since GGK handles jungle warfare too? Anybody can explain further in detail.

    Danke and happy new year to everyone.

  38. Melayu – ‘I’m still not satisfied with the reasoning.’

    Well you have to be ”satisfied” even if the ”reasoning” is not in line with your thinking or understanding. For 30 odd years the main threat was internal security and the main entity was the army. Any surprises that the army is the dominant service and has the most pull?

    Melayu – ”Why doesn’t Malaysia want/need the Marines?”

    You’re too fixated with ”marines”. What is your definition of ”marines”? To land on defended beaches and do Tarawa style assaults? To be part of an expeditionary force?

    We need a unit which is trained and equipped to operate in the littorals; doesn’t have to be a ”marine” unit per see. Nor do we [despite the chronic inability of some to grasp this] have an actual requirement to perform amphibious assault; as opposed to amphibious movement. Also, what constitutes a ”marine” unit in one army could be something different in another army; i.e. look at the PMC and Thai Marines; then look at the Turkish marines and compare them to the Royal Marines and Russian Naval Infantry.

    Melayu – ”Not even enough manpower for PUTD which is mind-boggling.’

    Not enough of anything actually. What is so ‘mind-boggling’? We have a small all volunteer under resourced peacetime army; even much larger armies have manpower issues.

    Melayu – ”Lahad Datu incident should have been the lesson, right?”

    Have you heard the cliche about ”planning to fight the last war”? What we face next could be unlike Lahad Dato and even if we had a whole division of ”marines” the circumstances were such that in 2013 we could not have prevented Lahad Dato. Also as I’ve reminded ‘…’ on multiple occasions when he was going on about the things we could do on paper : the enemy also has a vote/say.

    I would also say that having divisions of ”marines” would be useless if we don’t have the sea and airpower; the logistics; the network centric capabilities, etc.

    Melayu – ”Isn’t 69 now obsolete since GGK”

    VAT 69 is a police unit [SAS raised] and it also performs other type of roles. If we want to talk about role duplication we can go down the Marine Police and GOF narrative but it is what it is. If you want to ask a pertinent question : ask in what circumstances would Gerak Khas and not a police unit be called to perform hostage rescue?

  39. No one knows what amphib capabilities is required. USMC type, Royal Marine commando raiding type, SAF Guards type? Each type does amphib differently. USMC is basically Army with maritime focus. Royal Marine is a commando type force. SAF Guards is a quick reaction army unit that also can do amphib. MAF has been given the responsibility to defend the nation’s maritime zones, including the islands claimed by Malaysia that is central to the country’s EEZ claims. MAF has to spell out what is needed to fulfil that responsibility. If MAF says amphib capabilities is not required to safeguard the nation’s maritime interests, then they need to say why. It isnt the civilian leadership’s job to say what amphib capabilities is needed. They only say, we need one. MAF go figure out what that looks like.

  40. We don’t really know the size of our Paskal. Maybe by just adding a battalion of marine commandos we might already have our Royal Marines equivalent (brigade size).

  41. @MK
    “I’m still not satisfied with the reasoning.”
    You may not like the answer but it is what it is. Facts.

    “Army to buy more land vehicles. Not even enough manpower for PUTD”
    There are various factors, PUTD is TDM’s stepchild and hence their getting least attention of all the land branches, until they had to resort to renting choppers. TLDM, MMEA, TUDM, heck PDRM, are getting new choppers but TDM chiefs decided PUTD will have to make do with lease so that tells you how much attention they get from within. Externally its easier to justify land vehicle buys to the beancounters as nearly all involves local manufacturing/assembly so its much easier to swallow on a political level.

    “Why doesn’t Malaysia want/need the Marines?”
    Again understand what is the context of having a Marine force. Why do we need one?

    “Isn’t 69 now obsolete since GGK handles jungle warfare too”
    Having more branches in service (even if redundant) means needing to have more manpower thus a department can be much larger than it needs to be but then it carries more weight when nego for budget/resources. Basically a bigger department has more influence & power. Civil Service will always want to grow, not shrink.

  42. I don’t normally post links unless I really have to but this is interesting and worth listening to – on amphibious ops. There has been a lingering misconception and generalisation here on the subject. Yes we – obviously – do need an amphibious capability [it has been established beyond doubt and anyone suggesting otherwise or quietening this is downright daft] but doesn’t mean we automatically need “marines” per see or an amphibious “assault” capability.

    https://mwi.westpoint.edu/mwi-podcast-amphibious-operations-from-history-to-the-future-battlefield/

  43. Joe “Again the point is not to assault, never has never will be.”

    Everything exist on a spectrum really. We likely due to monetary & political will would concentrate more on amphibious movement rather than amphibious assault. But Its doesn’t mean we would never considered doing an assault thus won’t be equipped to do so as The current requirements do calls for a MRSS that can carry at least 5 wildcat. So it can do an assault but not as capable as the aussie with their apache equip LHD or USMC (in the future RSN) with their F35Bs equip LHD.

    As our MRSS is envision to carry wildcat other than amphibious movement it would also be used to perform ASW.

    Melayu ketinggalan “Why doesn’t Malaysia want/need the Marines?”

    We (comparative to our immediate neighbours) have a sizeable air lift capability though and for the longest times it’s is considered enough for the threat we face.

    Joe “Externally its easier to justify land vehicle buys to the beancounters as nearly all involves local manufacturing/assembly so its much easier to swallow on a political level.”

    As KAI & TAI had shown we can do that with helo too. Though the need for economic of scale means all agencies would have to either willingly or forcefully be force to use a single model.

    Kel “No one knows what amphib capabilities is required. USMC type, Royal Marine commando raiding type, SAF Guards type?”

    Historically speaking we usually would go for either a discount version of whatever the aussie currently have but in the same quantities or have the same thing the aussie have but in a far far fewer numbers.

  44. kel – ”No one knows what amphib capabilities is required. ”

    How can anyone “know” in detail about something for which there is no requirement? Once again; there is at present zero requirement/intent to get a ‘marine’ or ‘amphibious’ unit- period full/stop. If however at some point in the future we do get such a unit then [quite obviously]; notwithstanding your ”no one knows what amphib capabilities is required”; it will be trained to perform various tasks which we require in our littoral setting; whether reinforcing Layang-Layang or for other tasks but not for the expeditionary or power projection role.

    kel -”MAF has to spell out what is needed to fulfil that responsibility.”

