Back in the Saddle Again

KD Tun Razak during her trials in the Mediterranean prior to her commissioning in 2010.

SHAH ALAM: Back in the saddle again. It appears that KD Tun Razak, the second Prime Minister-class submarine, has returned into service after its refit programme. The RMN published a video about the submarine on patrol, yesterday, on its YouTube channel yesterday.

In the 1.17 minute video, the submarine was shown diving into the sea. The crew was also shown from the control room all the way to the engine room. Those in the control room were wearing their flash gear while the other crew were shown with surgical masks on indicating that the RMN is taking precautionary measures against Covid-19 while underway. This is another indication that the video, inside the submarine, was only done recently.

A screenshot of the video.

We are out there. Whether above or under the surface. Always, says the video caption.

The bridge of KD Tun Razak as the submarine conduct operations during Ramadan in June, 2016, TLDM picture

I had been told previously that Tun Razak was undergoing sea trials since late last year and it appears that the publication of the video as a clear indication that the submarine is already in service. It must be noted that the RMN Subforce also published a corporate video on Youtube some two years ago about the same time that KD Tunku Abdul Rahman returned into service after undergoing the same refit programme.

From Malaysian Defence post.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman, RMN’s first submarine is undergoing its first major refit. Based on the pictures taken by the RMN during the visit of its chief, Admiral Ahmad Kamarulzaman Badaruddin, it is an extensive one though nothing official has been announced on the things to be replaced on the submarine.

KD Tun Razak preparing to leave Kota Kinabalu base for her 2016 maiden voyage from 5th to 12th January. RMN

As the Boustead DCNS facility at Sepanggar could only performed one refit at a time, it is likely that Tun Razak refit started in mid-2017, after she took part in LIMA 2017. So did the Boustead DCNS performed the refit programme on time? It stated before that the contract calls for each refit to be completed in 18-months time. I have no idea as the RMN had not announced the start and completion date of both refits.

Two RMAF F/A-18D flying over KD Tun Razak in 2017. RMAF.

Anyhow, the video also came out almost at the same time as news of China’s survey around Malaysia’s Economic Exclusive Zone in the South China Sea. Was this a cryptic message for those out there? Your guess is as good as mine.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

101 Comments

  1. Congrats TLDM! We know that now both of our scorpene submarines are now at their best material condition.

    It is also a good way to increase our local technical capability regarding to submarine systems. One of our local company even developed a robotic system to clean hull acoustic coatings (also designed a robot to remove costings during the refit), which really impressed DCNS.

    http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/2838

    Right now the issue is how to retain all that knowledge, and how to maximise all the infrastructure we have build for this refit. The next refit cycle would be around 10-15 years in the future. Without anything to do before that next refit cycle comes, all the knowledge and human resource would surely be lost. I know that we are probably going into recession in the near future, but spending money into our economy is something we should do to prop up the economy. Between 2020-2030, we should use our submarine maintenance infrastructure to build 1 more scorpene submarine. Use the planned budget to build TLDM PVs to build 1 more sub. A scorpene costs about USD500 million, and that is just about the cost of 2 Kedah class OPV.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/PIC_8.jpg
    Submarine hangar

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/EL068mUU8AAVFqh.jpg
    Submarine lift in front of the hangar

    Reply
    If we have the money to buy an extra submarine it should be built in France, or India where they are still finishing the Scorpene project. The same facility at Sepanggar is also used for emergency repairs for both submarines so if they used it to build a new one there is no place to fix them. Furthermore the facility was never designed to build submarines so more money is needed

  2. Buying a 3rd sub from overseas would not give any economic benefit to trickle down to malaysian engineering companies, engineers, technicians and general workers, which is important to mitigate the effects of recession.

    Major components such as the sub hull could be subcontracted to india, brazil or france. Other than that, the sub build is similar to what we did during the refit.

    Reply
    Yes we did that with the LCS, look what happen to it…

  3. @ marhalim

    LCS is quite different from this proposition.

    LCS is a totally new design, not leveraging anything from the previous NGPV project. LCS is also trying to build multiple ships at the same time.

    A 3rd scorpene is basically repeating most of the things we already did for the refit, which we already did 2 times. But instead of gutting an operational sub, we will be fitting conmponents in a new sub hull. Bare hull modules should mostly complete before shipped to Sepanggar, as there is no hull fabrication facilities there. Probably minor parts such as the sail and fins can be fabricated in locally boustead pulau jerejak and transferred to Sepanggar. Only fitting out of internal of the hull and welding 2 section of the hull together is done in Sepanggar, which are mostly similar steps done during refit.

    Btw i cannot pass capcha to reply i border security redux article…

  4. … – “Buying a 3rd sub from overseas would not give any economic benefit to trickle down to malaysian engineering companies, engineers, technicians and general workers”

    Will those so call “economic benefits” actually lead to long term tangible benefits? Will it justify the costs needed to establish the set up?

    Viewed objectively, holistically and rationally; would it not make more sense to have it build abroad? Will the so called “economic benefits” to be gained actually be of future use of when we ever decide on a 4th boat?

    To the detriment of the tax payer and end user we’ve had no shortage of big plans that were intended to benefit the country but ultimately went ratshit. We ended up paying more in the end and nothing was delivered in time, within budget and on spec…

  5. ….

    Does fitting out or assembling a boat from components sourced elsewhere actually lead to benefits apart from filling the coffers of the main contractor? Will the experience actually benefit the local industry? Will costs savings be achieved by avoiding all the hassle in the first place?

  6. @ azlan

    ” Will it justify the costs needed to establish the set up? ”

    Unlike the LCS which we need to spend millions to upgrade the Lumut yard, the costs for infrastructure in Sepanggar has been paid for during the refit programme.

    Unlike the LCS i suggest no hull fabrication in Sepanggar, which makes the build process as close as possible to a refit programme.

    For the 3rd sub to be fully built abroad, it would not be a sound proposition, as the money would not be spent in country. Then the bean-counters would prefer the budget to be spent on other programmes that would be spent in country, and not on a sub.

  7. Until I have the facts I won’t be quick to lay blame on who’s responsible but the LCS saga is a major cockup. After the Kedah fiasco this was not supposed to have happened. Yes, another case of something not being delivered on time, on spec and within budget.

    We had plans to assemble the Light Gun. Would this really have contributed to the local industry? Did DEFTECH assembling Supacat benefit anyone apart from DEFTECH? What actual
    benefits were gained from licence assembling the AUG and M4? What so call “self sufficiency”? Let’s not even go into the Adnan and AV8 and the supposed benefits gained.

    The Little Bird cockup is another reminder. Instead of dealing direct with the OEM we went via a 3rd party. We paid more for this but what happened? Will we ever learn?

  8. “We had plans to assemble the Light Gun. Would this really have contributed to the local industry? Did DEFTECH assembling Supacat benefit anyone apart from DEFTECH? ”

    Oh my. How much would Deftech have charged just for their turning a few screws.

  9. @ azlan

    Localisation should be continous, so that the capability would be preserved. We failed because our localisation is always one off, for example the NGPVs, AUGs, MD3-160s aerotigas. We can change the negative narative now to be a successful one. Yes for small buys like supacat, it is crazy to locally assemble and should not be done, but it should be justifiable if we are going to manufacture something for a few batches continuously.

    Yes building 1 more sub (of the same scorpene design, not a different sub or even something else together) between 2020-2030 (even if you think it is superficial) will preserve the technical knowledge of refitting the scorpenes and giving the sub maintenance infrastructure work to do until the time comes when we need to refit them the 2nd time around 2030-2035. Refitting subs are more complex than refitting a surface ship, and it is almost similar to building a new sub. After refit round 2, then we should still continue building subs, probably number 4, 5 and 6.

    Same should be done with our Gowinds, and AV8. We should continue building Gowinds after the 6th ship up till 2030, not planning to build it peacemeal and not continuously . Same as AV8. We should continue building AV8 (not moving to 6×6 version) to build more IFV25 versions to equip a fully gempita brigade. This is how local build can be justified.

    Btw i still cannot pass capcha to reply in border security redux article…

  10. The little bird cockup is IMO not caused by problems with the manufacturer or even the local dealer.

    The problem actually lies with the army, which after going through with the tender, felt a buyers remorse and decided that the little birds are not what they actually wanted in the 1st place and tried their luck to get out of the contract.