    Are you suggesting the MAF hasn’t spelt out ”what is needed to fulfil that responsibility” or are you just unaware? The main element of the MAF’s amphibious capabilities will be the MPSSs and – as explained previously – we only have to look at statements made; plus the designs offered to get an idea of the RMN wants; e.g. 3 landing spots for helos. Contrary to your previous assertion; things have long moved past the ”the design phase” and we have a pretty good idea as to the displacement of the future MPSS and the number of landing spots it will have and other things.

    Perhaps instead of going off tangent take a better look at things and also discover the wonders of paragraphs.

    kel – ”SAF Guards is a quick reaction army unit that also can do amphib. ”

    As proposed many moons ago; a logical step would be to convert an existing unit into a ‘littoral unit” – as opposed to a “marine” unit which many have a hard on about but don’t quite understand what it means. A “littoral” unit would be much more needed than 4 jump qualified units which inherent soak up a lot of resources to train and maintain. In an ideal world however such a unit would be RMN and not army.

    kel -”Each type does amphib differently. ”

    No shit… Like how the skill sets of Russian Naval Infantry are somewhat different compared to say the Philippines Marine Corps? Or like how the Royal Marines are more of a specialised light infantry unit with certain skill sets compared to the USMC?

    kel – ”If MAF says amphib capabilities is not required to safeguard the nation’s maritime interests, then they need to say why. ”

    Again; the MAF has a longstanding requirement to first supplement and then to replace the Saktis; way before the Inderapura was lost. In addition to various other war and peacetime roles the MPSSs are intended to perform ”amphibious movement” [whether from a port to a beach or a port to a port] as opposed to ”’amphibious assault”. So yes the MAF does have a need for an ”amphibious” capability but not the type which some have a chronic hard on for: ”amphibious assault”; landings on opposed beaches by “marines”..

    BTW during the invasion of East Timor the Indonesian military conducted a small unopposed beach landing using Soviet supplied APCs.

    Kel – “. If MAF says amphib capabilities is not required to safeguard the nation’s maritime interests, then they need to say why”

    What is this? Pedantic book keeping? Do the armed services have to “say why” they don’t need the long list of capabilities they have no requirement for? By this logic should the RMN have to write a report saying why it has no requirement for oilers and hospital ships?

  45. Zaft – ”Historically speaking we usually would go for either a discount version of whatever the aussie currently have but in the same quantities or have the same thing the aussie have but in a far far fewer numbers.”

    If we ever do get a ”marine” or ”littoral” unit it would be trained, equipped and structured for roles specific to our needs. As for the Aussie comparison you overlook the pertinent fact that Australia plans for a peer on peer conflict alongside the U.S. and that the ADF has or will have the various enablers needed; included network centric capabilities; adequate air/sea lift and the sexy stuff which excites fanboys: ”multi-domain ops”; ”deep fires”; ”force multipliers”; etc.

    Also, what ”historically speaking” are you on about? If you haven’t noticed; for the past few decades or so the Commonwealth has been much less of an influence for us; military wise. Our walking out uniforms may still have a British look; our para berets are red; we still have stable belts and we call company size armoured groupings ”squadrons” but as far as many other things are concerned we’ve gone of in a different direction.

    Zaft – ”The current requirements do calls for a MRSS that can carry at least 5 wildcat. ”

    As explained previously we have long identified the need for a deck with 3 landing spots and for a medium size platform; not Wildcats.

    Hasnan – ”We don’t really know the size of our Paskal. Maybe by just adding a battalion of marine commandos”

    PASKAL is a SF unit; irrespective of its size. ”Just adding a battalion” does not create a ”Royal Marines equivalent (brigade size)”. Adding/raising a mere battalion can take years of planning and staff/administrative work; never mind the costs.

    With the resources we have; even sustaining a single battalion sized “littoral or ‘amphibious” unit would be challenging.

  46. Is this one of those hard on I need to be right but I’m so afraid to be wrong I don’t have any position whatsoever? Because still haven’t seen a description of what amphib capabilities is needed by Malaysia despite being way past the design phase. Yes, if RMN has no requirement for oilers and hospital ships, they write a report to the civilian leadership that says why it’s not needed. Whether it’s followed is secondary. Same with RMN’s MRSS requirements – why LPD without well deck and not LHA, LHD or LPD with well deck. Same with RMAF’s MRCA requirements – for example why twin-engine (and thus no F-35) is required. Same with Army on why the more expensive SPH and not the cheaper towed howitzer is required. Whether those positions are followed by the civilian leadership is secondary.

  47. However we still have to raise something for the littoral defence. The options are the army having a multirole brigade or the navy having a littoral regiment.

    The army getting hovercrafts may be hinting at something.

  48. Why would they spend time to say about the things they dont want? AFAIK they will only do staff requirements for things they want.

    Of course for things they want it they well lay out the requirements and specifications required, if it comes out more expensive than another thing, again they will spell it out in written documents and briefings.

  49. @kel
    “write a report to the civilian leadership that says why it’s not needed”
    1st time I ever heard that someone must elaborate in detail why they dont need something rather than the other way around.
    MAF dont need nukes. Do they have to elaborate a report why no need?
    MAF dont need bio weapons. Do they have to elaborate a report why no need?
    MAF dont need WMDS. Do they have to elaborate a report why no need?
    MAF dont need nuclear subs with ICBMS. Do they have to elaborate a report why no need?
    So when will they have time to push for things they ACTUALLY need?

  50. We, although a maritime nation, are not an islandic nation. We as a country also does not have any imperialist or colonialist pretensions, needing to land our military on a beach to get inland.

    As a nation, unlike most other, we are very unique that what we do have is actually 2 nearly equal-sized “mainlands” separated by a vast expanse of water. Both areas needs an equal amount of attention for defence and protection.

    Unlike Australia (which actually does not have a marines unit), which prepares for expeditionary fight in the Pacific, or USMC which has ready amphibious units all over the world, we don’t have such a need to do amphibious operations with LPD/LHD or what not.

    Others like UK uses its marines more of an expeditionary commando/SF force. South Korean Marines main task is to stand a battalion-sized 24H rapid reaction force for deep strike missions into North Korea in the event of an attack by North Korea.

    Our dedicated Rapid reaction force is the 10 PARA, so we don’t really need another one.

    IMO the notion of the need for an “amphibious capability” to land our military units from semenanjung in Sabah and Sarawak is just an indication that the defence allocations for these 2 areas are lagging behind when compared to those in Semenanjung.

    Currently with Army 4Next G plan, there are already measures in place to remedy this situation, and yes the answer is not with any amphibious capability. One of the biggest item to upgrade the defence of sabah and sarawak is to have an independent army field command specifically for East Malaysia. With it a dedicated division (5th Division) stood up specifically for Sabah, with the old 1st Division now purely in charge of Sarawak. Some units from Semenanjung now has been transferred to East Malaysia (19 RAMD comes to mind) and new units stood up (27 RAMD, 11 RRD). More needs to be done, such as having long range artillery, GAPU, engineering regiments, Risik, PUTD etc for the Army Eastern Field Command. The easiest and cheapest way we can do this is to get more of the same things we already have in Semenanjung, by buying used.

    Other things we could do is to have prepositioned stocks of weapons that the units from semenanjung can use if deployed to East Malaysia.

    As for the logistics bridge between West and East Malaysia, we could buy dedicated fast ROROs like what US Army, British Army, Spanish army etc is using to deploy heavy equipments. Yes it is not sexy or tiktok worthy like Marines going to the beach from Amphibious ships, but that is the stuff that get things done behind the scenes.

  51. Because if someone wants to buy MAF a hospital ship and they don’t want, they will need to tell the buyer why they don’t need the hospital ship. If someone says Malaysia needs to have WMD, MAF will need to tell the buyer why Malaysia doesn’t need WMD. If someone says let’s buy a nuclear submarine, MAF needs to tell the buyer we don’t need a nuclear submarine. I thought it was obvious for a long time that such a step is needed or exists given how governments have embarked on some of the dumbest buy decisions. Other examples, if government says they can only afford 20 towed 155mm howitzer, would the Army say yes, or say no and wait for the right moment to get their SPH? If the government says, we would like to exchange Mig-29s and Su-30s for Su-35s, would the RMAF say yes or would they say no? If the government says we will buy 5 new Keris Class LMS to augment the 4 already in service instead of LMS Batch 2, would RMN say yes or would they say no? If the government says let’s buy a dozen cheap, overused, near of end life Blackhawks for the Army aviation and RMAF’s “new” helicopter requirements, would the Army and RMAF say yes or no? Did the Army say yes with the MD530G purchase or did they perhaps articulated against the purchase? When there is news that the government is looking to replace MAF’s main combat rifle, should the MAF have a position on the plan or just accept? Whether the civilian leadership proceed or ignores MAF’s position is secondary to the need for MAF to articulate its positions, including why they don’t need things.

  52. “fast ROROs like what US Army, British Army, Spanish army”
    Take note that the ROROs are only to supplement their main troop movers, not to replace them. So what we need are main troop movers ie MRSS & MPSS replacements, not ROROS which will only be supplementary. For that we have plenty of commercial RORO operators to fall back on.

  53. Azlan “for the past few decades or so the Commonwealth has been much less of an influence for us;“

    Yes, the commonwealth is getting irrelevant for us but not Oz specifically.

    Hulubalang” The easiest and cheapest way we can do this is to get more of the same things we already have in Semenanjung, by buying used.”

    how exactly buying two of everything & doubling the hiring, maintaining & operating old decrypted hardware is cheaper then just buying sealift capabilities to move personnel & equipment between the two?

    ” we could buy dedicated fast ROROs like what US Army, British Army, Spanish army”

    They have Roro on top of LPD/LHD and not relied exclusively on the Roro. Roro had always been complementary to LPD/LHD and not an alternative to it.

    “Both areas needs an equal amount of attention for defence and protection.”

    No one can have their cake &, eat it too as money doesn’t grow on tree and thus prioritisation is the name of the games. Even for the US their renewed interest in Asia mean reducing their capabilities in European & the middle east.

    ” IMO the notion of the need for an “amphibious capability” to land our military units from semenanjung in Sabah and Sarawak”

    Military are there to defend the national interest which Includes but not exclusive to the national borders only. Waiting pretty for the enemy to enter our territory while not launching operations metahorn was quite the blunders don’t you think?

  54. The biggest Army in the world, the US Army travels around the world on ROROs, not LPD/LHD.

    Why do we need to travel great distances across water when we are defending our own territory? Why a huge territory like sabah and sarawak does not have the same defensive capability as semenanjung, and will always need reinforcements using amphibious landing even for the first few weeks of hostility?

    Army 4Next G specifically wants to address the problem, with its explicitly stated endstate to have a balanced warfighting force on both East and West Malaysia. With a balanced warfighting force on both East and West Malaysia, there will be less of a requirement for the army to do large scale amphibious landings to defend our own territory.

    @ Darthzaft

    So you suggest we pre-emptively attack our would be invaders using amphibious assault?

    Or you prefer our enemy attack us and hold our territory before we belatedly send units with amphibious landing to recover it?

    I prefer for our military units to be already on location to defend our land and make sure the enemy amphibious landing or attacks through our land borders fails its objective, as is the army as stated in its Army 4Next G plan.

  55. kel – ”Is this one of those hard on I need to be right but I’m so afraid to be wrong I don’t have any position whatsoever? ”

    No but partake in some of your own research prior to making statements which are off tangent.

    kel – ”Whether the civilian leadership proceed or ignores MAF’s position is secondary to the need for MAF to articulate its positions, including why they don’t need things.”

    Perhaps instead of obfuscating; discover the use of paragraphs which you learnt [or not] in primary school. Also who’s to say [unless they’ve ben living under a rock] that the services don’t ”articulate” what they need. As has been explained before; the services have to justify every single item they need; to a committee in MINDEF. It’s the committee which decides whether stuff can get approved for procurement; then the next step is getting it approved for funding by the MOF and the PM Office’s EPU. Yet here you are putting all this effort into making something out of nothing [once again]; crying out that the armed services should ”articulate” what they need; clearly oblivious to the fact that this has been done since the army existed. Part and parcel of the bureaucratic process.

    kel – ”they will need to tell the buyer why they don’t need the hospital ship”

    Ok. Let’s play your game then : you know for certain the army has not made clear it does not need an amphibious unit at this juncture? Or you just rambling on for want of nothing else to be pedantic about?

    kel – ”if RMN has no requirement for oilers and hospital ships, they write a report to the civilian leadership that says why it’s not needed”\

    Bollocks. The RMAF as of 2024 has no need for a 5th gen LO platform; by your perverted logic it should also write a report on this. The RMN by your logic should also write a report why it has no need for midget subs and a dedicated AAW platform with an area defence capability.

    kel – ”Did the Army say yes with the MD530G purchase or did they perhaps articulated against the purchase?”