    That is why i came out with the suggestion to pass all of them to australia (for australian Land 2097 Phase 4 SOF helicopter requirement) as a goodwill gesture and as a partial swap with australias blackhawks. At least we wont be stuck with unwanted helicopters and we will get our nuri replacement for PUTD.

    http://www.janes.com/article/89814/mdhi-offers-single-and-twin-engined-helicopters-for-australian-sof-role

  11. …. – “Localisation should be continous, so that the capability would be preserved. We failed because our localisation is always one off, for example the NGPVs, AUGs, MD3-160s aerotigas””

    No. Before we can even talk about it being “continuous” it must be be economically justifiable, it must lead to long term tangible benefits, stuff must be delivered on time, on spec and within budget and stuff bought must be selected after factoring all long term considerations.

    How on earth can anything be “continuous” when we have a neither here not there defence policy and when we have a flawed/rotten procurement policy which benefits the local industry but not the end user?

    As I keep pointing out, we need fundamental changes to our whole defence outlook …. Unless thar happens nothing will change.
    We “failed” not because life “continuity” but because of deep rooted reasons that need to be rectified ….

  12. …. – “The little bird cockup is IMO not caused by problems with the manufacturer or even the local dealer””

    The Little Bird fiasco is another classic case of us not putting out money to good use and reflective of our flawed and rotten policy; going through a
    local company which provided no added value to either the end user or the taxpayer.

    Whether or not the Little Birds were politically driven or was something not wanted by the end user (as of now we don’t have the full facts behind the events that led to its selection) is pertinent but does not change the fact that unless we fundamentally change our procurement system (as the former Defence Minister alluded to) we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and what little cash we have is not put to good use.

  13. @ azlan

    ‘ No. Before we can even talk about it being “continuous” it must be be economically justifiable, it must lead to long term tangible benefits, stuff must be delivered on time, on spec and within budget and stuff bought must be selected after factoring all long term considerations ‘

    On the sub infrastructure.

    economically justifiable – we must fully utilize the infrastructure we have build to make it economically justifiable.

    Long term tangible benefits – a local maintenance capability is a long term tangible benefit, it would detriorate if it is left idle for 10-15 more years.

    Stuff must be delivered on time – tldm had the 2nd sub relatively on time, the 1st one delayed a bit and was fined for contractual breeches.

    On spec and within budget – no news of it is not.

    Anyway IMO the navy needs the aub fleet to be large than it currently is to be a robust and credible deterrant for the country. Building (or assembling) a third scorpene in our submarine maintenance infrastructure will fully utilise the resources and retain the submarine techincal knowhow until we need to perform another refit in 10-15 years from now. We also need at least 1 more sub in the near future to prepare for aany eventualities in South China Sea.

  14. @ azlan

    ‘ No. Before we can even talk about it being “continuous” it must be be economically justifiable, it must lead to long term tangible benefits, stuff must be delivered on time, on spec and within budget and stuff bought must be selected after factoring all long term considerations ‘

    On the sub infrastructure.

    economically justifiable – we must fully utilize the infrastructure we have build to make it economically justifiable.

    Long term tangible benefits – a local maintenance capability is a long term tangible benefit, it would detriorate if it is left idle for 10-15 more years.

    Stuff must be delivered on time – tldm had the 2nd sub relatively on time, the 1st one delayed a bit and was fined for contractual breeches.

    On spec and within budget – no news of it is not.

    Anyway IMO the navy needs the sub fleet to be large than it currently is to be a robust and credible deterrant for the country. Building (or assembling) a third scorpene in our submarine maintenance infrastructure will fully utilise the resources and retain the submarine techincal knowhow until we need to perform another refit in 10-15 years from now. We also need at least 1 more sub in the near future to prepare for aany eventualities in South China Sea.

  15. Thank you Marhalim for the hint. April 14th I read how Vietnam responded against this, didn’t expect we will be involved too.

    On April 18th The Star Online put up an article regarding Haiyang Dizhi 8, it was under Business section (why not under Nation section?). IMO this is a continuation of gauging our responses. If I recall correctly, we never had this kind of shadowing, but it had occured to Vietnam or Philippines O&G vessel before.

  16. … – “Long term tangible benefits – a local maintenance capability is a long term tangible benefit””

    In previous posts I offered the opinion that one of the right things we did was to progressively develop the shore based infrastructure at Sepanggar which is vital to support the running of both boats.

    … – “On spec and within budget – no news of it is not.””

    I was clearly referring to various programmes we undertook locally at great cost; ostensibly to benefit the local industry which were clearly not on spec, not delivered on time and not on budget.

    I was not referring to the sub programme. ….

    …. – “Anyway IMO the navy needs the sub fleet to be large than it currently is to be a robust and credible deterrant for the country””

    I won’t comment on the “robust” and “credible” part but we need at least 4 subs to increase the possibility to always have 1 boat at sea at any given time and to have another ready to our to sea. The good thing about the shore based infrastructure we have in place is that it enables us to support a larger fleet at a later date.

    I would also like to add the caveat that subs by themselves are not a panacea and that their effective usage also depends on the RMN having other assets in place to operate in conjunction or in support of the subs. Same goes with any sub operated by any navy.

    Given our atrocious record in carrying out certain things locally (with the end user and taxpayer not getting their money’s worth and the government having to fork out extra funds) I’m totally against the idea of having a 3rd sub locally assembled but you think it’s a sound idea so I’ll leave it at that.

  17. …. – “Same as AV8. We should continue building AV8 (not moving to 6×6 version) to build more IFV25 versions to equip a fully gempita brigade. This is how local build can be justified””

    Ultimately it’s all dependent on placing getting our long term priorities and objectives in sync:; parallel with a fundamental shift in our defence outlook and policy; namely our highly wasteful, rotten, counter productive and flawed procurement system. How we go about selecting what we buy and how we implement the purchases has to change if we’re ever going to get out of the rut we’re in.

    As for the local companies; it’s one thing to talk about “continuity” but there companies have to make the transition from merely license building foreign stuff to the point where they can provide added value to the end user and tax payer.

    They have to justify the investments made in them and priority must be the end user not the local industry. Part of the mess we’re in now is because of the long standing policy of putting emphasis on the local industry; this policy – if viewed objectively – has mostly been a failure and a drain and waste of resources. It has led to people making money but it terms of actual tangible benefits to the country; minimal….

  18. @ azlan

    ‘ Ultimately it’s all dependent on placing getting our long term priorities and objectives in sync; parallel with a fundamental shift in our defence outlook and policy ‘

    IMO the main thing is to correct our priorities.

    Some of the errors that we have done:

    1) planning to replace 1 to 1 all vospers (27 in all) with very expensive Meko A100 with very little justification or even budget available. Was rectified by the plan for the more capable Gowinds but that execution is bad by biting more than they can chew (wrong assumption of our local capabilities, all new manpower, fully building the ship from scratch locally and building multiple ships at once)

    2) the mainly political buy of A400M. It is a great capability to have, but one we can live without. Caused other priorities at the time to be sidelined due to the budget used up by the A400M.

    3) The all out intent of getting a western MRCA which should not be a priority when they have just gotten the MKM. Exacerbated by the government playing along and agreeing to this intent. Many other priorities such as MPA, overhaul and upgrades, helicopters although listed out, was put aside and even passed to other services (helicopter capability) to try to clear as much budget as possible to get a western MRCA.

    That is all water under the bridge though. What we now must discuss and talk on how we can turn this around. How can we do things better in the future so that the same mistake is not repeated. I agree the priority must be on the end user, but we must also understand sovereign capabilities will cost more than buying off the shelf. Also other than knowing our priorities, we need to juggle on these 4 items:
    1) manufacturing/building locally.
    2) buying off the shelf.
    3) getting used items.
    4) strategic diplomatic relations by buying military equipment.

    Reply
    As for the MRCA, they wanted a western one from the start but instead got the MKM. The new MRCA was to replace the F-5s and Mig-29s

  19. @ marhalim

    ‘ As for the MRCA, they wanted a western one from the start but instead got the MKM ‘

    Same can be said with a lot of other things, LMS for example. What they want and what budget that we have is disconnected, and made other priorities like the MPA unfulfilled up till now.