    Get with the times. This has been discussed more than once. The army did not have an actual need for the Little Birds. What there was was a political decision years ago to acquire gunships but reality hit the fan; no funding. Then; someone cam up with the idea of Little Birds as a way to augment the firepower available to ESSCOM.

    … – ”we could buy dedicated fast ROROs like what US Army, British Army, Spanish army ”

    Yes you’ve mentioned but like some man things we can do on paper; in reality there are no plans for ”dedicated Ro-Ro ships” but if a need would arise we have plans in place to requisition or as what the Brit call ”take up for trade” civilian Ro Ro ships.

    … – ”IMO the notion of the need for an “amphibious capability” to land our military units from semenanjung in Sabah and Sarawak is just an indication that the defence allocations for these 2 areas are lagging behind when compared to those in Semenanjung.”

    Talk about stating the bare obvious… We’ve traditionally had a need to have the ability to rapidly move things west to east because we’ve traditionally had a smaller footprint in the east but as it stands things are changing; albeit slowly.

    … – ”we don’t have such a need to do amphibious operations with LPD/LHD or what not.”

    Err… We’ve already established that. The primary purpose of the MPSS is ”amphibious movement”.

    … – ”We as a country also does not have any imperialist or colonialist pretensions, needing to land our military on a beach to get inland.”

    What?? Since when do countries which have the ability to ”land on a beach to get inland” have ”imperialist or colonialist pretensions”?? It’s about projecting power in line with policy. It’s not that we don’t have ”imperialist or colonialist pretensions” but the fact that we do not project power beyond our shore; we don’t have an expeditionary role.

    … – ”One of the biggest item to upgrade the defence of sabah and sarawak is to have”

    Actually one of the ”biggest item to upgrade the defence ” [as you put it] is to have an adequate and sustained level of funding over a certain period; for a certain level of political commitment to be made.

  56. zaft – ”Waiting pretty for the enemy to enter our territory while not launching operations metahorn was quite the blunders don’t you think?”

    Whatever are you on about … Reality : preemptive strike sounds great in a movie or a game but in reality it requires a certain level of capability and comes with a lot of political baggage.

    zaft – ”Yes, the commonwealth is getting irrelevant for us but not Oz specifically.”

    If you care to kook back at my post; I was referring to the military angle as far as influence goes.

  57. … – ”Army 4Next G specifically wants to address the problem, with its explicitly stated endstate to have a balanced warfighting force on both East and West Malaysia. ”

    That is the intent; like the White Paper; CA 55 and 15/5 but ultimately all depends on the government committing to an adequate and sustained level of funding over a certain period in order for plans to be implemented. Like asking for the moon to turn gold. Again; the ‘Army 4Next G like the CAP 55 and 5/15 signifies intent but as Marhalim often says ”show me the money” …

    … – ”The biggest Army in the world, the US Army travels around the world on ROROs, not LPD/LHD.”

    Hallelujah and all praise but when it comes to Malaysia the intent is for the RMN to have MPSSs which unlike Ro-Ros; offer much more flexibility; the primary purpose of a Ro Ro is to move men/material. The primary purpose of a MPSS is also to move men/material but also to act as tenders; perform HADR and other things. Ro Ros also inherently have inferior seakeeping and DC standards]. If we needed Ro Ros we can utilse civilian ones but not to get them as a direct substitute for a MPSS.

    We’ve gone through all this before but as usual have to cover ground which has already been covered on a few occasions.

    … – ”make sure the enemy amphibious landing ”

    We are more worried about ”the enemy” conducting sea denial’ denying us access to where we need to go as opposed to ”amphibious landing” …. ”The enemy” dos no have to physically land on our territory [we aren’t Taiwan; neither do we have any prospective Cape Gloucesters or Saipans]; merely control the maritime and air domains.

  58. @Kel
    “Because if someone wants to buy MAF a hospital ship and they don’t want”
    Who is that so magnanimous as to buy things for MAF? Even when there are nations that wanted to donate us their used stuff, we have the prerogative to refuse if its not something that met our requirements. Again this is something that MAF has already put out what they want, not detailing something that they DONT WANT.

    If your talking about what the Msian Govt is willing to give, its up to the respective MAF whether to take or not. TDM had wanted SPH and finally given M109 but later on they (with the PH Govt) decided to cancel and willing to wait until now and still waiting for SPH. In contrast TLDM were told they had to get LMS1 from China or else no deal, so they accepted the terms & conditions. And TUDM had no choice but to take both West(Hornet) & Russian(Mig) and later on more Russian(MKM) due to political machinations to modernise their fleet otherwise its just subsonic Hawks. But these are to fulfill all the requirements already put up.

  59. @ azlan

    ” is to have an adequate and sustained level of funding over a certain period; for a certain level of political commitment to be made ”

    In the past 2-3 Rancangan Malaysia, the government has given the malaysian military a sustained level of military funding.

    Of course everyone wants increased funding for their ministries. What can be done instead is try to plan based on what level of budget that can be afforded.

    With careful planning, within available levels of funding, by 2030 we can equip our Army Eastern Command 1st and 5th Divisions with equipment and weapons with what available to Divisions in West Malaysia.

    Roughly what is needed

    – 1x mechanized battalion each in 1st and 5th Division (looks like 19RAMD will be the mechanized battalion in 5th Division)
    – 1x 155mm Regiment under Eastern Field Command
    – 1x PUTD medium lift helicopter regiment
    – 1x RAJD company under each Brigade (4 units) + 1 dedicated Mobile Bridge company
    – 1x Risik battalion
    – 1x EW Rejimen Semboyan battalion
    – 2x GAPU SHORAD regiment
    – 1x GAPU MERAD regiment

  60. for howitzers
    – buy retired G5 155mm howitzers from Qatar (12 units). this will enable 1 regiment to be stood up in east malaysia (12 + 6 existing RAD G5s)

    For helicopters
    – used surplus & upgraded Blackhawks

    SHORAD
    – follow-on starstreak orders
    – CHIRON replace IGLA? (40 Djigit launchers, 382 MANPADS bought in 2002),
    – surplus GDF 35mm guns (Korea, Japan)
    – surplus K263A1 and M167 VADS vulcan gatling guns (Korea, Japan)

    MERAD
    – should be VL MICA common with TLDM.