    Reply
    Again not really. The requirements for the MRCA and MPA are for different requirements. Certainly RMAF have every reason to ask for them. The fact that the government only partially fill the role of the MRCA and not fund the MPA requirement is not the fault of the air force. The LMS was purchased as it was the only thing the government would agree too as most of the funding was going to the LCS. Was it the right decision, of course not. But the issue was set in stone when the government bought the Kedah class.

  20. “Redeveloping” and “remanufacturing” of existing platforms will always be much more expensive, case in point Japan’s Viper Zero, Kongo & Atago destroyers, Taiwan’s Chingkuo, Korean K9 Thunder arty, pretty much all of SG defence equipment, etc.

    That is the cost of local industry that these nations understood and willing to swallow all for the sake of national interest. The difference is, their stronger economy can necessitate this kind of wastage, while we can’t. All this “technology transfer” and “local defence industry development” is bullshit, our politicians and lobbyists should be honest and just tell us its for job creation purpose.

    In that sense, the Adnan, Gempita, LCS, LMS, AUG, M4 programs could justify building locally due to their program numbers, the jobs would be available for some years after the initial startup. I would even want to expand into local building of Minimis and 50 cals. OTOH, locally building limited numbers of much more complex equipment like MRCAs, subs or local development of mortar launchers and sniper rifles is not smart and just throwing away good money.

  21. @Azlan
    “there companies have to make the transition from merely license building foreign stuff to the point where they can provide added value to the end user and tax payer.”
    I can this is in parallel to our local automotive industry, particularly Perodua which never moved out of their comfort zone from continuously relying on their foreign technical partners. Still Malaysians don’t see the problem and continue to buy their overpriced but poorly specced cars, if you consider how much better we could get for the same price in free market countries. If Malaysians couldn’t care about something that affects their lives, whatmore something as trivial to them as defence equipment?

  22. …. – “) planning to replace 1 to 1 all vospers (27 in all) with very expensive Meko A100 with very little justification or even budget available”

    The justification was to have a large fleet of OPVs to handle low threat duties whistle 6 Lekius and 2 Kasturis would handle the rest. The intent was also to raise the MMEA which was actually planned much earlier but the RMN objected knowing – correctly – its budget would be affected. Funding for the Kedahs was seen as possible as it was spread out over a 16 year period.

    …. – “The all out intent of getting a western MRCA which should not be a priority when they have just gotten the MKM””

    As mentioned previously the plan after the MKMs and Cougars was for LIFTs, basic trainers and MPAs; as well as Nuri and Charlie upgrade. Only after this cycle had been completed where MRCAs to have been ordered.

    The problem is that requirement approval subject to change by the governments and it can and does decide what should be the priority.

    …, – “ but we must also understand sovereign capabilities will cost more than buying off the shelf””

    Not at the cost of the end user and taxpayer and not at a cost we can’t afford and can’t sustain. Precisely the situation we are in now thanks to placing national interests first ….

    …. – “1) manufacturing/building locally.
    2) buying off the shelf.
    3) getting used items””

    Manufacturing locally to achieve self sufficiency is a myth. We are still dependent on foreign technology providers and to manufacture a lot of stuff most of the raw materials/ingredients still have to be imported and paid for in foreign currency. Most local
    companies also don’t provide any added value to what they license assemble. Our policy of aiding the local industry has resulted in various people being able to have houses in Dubai, 2nd and 3rd wives and offshore accounts but it has had limited or no tangible value to the country.

    Buying off the shelf in most cases is the logical and practical approach given we are a country which devotes the minimal to defence, has no economics of scale, lacks the industrial and technical base to really tweak things for our specific needs and lacks the prospect of exporting in large numbers anything we produce.

    There are certain things we can and should buy pre owned and some we shouldn’t. On paper things can look great but in actual reality there are lots of hidden costs and concerns with regards to using pre owned stuff – which is precisely why the armed services have rejected various offers in the past and are extremely selective.

    We can’t rush into things just because something is cheap and available and offers various plus points on paper – if things go wrong we’ll end up paying more at a later date and whatever short term savings we gained will be fritted away. What ever we but must only be after we have done a thorough and objective study on various long term aspects including training and communality issues; integration (if needed), availability and costs of spares at a later date and how maintenance intensive something can become throughout its period in service (important given our limited resources).

  23. P.S.

    Unless and until we fundamentally change our approach to defence; nothing will change. We’ll continue to waste our funds, some local companies will prosper and the armed services and taxpayer will continue to be screwed. We’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.

  24. Given that the RMAF is operated and trained on Western lines; that even though we’re not a NATO country but a lot of whet we do is NATO based/compatible; certain limitations with Russian stuff with regards to technical issues; support issues faced with the Russians and concerns over integration and certification; it’s natural and logical we’d want a Western platform.

    I have a friend who use to fly a CN-235. Over the course of the years he introduced me to
    several Fulcrum pilots – retired and active. All of them loved flying it and appreciated its qualities but from an operational and support perspective; all preferred the Hornet.

    Similarly if asked, any RMAF man who has experience with both the Hornet and MKM will say that from a operational and support; buying the Super Hornet would have been the much better choice. They will tell you about how maintenance intensive the MKM is (IAF pilots have said the same) and that although the TVC, weight capacity and range are great and useful to have; these are trade offs they would gladly have made if the government had selected the Super Hornet in the 2002 period.

  25. @ marhalim

    ‘ The requirements for the MRCA and MPA are for different requirements ‘

    Of course they are different requirements, but getting them uses the same finite amout of budget. Hence what i always stress – priority. When we just had our MKM, our priority should be MPAs next, not another expensive fighter in small numbers.

    In our daily lives, putting food on the table and getting a nice car are of course different requirements. But all of them to be paid for from the finite amount of your income. So which one is your priority?

    Reply
    Of course there are infinite priorities, but choices we made predicated what’s more important. After getting jet trainers and fighters, the next priorities were MPA and AEW but then with the triple split buy of the jet trainers and fighters, the priority was then to ensure that these are bedded down but then we were bogged down with the MIGs. And then came 1998 economic crisis which the services never really recovered from.

  26. …. – “ When we just had our MKM, our priority should be MPAs next””

    It was MPAs …..

    This issue has been discussed several times already. It was MPAs and RFIs and RFPs were were issued. The government even announced it. As far back as the mid 2000’s the RMAF had already considered converting a number of CN-235 as an alternative in case funding wasn’t forthcoming. Following the loss of the MAS plane the RMAF publicly announced that it had been requesting MPAs for some time.

    In fact as far back as the late 1990’s the RMAF had already issued a requirement for MPAs. Amongst the offers we received were surplus P-3s, converted Charlies and CN-235s. There was even talk of offering us surplus Nimrods which thankfully never materialised.

  27. “particularly Perodua which never moved out of their comfort zone from continuously relying on their foreign technical partners.”

    Particularly Perodua? The market for local cars is only 240K a year, so no company can mount a purely domestic R&D effort. P1 and P2 operate under the same tariff umbrella but at least Perodua has been profitable under it and hasn’t needed to ask for continual billion dollar bailouts or get permission to sell fully imported cars without tariff. Perodua will even produce and sell in Indonesia under the OEM’s badge.

    “Korean K9 Thunder arty, pretty much all of SG defence equipment, etc. ”

    At least the K9 Thunder achieved export success. Production for the ROK exceeded 1300 which brought the cost low enough to secure another 600 export sales. It’s harder for Singapore because the SAF’s demand for vehicles is in the hundreds or even tens.

  28. AM – “It’s harder for Singapore because the SAF’s demand for vehicles is in the hundreds or even tens.””

    And also because certain items afford for sale are prohibitive for many users; price wise. For certain things offered the Sings also can’t match prices offered by others. The South Koreans have economics of scale and can provide long term financing at very friendly terms.

    One thing the Sings have going for them is priority in ensuring the end user gets the desired capability. Over here it’s about benefiting the local industry and in various cases it’s the industry which specifies what sub components are selected. We also fool ourselves into believing that what we license produce; will be exportable and price competitive; even after we have to pay the OEM.

    The Sings also of course factor in politics when deciding what to buy. Over here we’ve taken things to ludicrous and self defeating proportions.

    For the PT-91 deal we received Polish horse stud “technology” as part of the offsets deal and who knows? If Boeing has been able to persuade NASA to place a Malaysian astronaut into space; it might have received a Super Hornet contract. The Russians were smart to arrange the astronaut arrangement but what tangible benefits did we get apart from bragging rights?

    According former DEFTECH man (former armour officer) we did zero comparisons or evaluation on other makes; Adnan was selected primarily for political reasons; Turkey being a Muslim country played a part. Sharpshooter and the Helio turrets; as well as other stuff were specified by DEFTECH with the army having little or no say.

    Lets not even go into the actual reasons why we ended up with various Pakistani stuff (admittedly these were not bad with the exception of Bahktar Shikan a 1970’s system based on the Red Arrow which is based on
    YOW 1) and why Jernas was selected without actual field trials or proper evaluation …..

  29. @ azlan

    ‘ As mentioned previously the plan after the MKMs and Cougars was for LIFTs, basic trainers and MPAs; as well as Nuri and Charlie upgrade ‘

    I wish what you said was true, but in reality after the cougars, it was all about the MRCAs. The MPA, and all other requirement is still there, but was never a priority more than the MRCA. In the end we wasted 10 years without getting any of the above, due to the unhealthy fetish with the MRCAs.

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-programme-its-official/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-special-funding-and-advanced-negotiations/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-updates-sort-off/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-saab-upped-the-ante/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-special-funding-and-advanced-negotiations/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/500th-eurofighter-delivered/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-rafale-and-the-master/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/mrca-typhoon-rafale/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/down-to-typhoon-rafale/

    https://www.malaysiandefence.com/rafale-oui/

  30. Glad to see the refit is done.
    Although no upgrade has been made but i think still adequate for the next 10 years.

  31. @AM
    All I’m saying is, at least Proton tried but failed(so far), but Perodua didn’t even bother to try. They still rely on technical partners for all the critical systems until today and didn’t innovate as much as Proton did. Still, both are born from faulty thinking much like local defence equipment development, doesn’t matter if Perodua made money or not, we’re getting screwed if you compared what’s available for the equivalent money in other countries.

    Define export success of K9. Did it managed to recoup the development cost? Was it adopted by many countries competing openly with similarly capabled arties? The cost to buy K9 would be much higher compared to M109, if the Koreans honestly amortised their development cost into built units for local and export markets. Again, the Korean Government could subsidise and lower their prices to compete because they can afford it. In a apple-to-apple comparison, the more matured M109 would probably be the most cost competitive SPG among its peers.

    Reply
    Of course the M109 is more prevalent than the K9, it’s been built since 1960s. The K9 has only been in service in the last 10 years. It must be noted that the current M109 variant, only available to the US forces, and the K9 cost almost the same. It must be noted that the K9 is the best selling tracked SPH currently. Even the Turkish Firtina SPH was developed licensed built from the K9. If we got the money or requirement to buy a brand new SPH, I believe it is cheaper to buy the K9 directly from South Korea instead of the Turkish one or even locally assembling it here

  32. “All I’m saying is, at least Proton tried but failed(so far), but Perodua didn’t even bother to try. ”

    Proton never made a good faith “try” to innovate. It was all done with a mind to fail and exploit the guarantees of our tariff umbrella and further bailouts from the government. Likewise the shady actors in our local defence sector never really “try” to add any value, through innovation or otherwise. They know cash will be handed to them on a silver platter.

    “Define export success of K9. Did it managed to recoup the development cost? Was it adopted by many countries competing openly with similarly capabled arties?”

    You tell me. The only other Western tracked system, Pzh 2000 has sold just 400. Of course the K9 won’t exceed the M109 in numbers- the M109 dates from the Cold War days when armies and their corresponding TOE were vast.

    “In a apple-to-apple comparison, the more matured M109 would probably be the most cost competitive SPG among its peers.”

    It’s obvious you haven’t looked into the vehicles at all. The K9 is a 52 caliber, 46.3K kg vehicle and the M109 is a 39 caliber, 23.7K kg vehicle from the 1960s. The differences are obvious in terms of range, rate of fire, automated gunlaying and autoloading. A more appropriate comparison in capabilities and technological era would be the Pzh 2000.

  33. …. – “I wish what you said was true, but in reality after the cougars, it was all about the MRCAs”

    Never mind what I said. You merely have to look up at all the statements made during that period and ask around.

    Again – after getting MKMs the plan was for a batch of CSAR helicopters (later materialised in
    Cougars), basic trainers, MPAs, LIFTs and upgrades for the Nuris and Charlies. That was the plan. It may not have been released in glossy Power Point format for PR purposes (like the 5/15 and CAP 55) but that was then plan to progressively address the various pressing requirements. Plans to convert the CNs – in case funding was delayed – were made as far back as the 2006-6 period ….

    If however you want to insist you have the right narrative; that it was all about MRCAs (as you have been doing for some time); it’s no skin off my back.

    BTW I know you have a penchant with links but those links you included merely strengthen your narrative. The links about statements made by RMAF and other officials, about RFIs and RFPs and others concerning MPAs (in the 2005-2009 period) are probably still out there. Maybe, maybe not.

    The search for MPAs and related news (including aircraft sent here) were covered the links media, ADJ, AD&D, Janes, Asian Defence Review, Military Technology, etc.

    …. – “ but was never a priority more than the MRCA”

    In your mind maybe. In actual reality the plan called for MPAs and MPAs were a priority until a certain period when the government decided that MRCAs would also be funded but not at the cost of MPAs which were still to have been funded.

  34. Interesting article.

    Google – “Flankers vs Gripens: What Happened at the Falcon Strike 2015 Exercise”

  35. Another very interesting read. An IAF pilot’s options in the Su-30.

    Google – “Flying & fighting in the Sukhoi Su-30 ‘Flanker’: A pilot interview”

  36. @ azlan

    ‘ According former DEFTECH man (former armour officer) we did zero comparisons or evaluation on other makes; Adnan was selected primarily for political reasons ‘
    There was no comparisons as we actually decided that we wanted the ACV for bosnia but at the time turkey did not think that we are serious. We went for the KIFV then as korea can immediately supply them to bosnia.

    ‘ Jernas was selected without actual field trials or proper evaluation ‘
    Jernas was a bad buy. We bought it when it was at the end of its production, and we are the only export customer for that system. We have just used it for 14 years and now its origin country is phasing it out.

  37. Marhalim – “I believe it is cheaper to buy the K9 directly from South Korea instead of the Turkish one or even locally assembling it here””

    I couldn’t agree more. What added value is there sourcing it from the Turks rather than its original OEM? The problem is that the government might appoint a local company to be the main contractor on the pretext (dubious) that this arrangement actually benefits the country. That company of course will merely assemble the vehicle and perform minor changes (which can be performed by the OEM) and the taxpayer will end up paying more.

    The Turks of course will be more than happy to charge us extra for assembling the vehicles here and providing the customary offsets and transfers of technology (which doesn’t really lead to any tangible benefits) which we so desire.

  38. Off topic

    What is going on with Petronas drilling ship West Capella, F-35B carrying USS America and chinese ship Haiyang Dizhi 8?

    Any MMEA or TLDM ship going to or already at the location?

  39. @AM
    Sales success to me is the sales self-sustainment, in that product would sell itself without any help vs the competitors, the product longevity in the market, repeated sales from existing customers to replace older models, and that sales profit could recoup developmental and overhead costs in order to sustain newer developments. Did K9 managed that? You tell me since you claimed; “At least the K9 Thunder achieved export success”.

    Even with US Armed Forces being a big weapons buyer, not every weapon system could be bought in numbers to justify the developmental cost of its own defence industry, much less smaller players like Japan, Korea and others.

    They might have sold a lot but did it justify the developmental cost of that vehicle?

  40. …. – “There was no comparisons as we actually decided that we wanted the ACV for bosnia but at the time turkey did not think that we are serious””

    No ….. For Bosnia we wanted Warrior and also looked at Marder but we wanted it at very short notice. The Turks were never part of the equation during this period. The Koreans were able to respond fast as they could divert to us vehicles already produced for the ROK army

    We got Adnan largely based on political imperatives. No evaluations were done on alternatives. Adman was identified from then start as the preferred option.

    …… – bought it when it was at the end of its production”

    It wasn’t at the end of production oh the 2002 period. The issue was we bought it based on political imperatives. No proper evaluations were done on other systems that might have better suited our requirements; either from a technical or price perspective. During that period GAPU actually preferred Crotale.