  61. @ azlan

    ” ”the enemy” conducting sea denial ”

    Not many forces that are truely capable of doing sea denial. So how best can we do a counter sea denial of those forces? What is the best tool to take out enemy ships, and enemy aircraft that is conducting sea denial? Can it be the LMS Batch 2 Corvette? If not, what is?

    Also anyone trying to deny our use of the south china sea can be replied with our own denial of their ships to use the Selat Melaka. Have we planned to be able to do something like what the Houthis can execute (SF forces strike on ships, shore-based anti ship missiles)?

    If we already have forces on the ground (Eastern Army Field Command), then denying the use of sea would not have a big impact on our ground forces, as we don’t really need to go anywhere. We are defending our own territory, not trying to bring the fight to other peoples land.

  62. The way I see it, Mindef is still beefing up MAF at Borneo abeit slowly slowly slowly depending on allocated resources. The pace can change depends on various external&internal factors.

  63. Apart from money they also must watch out sensitivities. That is why they are standing up new units so Sabah and Sarawak soldiers can serve in them instead of bringing in units from Semenanjung. It is also an effective way to spread out the allocation to build new camps and quarters. To me it’s too slow though after all that talk after Lahad Datu intrusion.

  64. @ marhalim

    ” To me it’s too slow though after all that talk after Lahad Datu intrusion ”

    The army is still mainly led by semenanjung and para centric leaders. What we need is a more holistic army that are empowered to defend their allocated areas, not a unit that dreams of doing conventional army attacking style of warfare.

    But it is going a good direction that a major element in Army 4Next G is to have balanced forces in both east and west malaysia, and we can now see the steps taken to execute this plan.

    And i am glad that anything marines is absolutely not in the Army 4Next G plans.

  65. “the government has given the malaysian military a sustained level”
    Yeah, at 1% GDP or less the last couple of years. Cut to the bone barely enough. A sufficient sustained level is at 3% GDP thru 4/5 RMKs.

    “With careful planning, within available levels of funding”
    Thats like saying with careful planning I can eat only 1 meal a day then I will have more money but eventually it will harm my health. With current level of funding and our propensity to waste it on national projects & local partnerships, its just barely enough for them to get a little bit of something but not sufficient to fulfill their needs.

    “buy retired G5 155mm howitzers”
    Already well established that TDM has moved on from towed guns to SPH as their next gen arty setup. Whether & when they will get them is another matter. Why go back to this again?

    “used surplus & upgraded Blackhawks”
    The only ones worth getting are the recently retired US Army Limas. But looking at TDM disdain for their stepchild PUTD even getting cheap used will be a stretch. For now only rentals will have to do.

    “SHORAD & MERAD”
    Im guessing ditto for GAPU as well. In certain situations the 25mm & 30mm Gempitas can still take out low & slow flyers if no other choice. Manpads would likely take higher priority than AA vehicles.

  66. In the history of MAF, how often had it been that the civlian leadership embarked on a buy or spend decision that is inconsistent with MAF needs? There is a difference between accepting what is bought and articulating what is not needed. No need to get with the times. The MD530G is an example of why what actually happens is secondary to MAF having a position, including saying why it doesnt want something. They get 530Gs instead of proper LAH, so be it. But it doesnt mean they shouldnt state their opposition to the decision. Because they did indicate their opposition, whether theough a leaked memo, nasty email, or 100 pager position paper, we know Army didnt want those helis. But they were overruled and money that could have been used elsewhere was spent. Army accepted the buy decision and adapted. Should MAF buy end of life US Army old Blackhawks? Army and RMAF have aviation requirements, civilian leadership says here you go. Or should Army and RMAF say no we dont want these Blackhawks, we will wait. Suppose the civlian leadership overrules, MAF will still accept and do what it can. But that doesnt mean MAF doesnt need to say it doesnt want those assets. Similarly, did RMAF embrace fully the plan to buy SU-30 instead of more F18s, or would one be inclined to think there was opposition within RMAF – RMAF didnt agree with the SU-30? Again, difference between saying why something is not needed or wanted, and accepting what is bought.

  67. So in the context of amphib capabilities, perhaps MAF believes hauling assets between East and West Malaysia is all that is needed for the next 10 years. Maritime interests is still best served by beefing up RMAF and RMN combat units, not by having Army set up an amphib force and RMN buying ships to support that force. Then this makes the MRSS buy decision straight forward. If I wanted to support that view, I could simply say Malaysia’s island that are to far from shore (e.g. Layang Layang) cannot be defended or reclaimed in a conflicted environment because of the distance and limited tactical value of those islands – those are not big islands and thus holds no tactical value to justify exhausting resources to defend or recapture. Islands that are closer to shore can be defended by having sufficient land assets pre positioned supported by sufficient hauling capacity (air and sea). Our important islands close to shore can already be defended by a combination of helicopter based forces and long-range weaponry. 10th Brigade Para already provides the quick reaction or rapid deployment capability. But since we have ascertained the outlying islands can not be defended in a conflicted environment, we do not expect to task 10th Brigade Para witth such the mission to capture islands – no need for amphib force. Is that something the civilian leadership prepares or the MAF?

  68. Imho, to reach even 2% of gdp for defense spendimg will take at least another 20 years based on current govt income collection trajectory and the requirement to maintain debt to gdp at max 65%.The other way to expedite that to maybe 5 years is to;

    A) Change the income tax structure as currently at best on 1.6 million workers out of 14 million local workers pay any taxes
    B) Reintroduce GST
    C) Fully privatise certain assets to obtain more money
    D) Eliminate the RM80 billion a year subsidies
    E) REDUCE OR EL8MINATES WASTAGE OR CORRUPTION

  69. In certain conditions an auto cannon would be ideal; the range of the said target and if it’s a ”swarm”. It’s been generally accepted that when it comes to range and the explosive effect; 30mm is the most ideal calibre. The Russians with their new AA vehicle however have gone in a different direction: 57mm. MANPADs would be ideal for taking out targets at longer ranges but the problem is that the seeker of a IR guided MANPADs might not b able to lock on UASs o certain sizes which have low IR signatures.