  41. … – “Jernas was a bad buy””

    If we factor in that like Adnan and various other things we bought (all politically driven) we didn’t do a thorough evaluation to compare it to various other systems available; based on technical and other factors; to ensure we were getting the best overall offer based on what we were willing to spend; then yes.

    But whether the system itself was a “bad buy” (based on actual performance) is debatable. It was the first networked system we operated and given that it was an improvement over Rapier (a 1970’a tech system) it’s actually not a bad system. The EO tracker was pretty impressive and the system had/has a very short reaction time.

    One large problem was we didn’t factor in the needed costs that were essential to keep it operational and we didn’t really evaluate if other systems could have offered better.

    Reply
    I was told that the Jernas were found to be problematic when they deployed from their bases. Meaning that they were found to be serviceable at the camp and once deployed they were not and need to be fixed. It happened whenever they were deployed for live firings. I was told that the problems could have happened as the unit deploying them were not careful when towing the launchers and effectors to the deployment sites.

  42. “Did K9 managed that? You tell me since you claimed; “At least the K9 Thunder achieved export success”. ”

    I can’t look into Samsung/Hanwha’s statements. But with 2000 vehicles sold, it’s safe to say it has. Consider that export sales are a bonus, and Hanwha has exported almost as many as it has sold to the ROK army and marines. Also consider that Hanwha’s breakeven point is lower than say Deftech or your average Malaysian local agent because they produce many other vehicles in viable numbers. When they aren’t working on a K9 order, production lines and workers are making something else. Most of these things would have already been things paid for. You claim to know about cars. All the parts of Axias and Myvis are made in batches. When the line has made x number of Axia engines, they switch and make y number of Myvi engines before switching back to Axia engines. They don’t have a separate line per se that is shut down whenever demand is satisfied.

    “Even with US Armed Forces being a big weapons buyer, not every weapon system could be bought in numbers to justify the developmental cost of its own defence industry, much less smaller players like Japan, Korea and others.”

    This is a weak point. If it has to be made from scratch then it has to be. The US is in a position of having to make everything from hypersonics to parts for 60 year old B-52s, in whatever numbers are needed. They can’t be bought off the shelf. The plant that makes B-52 parts may have other military or civilian business. If it doesn’t, then the price has to be paid all the same.

  43. Marhalim,

    I was told that how it was stored also played a part in problems we faced with it. Humidity can wreak havoc. This is a problem we face with various things we operate which are not really acclimatised for our conditions. .

    At times we have no choice but to store certain things in AC rooms (for want of a better solution) but the various OEMs recommends against it due to moisture accumulation.

    I’ve seen pics of Jernas being transported and plastic wrappings being used to protect the sensors and other parts against moisture.

  44. Anyway back to the scorpene topic.

    This is the picture of malaysian scorpene refit infrastructure in Sepanggar
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EKEjc85Tpmc/XOLHRq26a_I/AAAAAAAAJ30/KxzS4WWFx1gHYJkpCAuwTsEGTPkDKt-bwCLcBGAs/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/Shipyard%2BScorpene%2BMalaysia.jpg

    This is the picture of brazil scorpene final assembly infrastructure for its first scorpene submarine. They are actually building 2 more hangars at the site as they are planning to build 4 subs plus 1 nuclear variant of the scorpene, but to complete the final assembly of its first scorpene the facility is almost a mirror image of what we have in sepanggar. http://www.meretmarine.com/sites/default/files/styles/mem_1000/public/new_objets_drupal/itagu.jpg

    This is the shape of the front hull module. This is build at another facility about 1km from the final assembly hangar. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/DUN_Gy3VQAAwWQk.jpg

    Module entering the final assembly hangar. http://www.navyrecognition.com/images/stories/news/2018/january/S40_Riachuelo_Scorpene_Submarine_Brazil_1.jpg

    So if we subcontract the hull modules to brazil or india, and assemble the submarine in Sepanggar, the process is almost similar to what we did for refit. If we consider assembling new subs are a waste, local refit of the subs are wasteful too.

  45. …. – “consider assembling new subs are a waste, local refit of the subs are wasteful too””

    Two different things that shouldn’t be conflated ….

    Refits are essential for the boats and avoids us having to send them back to France. It also gives us the needed experience to conduct follow on refits which will definitely be needed at some future point.

    Assembling a 3rd boat will only make sense if it leads to costs savings and if we have firm plans in place to assemble follow on boats in the near future. As it stands we don’t even know when a 3rd body is coming; let alone a 4th one.

    Also, I’m not to sure sourcing hulls from India or anywhere else for that matter would lead to any added value.

  46. “Also, I’m not to sure sourcing hulls from India or anywhere else for that matter would lead to any added value.”

    Or to any cost savings.

    “I was told that how it was stored also played a part in problems we faced with it. Humidity can wreak havoc.”

    Would be interesting to know Singapore’s experience since they also operate Rapier. They have been seen to operate an earlier version but it has been reported they also bought Jernas aka Field Standard C aka Rapier 2000.

  47. @ azlan

    ‘ Refits are essential for the boats and avoids us having to send them back to France. It also gives us the needed experience to conduct follow on refits which will definitely be needed at some future point ‘

    That experience will surely be lost as the next refit will be in 10-15 years from now. How do you retain the knowledge without doing anything substantial related to subs for the next 10-15 years? The build can take time to do it properly, as long as the knowledge and knowhow is preserved and is current when the next round of refit comes.

  48. ….. – “That experience will surely be lost as the next refit will be in 10-15 years from now””

    – The next refit might take that long but the subs will still undergo maintenance time to time including periods in dry dock. Experience gained during the refit will also be applicable during other periods of maintenance.

    – Refits and actual assembly are two different things; should not be conflated as both are driven by different factors.

    – Until we have full details; any hope or suggestion that sourcing hulls or anything for that matter from India and Brazil is speculative at best. We don’t know if India or Brazil is allowed or will even be in a position to do do or whether they will even be able to go it faster and cheaper than if we were to do it in France.

    – Naval Dockyard started out as a refit/maintenance yard. Apart from the odd hiccup this was a job it did quite well for many years. Problems started when it made the transition from a refit yard to one actually producing/fabricating whole ships. Granted the fiasco with the Kedahs was large due to incompetent l/flawed management but it remains a fact. Assembling the next boat is something that has to get thoroughly weighted on before being undertaken. As we’ve experienced; things that appear so great and beneficial on paper can turn our otherwise. Also, how much will this assembly cost the taxpayer compared to if it were done abroad? As it is the taxpayer on various occasions has had to pay the penalty when various programmes (which supposedly were to benefit the nation) went ratshit.

    …. – “ The build can take time to do it properly, as long as the knowledge and knowhow is preserved””

    The key word is “as long”. A lot of well intentioned and apparently we’ll planned things we previously did could have turned out well “as long” as certain mistakes were not made but they didn’t did they? “As long” as the government can provide a firm commitment or stick to a roadmap to when the 4th boat will come experience gained from
    an assembly well be lost – “if” the government could meet this cognition; higher chance of Pegasus being seen over Klang or Kudat. No point going through all the hassle and expense if the exercise is not repeated in the near future.

    AM – “Would be interesting to know Singapore’s experience since they also operate Rapier””

    Indeed. We know Rapier initially has issues when deployed to the Falklands due to seawater and we don’t know how it performed in Iranian hands against the Iraqis.

    With regards to operating various types of systems which were attended to operated in temperate zones; Singapore faces the sane issue as us. Even relatively unsophisticated ammo if stored in the field for prolonged periods can deteriorate. It’s also for this reason that temperatures in the CICs on our ships are kept low. Not for the crews but for the electronics .

  49. ” It also gives us the needed experience to conduct follow on refits which will definitely be needed at some future point. Assembling a 3rd boat will only make sense if it leads to costs savings and if we have firm plans in place to assemble follow on boats in the near future”

    How much experience did “we” gain? ie did BNS take on the job themselves after the relevant tech transfer or did they hire OEM personnel to do it?

    If we didn’t gain much experience, then it follows that not much is going to waste.

  50. @ azlan

    ‘ Refits and actual assembly are two different things; should not be conflated as both are driven by different factors’
    Your statement is applicable for a surface vessel. For a submarine both refit and assembly are similarly complicated. In a refit the sub is cut into two, internals are gutted, old batteries are pulled out, electric motors pulled out to rewind. Outer hull is disassembled and refurbished. Then new batteries and all other stuff are put back in. For a new sub assembly, there would be no gutting out process but there would be additional new stuff to be fabricated and installed.

    ‘ No point going through all the hassle and expense if the exercise is not repeated in the near future ‘
    That is exactly the point. To practice the knowledge in between the 10-15 year refit cycle by assembling our 3rd sub. After our 2nd round of refits then we should be sufficiently experienced to undertake a more in country work to build our 4th sub and more.

  51. AM – “If we didn’t gain much experience, then it follows that not much is going to waste.””

    I’m all for the refits as it gives us the needed experience for subsequent ones. As it was the first refit it’s understandable that we would have required certain help from the OEM.

    What …. proposes however subject to various uncertainties : sourcing hulls from elsewhere (we don’t even know if it’s possible, faster and cheaper) and how much will have to be paid by the taxpayer compared to if it was done abroad.

    We don’t even know when a 4th boat is coming and whether experienced gained from assembling the 3rd boat will be of any use. For all we know the 4th boat will be a totally different design! Like I said, higher chance of Pegasus being seen over Kudst than the government committing to a sub timeframe.

    To me it’s just another well intentioned and ambitious plan (based on various uncertainties and with too much emphasis or hope on the positive aspects) which will benefit a local company bit not necessarily the end user and taxpayer – like many other plans we had which were supposedly intended for long term tangible results.

  52. With regards to operating various types of systems which were attended to operated in temperate zones; Singapore faces the sane issue as us. Even relatively unsophisticated ammo if stored in the field for prolonged periods can deteriorate. It’s also for this reason that temperatures in the CICs on our ships are kept low. Not for the crews but for the electronics .

    Indeed. Ammunition and electronics should be kept in cool and dry conditions. Especially in marine environments as salt will attach to water particles in the air.

    Ammunition to some extent can be sealed in pouches and greased with protective coatings. This is not always possible- eg rounds for the main gun and small arms in the ship’s magazines. It would be interesting to know the recommended lifespan of such rounds.

  53. @ azlan

    ‘ For all we know the 4th boat will be a totally different design! ‘

    Of course. But at least before we build the 4th sub, we have experienced doing our own refit 4 times and building a sub once all of the same sub design to enable us to do some muscle memory and undertanding more of sub technology through experience.

    My point is we cannot afford to do one-off localisation without any follow on future work anymore. We need to do the same for gowind and AV8, to stick with the basic design and build more for 2nd batch if we want to justify our localisation drive and recoup the infrastruture and IP costs.

    Right now you keep on talking about what we have done wrong in the past. I am talking about how we should do it right in the future.

  54. There are now 4 US warships + an Australian frigate and our own MMEA + RMN shadowing the Chinese vessel in our EEZ. Seems to me that the fleet is stretched quite thin. Are the services able to cope with this?

    When will the LCS be completed?

  55. ASM – “Seems to me that the fleet is stretched quite thin””

    That’s an understatement.

    …. – “Of course. But at least before we build the 4th sub, we have experienced doing our own refit 4 times and building a sub once all of the same sub design”

    Refits and assemblies are 2 profoundly different things and shouldn’t be conflated. Refits are something we’ve been doing for decades and will continue to do so. Assembly of a sub is a slightly different exercise given it will be rarely done: as well as other factors. As it stands we don’t even know when a 3rd boat is coming and whether it’ll even be a Scorpene.

    Your idea of an assembly is dependent on uncertainties; can India and Brazil deliver hills cheaper and faster, will local assembly be cheaper than doing it abroad, when is the 4th boat coming, etc, etc.

    … – “Right now you keep on talking about what we have done wrong in the past””

    Correction. It’s about things we’ve done wrong in the past and are still doing …… It goes way beyond putting paper plans and positives together and claiming or hoping it goes well – we have ingrained flaws that need to be rectified before we can really improve.

    Luke I said previously : “To me it’s just another well intentioned and ambitious plan (based on various uncertainties and with too much emphasis or hope on the positive aspects) which will benefit a local company but not necessarily the end user and taxpayer – like many other plans we had which were supposedly intended for long term tangible results”

    You can talk about paper plans all you want, put emphasis on all the positive paper aspects and what we should do but unless and until we rectify certain things; nothing will change and we’ll continue to repeat the same mistakes.

    …. – “We need to do the same for gowind and AV8, to stick with the basic design and build more for 2nd batch if we want to justify our localisation drive and recoup the infrastruture and IP costs.””l

    We need to do lots of thing. Great on paper but what happens if for its near term needs the army has no operational need for AV-8s and instead needs 6x6s? Do we place priority on the army’s actual operational needs or place priority on DEFTECH by ordering follow on AV-8s? Keeping DEFTECH’s production lines open doesn’t equate with what’s best for the country and the army from the onset never insisted the AV-8 be produced locally ….

  56. … – “. I am talking about how we should do it right in the future””

    I have constantly done the same.

    I’ve repeatedly stressed that our whole defence outlook and policy is in need of a total and holistic revamp. We have to identify long term threats, we have to revamp the procurement system and do away with the long standing disastrous policy of putting the local industry first before the end user. We also need to ensure that what we do locally is sustainable and actually benefits.

  57. @ azlan

    ‘ I’ve repeatedly stressed that our whole defence outlook and policy is in need of a total and holistic revamp. We have to identify long term threats, we have to revamp the procurement system and do away with the long standing disastrous policy of putting the local industry first before the end user. We also need to ensure that what we do locally is sustainable and actually benefit ‘

    I understand.

    It is something we cannot discuss in its entirety in just 1 topic. We need to break it down into smaller managable ones.

    Now we talk about the sub.and how we need to ensure that what we do with the sub locally is sustainable and actually benefits. Later we can move into the Gowinds, AV8, and others.

  58. …. – “It is something we cannot discuss in its entirety in just 1 topic”

    Well I’ll keep it simple and short

    – If the army has an operational need for 6x6s that’s what it should get. Not AV-8s merely to keep the production line open. An order for AV-8s can come at a later date. For me the question is will DEFTECH actually be able to offer any improvements (whatever they might be) to follow on AV-8s and to rectify any issues encountered with the initial batch?

    – Years after operating the LCS if the RMN for wherever reason decides that the something other than the Gowind design is needed; which is more vital : the RMN’s actual needs or continuing with the Gowind so BNS can recoup its costs?

    – Sub assembly. “If”assembling a future sub really leads to benefits that doesn’t come at the expense of the end user and taxpayer then yes it should be done. “If” India and Brazil are actually in a position to supply us with a hull and “if” they can do it cheaper and faster than the OEM; then yes.

    …. – “Now we talk about the sub””

    As of now a 3rd sub is a distant dream but yes we can continue to talk about it if you want. Of far note importance for me is for us to increase the potential of what we already have. Assets like MPAs and the LCS will increase the combat potential of the subs by working in tandem with them.

    There will also be a pressing need to upgrade the boats (e.g. a towed array and enhancements in other areas) as well as improving the ability to communicate securely with HQ and other assets.

  59. AM – “Especially in marine environments as salt will attach to water particles in the air.””

    The CNs suffered corrosion issues in the past. Whether this was because they regularly landed at Layang Layang is the question.

    AM – “This is not always possible- eg rounds for the main gun and small arms in the ship’s magazines””

    With guns like the Super Rapid and Bofors Mk1/2s ammo is stored in their below deck magazines for the duration the ship is at sea.

    With the L/70s ammo is only carried to the gun from the nearby magazine when the gun is fired.

    Pistols are kept in locked lockers in the AC wardroom and rifles/GPMGs in a separate locked magazine which is usually in an AC area.

    Portable humidifiers are commonly used in aircraft and although there are “climate controlled rooms” by and large most ammo is stored long term in AC buildings. AC is fine for ammo but not so great for electronics which in a perfect world would also be stored in “climate controlled rooms”.