    As such the ideal AA/CUAS mount – like what the Americans have done – is one with a auto cannon: Hellfire, Stinger, jammer, radar, IR sensor and other things. Way beyond the budget of most armies.

  70. @Kel
    “mission to capture islands – no need for amphib force”
    TLDM amphib capability is not to do such a thing but to “hauling assets between East and West Malaysia is all that is needed for the next 10 years” as you put it above and neither did they “RMN buying ships to support that force” as there is no such force and the MRSS wouldnt be able to support & launch such a force in any significant way. A true assault LHD/LPD would be a WASP class.

  71. @ joe

    “A sufficient sustained level is at 3% GDP thru 4/5 RMKs”
    To add that much to defence means needing to cut other fundings. What do you suggest budgets that can be cut to have basically what you are asking to triple the current defence budget, which is if really done will be bigger than the Indonesian military budget.

    ” Already well established that TDM has moved on from towed guns to SPH ”
    No.

    That is your assumption.

    All the signs/moves that the army is doing right now is to have at least 3 155mm artillery regiments. If the army is disposing/replacing towed 155mm with SPH, they would not have raised a new regiment (23 RAD) to receive the SPH (just replace the guns in existing regiment instead). So for now :
    1) 21 RAD – DENEL G5 155mm towed howitzer
    2) 22 RAD – new 155mm SPH
    3) 23 RAD – DENEL G5 155mm towed howitzer (for now, just 1 battery)

    “For now only rentals will have to do”
    I would be okay if the rentals are cheap, but they are not. Portugal bought something similar to what we rent outright for RM10.15 million less per helicopter. And that also includes training and full maintenance support for 5 years. We actually can buy helicopters outright with the money we spent on rentals.

    “Im guessing ditto for GAPU as well. In certain situations the 25mm & 30mm Gempitas can still take out low & slow flyers if no other choice. Manpads would likely take higher priority than AA vehicles”
    I am talking about GAPU, not TUDM as we are discussing about the army here. We will need more AA guns as the future will be proliferated with cheap kamikaze drones and loitering missiles, and we need to start preparing for those situations.

  72. @ marhalim

    “I think 21 RAD will divest its G5 once it gets the SPH”

    It might be, as 21 RAD is the senior 155mm regiment.

    as is right now, we have enough G5 pieces to create 4x batteries each with 6x G5s

    From the parliment HANSARD, tok mat said that for SPH battery, they intend to put just 4 units of SPH in each. To do precision firing, instead of artillery saturation, that qty is okay-ish.

    So with existing G5 numbers we can do:

    – 21 RAD with 3 batteries of SPH (12x SPH) >> semenanjung
    – 22 RAD with 2 batteries of SPH (8x SPH) >> sabah/sarawawk
    – 23 RAD with 3 batteries of G5 towed howitzers (18x G5) >> semenanjung
    – 1 battery of G5 towed howitzers (6x G5) >> prepositioned sabah/sarawak manned by
    rotations of battery crews from 23 RAD

    Still getting additional 12x G5 155mm towed howitzers from Qatar is a no brainer, enavling our G5 numbers to increase from 28 to 40 pieces. Those extra G5s, even if not used could be kept as strategic reserves, prepositioned stocks etc.

  73. If we pick the Norinco SH15 SPH at the price Pakistan got them, we can get as many as 3 battalions of SPH. Solves our problem and no need to airlift things to the Medan Timur.

    Supposedly a Caesar copy.

  74. @ hasnan

    I would be totally okay with SH15 aka PCL181.

    1) The howitzer design itself is from the same designer of our current G5 howitzers.

    2) Able to fire all NATO spec 155mm ammo

    3) used by PLA Ground Forces themselves (not an export-only weapon)

    4) ability to do direct fire (something not all wheeled SPH can do)

    5) as a token of friendship with china, while being a system not sensitive enough to integrate with western-sourced systems (unlike electronics, fighter jets etc).

  75. I think the SPH will issued to two regiments, with eight guns each. The other two guns will be held by the artillery training school in Port Dickson.

  76. Army has indicated a preference for SPH, whatever the reason maybe, its they do not want towed 155mm howitzer, and want 155mm SPH – I guess one do need to say what they dont want. Trading raw firepower (number of guns) for mobility. Right or wrong? At least the 4th Mech Brigade looks like a fully mechanised brigade. Is the plan a 1 for 1 replacement of G5 or replace all G5?

  77. Azlan “Whatever are you on about … Reality : preemptive strike sounds great in a movie or a game but in reality it requires a certain level of capability and comes with a lot of political baggage.”

    Personally, I don’t think stopping invasion force landing 50km away from our border really count as preemptive strike.

    Hulubalang” I prefer for our military units to be already on location to defend our land and make sure the enemy amphibious landing or attacks through our land borders fails its objective, as is the army as stated in its Army 4Next G plan.”

    The biggest problem with your design force structure is the fact we are not in any existential crisis, no one really trying to deny our right to existence and wanting to invade our lands. So there’s just no good reason for spending money on a asymmetric qualitative qualities as the likelihood of invasion happening is next to zero while conveniently ignoring the elephant in the room. Our biggest security risk is the Chinese-US rivalry & Chinese excessive claims on the SCS Not Chinese potential invasion of sabah or sarawak.

    Hulubalang “Also anyone trying to deny our use of the south china sea can be replied with our own denial of their ships to use the Selat Melaka”

    So if the Chinese stop us from accessing one of our oil platforms, your solution is to starved 1.4 billion people’s out off food & electricity?

    Hulubalang “Army 4Next G specifically wants to address the problem, with its explicitly stated endstate to have a balanced warfighting force on both East and West Malaysia. ”

    Army 4next g unlike Cap55, 1525 & DWP are not publicly available resources. Either because it’s an extremely sensitive document of national importance or most likely its just the army current/former leadership wet dream but are not yet approved by the civilians gov. Infact there’s just not much from what we know that’s is in the army 4next g is even published in the DWP.

    After all All gov departments as Joe stated want to grow in budgets & personnel. But due to the changes in our security dynamics the army (which used to get the lion share of budget) is getting less & less. Gov department self interest can go against the collective national interest as with the case with the marine police.

    Amphibious capabilities is unfortunately contrary to the army self interest though it is in the national interest that the army get such capabilities. Namely because we wanted to further reduce the allocation for the army in favor of the AF & Navy. Unless you think MY voters would agree to pay more taxes or reduce services to pay for the military despite the fact we aren’t facing any existential crisis.

    Hulubalang “We are defending our own territory, not trying to bring the fight to other peoples land.”

    Realistically speaking we are and so does everyone else in the neighbourhood, once something that exclusive to SAF, but nowadays even ID & PH are slowly building up such capabilities. simply because PRC is not something a single nation can solve on its own unilaterally. It something that have to be done as a collective as The overarching objective is not to repealed Chinese invasion of sabah or sarawak but rather to shape the Chinese behavior thus peaceful coexistence may happen.

    Collective cooperation like blockage of SOM required enabler, if we don’t have one then no one would believe our bluff because we are incapable to do so in the first place.

  78. @ marhalim

    Yeah, that would be the most logical arrangement, if thr numbers are to be just 18 like the Yavuz deal.

    But having just 8 guns i a regiment, 4 each in a battery, would mean 4 guns in Sabah and 4 guns in Sarawak. Too little.

    If each regiment is to have only 2 SPH batteries, then i would like the regiment to have its own embedded STA battery, with UAS and counter artillery radars.

    For our current G5, each battery has 6 guns. There are 4 batteries (24 guns) plus 4 more at PUSARTI Port Dickson

  79. @hulubalang
    “bigger than the Indonesian military budget.”
    They arent considering next gen weaponry while my 3x budget will factor in 5th gen MRCA, full 36units LCA, fully equipping PUTD to do all of Army hauling, upgrade or replace Pendekars, modernising all our MIFV & Adnan force, fully equipped and all 6 LCS in operation, fully equipped LMS2, laying the groundwork for the full sub force of 4 subs, MRSS and others in the 15to5 Plan, having sufficient drone & anti-drone force, and a fully functioning cyberwarfare division. If you realise the 4NextG, 15to5, and CAP55 plans actually will need lotsa money. Mind you 3x is only just to counter the unfair ringgit to USD exchange rates which are worsening daily.

    “No.That is your assumption.”
    Is it? Are TDM prioritising to get more towed or SPH now? Have they issued a requirement for more towed? So who is doing the assumption?

    “I am talking about GAPU”
    I AM talking about GAPU, where in my statement ever mentioned TUDM? The fact that its been neglected showed how much attention, or how little, that TDM chiefs given to that outfit, similarly to PUTD. Otoh, infantry weapons ie MANPADS seem to have a higher chance to get bought so if thats the only viable land AA option…

    “We actually can buy helicopters outright”
    Isnt that obvious after I had put out the idea to get recently retired Limas? To get a helicopter force with <200mil is crazy but thats how little TDM chiefs are willing to spare shows how little their priority is to their air arm.

    "Still getting additional 12x G5 155mm towed howitzers from Qatar is a no brainer"
    Its prolly and either or option given to TDM. Either they go for SPH or they get more towed arty.

    "I would be totally okay with SH15 aka PCL181."
    Even tho it mimics NATO 155mm system, we must be careful on risks if USA were to embargo China from weapons/weapon subsystems & spares export as they did with Russia.

  80. @ joe

    If you are picking a fight with me then i will be ignoring you.

    “They arent considering next gen weaponry”
    Whatever it is, they are buying weapons 3x more cost than us. And still it is just 1% of their GDP. There is no way in real life that all other budget allocations have no change but defence is increased 3x the previous budget. 2024 budget is RM19.7 billion. Can that suddenly be RM59.1 billion? Where do you find the extra RM39.7 billion from?

    ” So who is doing the assumption? ”
    Buying SPH ≠ Already well established that TDM has moved on from towed guns to SPH (your statement). RAD has not moved on from towed howitzers, as they are still holding on to them (unlike some claims that they will be replaced/retired). It is just that we need SPH, and we are going to buy them now as we currently don’t have any.

    ” I AM talking about GAPU ”
    But this is your statement to me → “Im guessing ditto for GAPU as well” What does your reply “ditto for GAPU” in English means????? clearly by saying that you assume i am NOT talking about GAPU.

    ” Isnt that obvious ”
    I have always pushed for buying used Blackhawks and suddenly now it is “obvious” because you now vouched for used Limas after a long time against used Blackhawks?

    ” if USA were to embargo China ”
    Unlike russia, USA depends and needs so much things from china to embargo them. Artillery pieces, unlike complex weapons like fighter jets, does not need constant flow of new parts to maintain them. If embargoed, the PCL181 gun barrels, we can either stock extras, or ask south Africa or india to machine them from their barrel forgings, as they are based on the same gerald bull howitzer design. The truck itself has a licensed deutz engine, and probably same spares as many Chinese trucks on malaysian roads nowadays.

  81. @ darthzaft

    ” Our biggest security risk is the Chinese-US rivalry & Chinese excessive claims on the SCS Not Chinese potential invasion of sabah or sarawak ”

    Remind me again what amphibious capability has to do with your stated security risk??

    How does the army want of the same force structure, same weapons, same capability in both East and West malaysia is a “asymmetric qualities” ???

    ” Army 4next g unlike Cap55, 1525 & DWP are not publicly available resources ”

    Just because you don’t know where to find it does not mean that it is not available publicly.

    Is is available publicly. Just you have to physically go and see it.

    As you can see, i am mostly avoiding replying to you. Why? Because you assume so much of what you talk, and i have no time to school you about it.

  82. “buying weapons 3x more cost than us. And still it is just 1% of their GDP.”
    Dont let me school you about the difference in GDP sizes and differences in currency exchange rates. I have mentioned this before; even if SG & MY now give 1% of GDP to defence; SG by virtue of their stronger currency can spend more than us. Its like going to JB and see how much you can fill a shopping cart for RM 100 as compared to a Sinkie who fills the same shopping cart with SGD $100 convert to RM.