  60. – ‘If the army has an operational need for 6x6s that’s what it should be’
    spending 2 rancangan malaysia budget for expensive 6×6 can be improved upon. I am writing my 2030 plan for the army, and it is a bit longer than what i have written before on TUDM, TLDM and MMEA. Basically with the current level of development budget (USD1.2-1.5bil x2 RMK) I am hoping that we can substantially increase the TD overall capability to operate on 2 theaters by:
    a) artillery recapitalisation and expansion
    b) artillery locating and UAV resources
    c) GAPU recapitalisaton and expansion
    d) mechanised and armoured force of:
    1) 1x Gempita Brigade consisting of 3x gempita Infantry battalion and 1x cavalry regiment
    2) 1x Armoured brigade (tracked) consisting of 2x Adnan infantry battalion and 2x MBT regiment
    3) 1x Mechanized brigade consisting of 3x HMPV infantry battalion
    4) 2x Cavalry regiment and 2x HMPV infantry battalion in east malaysia
    5) All 4 cavalry regiment equipped with gempita and JLTV
    6) 1 dedicated UN battalion equipment of HMPV and JLTV
    e) Enhanced ESM and electronic attack capability
    f) Enhanced cyber capability
    g) 1 each helicopter transport squadron in east and west malaysia
    h) 1 dedicated urban warfare infantry brigade
    i) pre-positioned equipment storage in east malaysia
    That is quite a big list, and the reason why we need to finely balance getting local assy, fully imported and used equipments.

    – ‘Years after operating the LCS if the RMN for wherever reason decides that the something other than the Gowind design is needed; which is more vital : the RMN’s actual needs or continuing with the Gowind so BNS can recoup its costs?’
    I am basing on TLDM requirement of 12 Gowinds but i don’t agree on the build timelines. As my previous writes, I predict TLDM needs at least 9 Gowinds before we move to a bigger frigate platform. IMO both is vital, and i feel that the Gowinds are a good fit for TLDM, compared to the Meko A100.

    – on the subs
    remember there is no Gowinds that is 100% build by DCNS. malaysian and chile subs are shared build by france and spain, with 1 each assembled in both countries. when we have our MPAs and Gowinds, yes we need to fully maximise them by using them as a system with our subs. comms we can improve by installing seafloor acoustic systems at strategic locations (like pulau layang2) that can be used as underwater telephones. active towed array? the scorpenes are already installed with advanced flank arrays. quite a lot of mods to install a towed array on the scorpene, as all other scorpenes are not equipped with it.
    http://www.mod.go.jp/atla/img/en/soubi_kansen/img2019_soubi_kansen01.png

  61. …. – “I am basing on TLDM requirement of 12 Gowinds but i don’t agree on the build timelines””

    I’m basing the fact that over the years the RMN’s requirements might evolve and this might lead to a requirement for a ship other than a Gowind. As such; things shouldn’t be holy writ and set in stone; if the Gowind at a future point doesn’t have what it takes for what the RMN needs; shouldn’t order more Gowinds just to justify the expense paid by BNS (by the taxpayer actually) to set up the production line and acquire IP rights. Priority must be on the end user and taxpayer – not short term national interests.

    …. – “MO both is vital, and i feel that the Gowinds are a good fit for TLDM, compared to the Meko A100””

    Given that both have a lineage from different decades and that both were from the onset intended for different roles; hardly unsurprising is it?

    … – “quite a lot of mods to install a towed array on the scorpene””

    Not really. The trick is to get a ‘clip on’ system than can be easily integrated to SUBTICs.
    A towed array will make a big improvement to a sub’s ability to detect contacts long range and complements the flank array and hull sonar.

    My mention of an upgrade was to highlight the fact that we should be making the needed investments in ensuring we get the best of what we currently have before embarking on other stuff.

    …. – “That is quite a big list, and the reason why we need to finely balance getting local assy, fully imported and used equipments”

    – Locally assembly must be done on the basis that it leads to long term benefits and justifies the needed investments. No point having local assembly if we end up paying more in the end, if the main benefit is that it makes company directors rich, if we have no economics of scale and if it’s more practical for the end user to source stuff from abroad (as has been the case). It also must be kept in mind that almost all of most of the components/raw materials has to be imported and paid for in foreign currency.

    – Off the shelf procurement must be made with a actual operational effectiveness/suitability in mind as well as factoring in how much something will cost to operate and maintain for the entire period of its service life. It should not be driven by political considerations as long has been the case.

    – Used gear must only be sourced if commonality is not an issue and if something does not get prohibitively expensive to maintain as it ages. We must also never assume (the services don’t) that just because others may have no issues operating something pre owned; that it’ll be the same for us – varying factors involved.

  62. @ azlan

    A ‘clipped on’ towed sonar array is a lot of hassle to use especially if the sub is maneuvering in tight areas. ‘Clipped on’ means when the sub goes out for patrol, it needs to renzevous with a ship that carries the sonar array, clip it on before moving on with the mission. The array will remain attached a few hundred meters long behind the sub for the whole duration of the mission. Then the reverse process needed when returning to port.

    Actually your points on the 3 types of procurement above are applicable to all. To add on local manufacturing. A lot of what we do in malaysia uses high percentage of imported parts. But still it can be beneficial and profitable to the companies that do manufacturing in malaysia with imported parts rather than buying off the shelf. Like gempita for example, it is a combination of many various parts from many sources, something even FNSS does not sell off the shelf. Compare our gempita and omani pars bought directly from turkey. Why IMO we have not seen the ingwe version pictured in turkey. Anyway just take singapore’s hunter IFV project as an example. Just a few days ago they have already signed batch 2 of the hunter IFV. If we want to justify local manufacturing, there should be follow on batches to maximise the sunk investments of the project. For the gempita, to maximise the wheeled platform potential (fast, maneuverable, self deployable by road at long range) , we should have a fully gempita brigade along the lines of the US army Stryker brigade. Why i think a batch 2 of around 200 more gempitas mostly in the IFV variant is needed.

  63. Example of how we can justify each type of procurements.

    local assembly/manufacturing of gempita.
    – unique specifications for malaysia
    – to manufacture about 500 units overall
    – to equip 3x mech infantry battalion and 4x cavalry regiment.
    – defence diplomatic relations with turkey

    Off the shelf JLTV
    – to get common specs, not customised
    – 1/3rd the cost of lipanbara
    – low cost, highest maneuverability and armor of any similar sized 4×4 armoured vehicle.
    – defence diplomatic relations with USA.

    Used australian blackhawks
    – as a trade/swap with our little birds
    – existing support infrastructure (to be expanded) and training infrastructure (in brunei).
    – lowest investment needed to get 2 squadrons worth of medium transport helicopters.
    – quickly reconfigurable to a gunship if needed.
    – specialist firefighting module available, so we can fully utilise the blackhawks to control forest fires when needed.
    – to use for about 20 years before we move on to future advanced tiltrotor or multirotor vertical lift aircrafts around 2040.
    – defence diplomatic relations with australia

  64. …. – “A ‘clipped on’ towed sonar array is a lot of hassle to use especially if the sub is maneuvering in tight areas””

    A “clip on” towed array which can be reeled in and one that is only deployed according to operational circumstances …..

    Irrespective of what the penalties are; it more than offsets the advantages it offers. The key missing element is a towed array to complement the hull and flank array; each sonar having its respective merits ….

    …. – “If we want to justify local manufacturing, there should be follow on batches to maximise the sunk investments of the project””

    “Only” if the services have a clear need for them and “only” if the companies actually can offer improvements (whatever they may be) to follow on batches. Like I said : local companies must justify the investments made and offer added value; not just doing the same thing over and over again.

    What we must never do is to place orders merely for national interests and to force things on the end user – doing that is merely repeating mistakes of the past and is not utilising ours cash properly.

    …. – “still it can be beneficial and profitable to the companies that do manufacturing in malaysia with imported parts rather than buying off the shelf””

    The key word “is can”. We’ve had many well intentioned programmes that ultimately went rat shit – everything looked great on Power Point presentations and P/L sheets.

    Like I keep saying; the successful implantation of a programme boils down to first having the needed defence policy in place and to fully justify what is selected on various long term factors.

    … – “ For the gempita, to maximise the wheeled platform potential (fast, maneuverable, self deployable by road at long range”

    To really “maximise” its full potential goes way beyond adding new hulls … That’s the easy and simplistic/cosmetic part.

    For me; I would like to see greater investments to the army’s engineering, signals and logistical capabilities. Adding new things to the army’s TOE increases the footprint. More things to be maintained and more things that need fuel, lubricants and spares.
    Which is why – together with manpower constraints – a lot of thought and planning is needed every time we raise a new unit or introduce new gear.