    “as they are still holding on to them”
    Because they have NOTHING as alternative. Doesnt mean they want more towed as there is no requirements for more. Isnt that obvious or are you in the same camp as Kel that TDM must say they DONT WANT more towed to be convinced they DONT WANT more?

    “What does your reply “ditto for GAPU” in English means”
    You were proposing TDM to BUY more choppers and then to BUY more SHORAD & MERAD. Well guess what, if TDM chiefs are treating PUTD like a stepchild, its the same treatment for GAPU. When was the last time they got a significant boost? Or is English too difficult for you?

    “after a long time against used Blackhawks?”
    Unlike you Im not so willy nilly to all things used. You had been proposing well worn, or high mileage, or those highly stressed during active operations, localised variants which may be incompatible with the OG parts, etc. In contrast to the just freshly retired US Army ones that are from newer variants stocks which likely has more recent upgrades and enhancements that older variants may not have (even those that have been upgraded), and being direct from US stocks they are 100% compatible with all OG Blackhawk parts.

    “does not need constant flow of new parts to maintain them”
    Many other things than just the barrels. Consumables and wear & tear parts may or may not be available in the open market, optics & electronics are defo have to get spares from the OEM. USA is ramping up the trade pressure against China, a quasi embargo may not be far away as youd think. Case in point, USA have banned China from getting high end AI computer electronics, the same ones that ironically are made in China and shipped to USA but now not allowed to be sold to China. Such quasi bans can extend to other sectors and a full blown trade war can be in the offing where more nations will be dragged into pick a side.

  83. “buying weapons 3x more cost than us. And still it is just 1% of their GDP.”
    Dont let me school you about the difference in GDP sizes and differences in currency exchange rates. I have mentioned this before; even if SG & MY now give 1% of GDP to defence; SG by virtue of their stronger currency can spend more than us.

    “as they are still holding on to them”
    Because they have NOTHING as alternative. Doesnt mean they want more towed as there is no requirements for more. Isnt that obvious or are you in the same camp as Kel that TDM must say they DONT WANT more towed to be convinced they DONT WANT more?

    “What does your reply “ditto for GAPU” in English means”
    You were proposing TDM to BUY more choppers and then to BUY more SHORAD & MERAD. Well guess what, if TDM chiefs are treating PUTD like a stepchild, its the same treatment for GAPU. When was the last time they got a significant boost? Or is English too difficult for you?

    “after a long time against used Blackhawks?”
    Unlike you Im not so willy nilly to all things used. You had been proposing well worn, or high mileage, or those highly stressed during active operations, localised variants which may be incompatible with the OG parts, etc. In contrast to the just freshly retired US Army ones that are from newer variants stocks which likely has more recent upgrades and enhancements that older variants may not have (even those that have been upgraded), and being direct from US stocks they are 100% compatible with all OG Blackhawk parts.

    “does not need constant flow of new parts to maintain them”
    Many other things than just the barrels. Consumables and wear & tear parts may or may not be available in the open market, optics & electronics are defo have to get spares from the OEM. USA is ramping up the trade pressure against China, a quasi embargo may not be far away as youd think. Case in point, USA have banned China from getting high end AI computer electronics, the same ones that ironically are made in China and shipped to USA but now not allowed to be sold to China. Such quasi bans can extend to other sectors and a full blown trade war can be in the offing where more nations will be dragged into pick a side.

  84. Hulubalang “As you can see, i am mostly avoiding replying to you. Why? Because you assume so much of what you talk, and i have no time to school you about it.”

    Like you statement about we don’t want any capability to operate beyond our shore despite the DWP implicitly identity asset & enabler that would allowed them to do so?

    ” Remind me again what amphibious capability has to do with your stated security risk??”

    As I said, amphibious & sealift capability allows us to reduce the budget for the army and reinventing it to the AF & Navy. There’s are next to zero risk of an all out invasion of our territory and even if it did the enemy need to invade our neighbours first to get to us because logistics matters.

    If our neighbours is indeed getting invaded and they are going to get us next afterwards. your idea of sitting pretty behind the border waiting for our turn to get a beating while watching our neighbours get a beating. Taking turn to fight a formidable enemies is something that is only logical in akira toriyama’s dragon ball manga or mmorpg games.

    In real live however in such a scenarios the logically thing to do is move trop to support your neighbours thus the invasion force would face twice as much resistance while at the same time reduce the devastating impact of war away from our soil.

    Technically speaking the facade of willingness & capabilities for collective defence would probably reduce the possibility of war happening in the first place.

    Joe “Such quasi bans can extend to other sectors and a full blown trade war can be in the offing where more nations will be dragged into pick a side.”

    If I remembered correctly both LHL & H20 already offered a solution and in general it’s not too different from the solution in Europe come up with during the cold war. Countries in the region need to stick together as a collective and not act unilaterally and thus have enough bargaining power to shape not just PRC but also US behavior. These could be done by engaging & cooperating with the US on security to maintain a balance of power to keep the PRC(then USSR) military at bay but at the same time engage with PRC(then USSR) economically to create a codependency.

  85. “buying weapons 3x more cost than us. And still it is just 1% of their GDP.”
    Dont let me school you about the difference in GDP sizes and differences in currency exchange rates.

    “as they are still holding on to them”
    Because they have NOTHING as alternative. Doesnt mean they want more towed as there is no requirements for more. Isnt that obvious or are you in the same camp as Kel that TDM must say they DONT WANT more towed to be convinced they DONT WANT more?

    “What does your reply “ditto for GAPU” in English means”
    You were proposing TDM to BUY more choppers and then to BUY more SHORAD & MERAD. Well guess what, if TDM chiefs are treating PUTD like a stepchild, its the same treatment for GAPU. When was the last time they got a significant boost?

  86. “after a long time against used Blackhawks?”
    Unlike you Im not so willy nilly to all things used. You had been proposing well worn, or high mileage, or those highly stressed during active operations, localised variants which may be incompatible with the OG parts, etc. In contrast to the just freshly retired US Army ones that are from newer variants stocks which likely has more recent upgrades and enhancements that older variants may not have (even those that have been upgraded), and being direct from US stocks they are 100% compatible with all OG Blackhawk parts.

    “does not need constant flow of new parts to maintain them”
    Many other things than just the barrels. Consumables and wear & tear parts may or may not be available in the open market, optics & electronics are defo have to get spares from the OEM.

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