    Combat units and their sexy head turning equipment are nice but ultimately they don’t operate in a vacuum and increase combat capability must also go in hand with increased supporting capability. Increasing the number of units also places added demands on the army’s signals capability and the ability to support these units in the field.

    …. – “Actually your points on the 3 types of procurement above are applicable to all.””

    They are applicable but it varies from country to country given the different requirements and resources countries have. These are points are also often overlooked; easy to get mesmerised and get carried away when making assumptions based on what looks good on paper and easy to screw things up when deciding to place priority on the industry as well as assuming that just because it all looks gear on paper and is – supposedly – well planned; that it will equate to the same in reality …..

    If we had really followed several criteria (which as you say is “applicable” to all) before doing certain things; we wouldn’t be in the rut we’re in wouldn’t we??

  65. …. – “xample of how we can justify each type of procurements””

    Like most or all of the plans/proposals/ideas you’ve presented; you place emphasis mostly on the supposed positives aspects. What about the non positive aspects?

    To make a proper assessment of anything – whether pre owned aircraft or ships or other things or local assembly – both the positive and non aspects must be factored in to enable an objective picture to be formed.

    I many not be as sanguine as you and very much more pessimistic about our ability to manage certain things well as the utility of doing certain things but there’s a reason for this and the reason is plain to see ….

  66. Am curious why we name the unit ‘Calvary’ regiment? Is it because it was supposed to be light and fast? ie. akin like the PARA regiment but without the jump badge?

  67. … – “– defence diplomatic relations with USA.””

    We train more regularly and intensively with Uncle Sam then we with anyone else and (contrary to the misconceptions some may have) it brings us great benefit in that we learn new things and we get to rehearse what we learn. On top of that there are also exchanges such at the “airman” and “sub” (our rescue ship is certified to work with USN ships) talks as well as other joint consultations/arrangements such such ship visits and MAF people training in the U.S.

    Getting JLTVs is great. I see a place for it in our force structure for roles such as armed recce, a patrol asset and to equip Pathfinder. The Americans are scaling down the number they planned to get as it was driven primarily with requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan in mind.

    Assuming it meets the army’s requirements (we cant assume it does) it should be a direct commercial off the shelf purchase between MINDEF and the OEM.

    Buying it however doesn’t add or contribute much to the bilateral defence relationship than if we were to get certain other things that requires a more comprehensive support/logistics arrangement as well as direct engagement between both services.

  68. A “clip on” towed array which can be reeled in and one that is only deployed according to operational circumstances.

    There is no such thing as a ‘clip on’ towed array thst can be reeled into the sub. It is called ‘clip on’ because it is needed to be manually clipped onto the submarine.

    Reelable towed array needs a lot of space for the equipment inside the subs hull. Something that is a premium, especially in a sub not designed for a towed array sonar in the 1st place.

  69. … – “There is no such thing as a ‘clip on’ towed array thst can be reeled into the sub””

    In the first place who mentioned anything about reeled “into” a sub?

    … – “Something that is a premium, especially in a sub not designed for a towed array sonar in the 1st place”

    You sound very sure but do you actually know or are assuming?

    From the very onset customers were offered a lift of options as to the size of the boats they wanted and the sonar configuration. Had we desired we could have added towed array as well as various other things such such as AIP, a cofferdam, towed array, etc. We didn’t go for a towed array due to financial reasons not because the sub wasn’t designed for one as you claim or because it takes up a lot of space.

    Also, upgrade proposals made by DCNS included the option for a towed array (amongst other things) which did not call for the lengthening of the hull to accommodate the towed array.

    Promotional material offered by DCNS also made very clear that the sonar configuration offered to potential customers for all variants of the Scorpene included a towed array and a DCNS man I asked in Singapore confirmed it had been offered but was discounted to keep prices down ….

    Heri- “Am curious why we name the unit ‘Calvary’ regimentl”

    Before they were motorised; they were on horses. The “cavalry” term is to signify lineage and preserve tradition.

  70. Azlan “A “clip on” towed array which can be reeled in and one that is only deployed according to operational circumstances.”

    … “There is no such thing as a ‘clip on’ towed array that can be reeled into the sub. It is called ‘clip on’ because it is needed to be manually clipped onto the submarine.”

    There indeed is no such thing as a clip on that can be reeled- for submarines. A clip on towed array is one that is secured to and towed behind the towed body or fish of a variable depth sonar. These are deployed, recovered and pulled at the desired depth in like fashion to a VDS with the existing reeling mechanism. Alternatively a towed array can have its own dedicated reeling mechanism and as such wouldn’t be a clip on.

    Though the first towed arrays deployed on submarines were clip ons, I would think the usage has long stopped.

    The easier way was for the sub to leave port without it. A boat would bring the array and tow line, which were attached before the sub went on. The harder way was for the sub to leave port with the array and tow line temporarily stored in a crew space, stop somewhere and pass them out through a hatch, and manually attach them. The process was reversed before the sub returned to port. There was no on board reeling mechanism so it was done by hand.

  71. “Am curious why we name the unit ‘Calvary’ regiment? Is it because it was supposed to be light and fast? ie. akin like the PARA regiment but without the jump badge?”

    It differs from army to army. In some the name denotes a distinct type of unit with its own role. Some are anything but light. In others it is purely traditional.

    Wonder how ours came to acquire the name.

  72. There are a lot of comments about the Gowind/LCS – it is just a hull. In order to maximise the lifetime a refurbishment of the hull as well as the systems ie CMS, fire control radar, missile systems, etc. is probably more important to budget than keeping assembly line open for more hulls? Else we end with frigates that have unsupported and obsolete systems.

    I have said before the 15-5 plan is even better if the systems are standardised, 1 CMS, 1 type of radar, 1 type of SSM, 1 type SAM, etc. We can change the hulls whenever we like as long as the systems are compatible, and we benefit from economies of scale from training, parts, shared manpower, etc. Otherwise it is like a garage full of kereta sports bikin like we see in the movies.

    Reply
    Then people will complain that only one set of vendors will make the money

  73. AM – “Wonder how ours came to acquire the name””

    The unit underwent various name changes from the time it was first raised (at one point it was the “Federation Recce Regiment” – lineage goes back to “Templar’s 12) by the British and ultimately it was given the “cavalry” designation.

  74. AM – “Though the first towed arrays deployed on submarines were clip ons, I would think the usage has long stopped””

    Some were on pods. Like the ones on the Soviet Victor.

    AM – “It is called ‘clip on’ because it is needed to be manually clipped onto the submarine””

    Indeed. “Clip on” in the sense that it’s attached or “clipped” onto the sub but the actual array when reeled in does not enter the sub’s hull.

    AM – “Alternatively a towed array can have its own dedicated reeling mechanism and as such wouldn’t be a clip on.””

    How would you define CAPTAS?
    It’s “clipped” to the hull of the ship correct? And it’s reeled in.

    The biggest issue with towed array (whether on ships or subs) is that when it’s deployed and reeled in; it makes noise. Another issue is when the ship or sub has to make a sharp or violent turn; contact from the array is momentarily lost until it gets back into position.

  75. Cavalry and calvary are 2 distinct discriptors! One is of a military kind, another is of a religious kind!

    Our Kor Armor Diraja was called as such only after 1986. Before it was Kor Kavalri Diraja, and before that the Kor Peninjau Persekutuan.

    The 1st to 4th regiment Kor Armor Diraja is not officially discribed as cavalry, but that is what it is, a force fighting mounted on armoured vehicles.

    A detailed discription of modern cavalry unit (from wiki)

    In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still often used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles. These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of the disposition of the main body of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, retreat, restoration of command and control, deception, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, linkup, breakout operations, and raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is generally filled by units with the “armored” designation.

    Our 11th regiment Kor Armor Diraja, with its PT-91M and Adnans, is what we can discribe as an armoured unit.

    As for the enlargement of the KAD, my idea is just to increase it by additional 1 regiment only to 2030, something that should not overwhelm our current logistical and opex. For KAD this would entail:
    2x cavalry regiment in west malaysia (1 with the gempita brigade)
    2x armoured regiment in west malaysia (1 new regiment)
    2x cavalry regiment in east malaysia (1 transferred from west malaysia to sabah)
    Plus pre-positioned equipment in east malaysia.

    Having pre-positioned equipment reduces the need (but not completely eliminate) for urgent heavy equipment transfers (that would partially require amphibious ships) from west to east malaysia.

  76. ” How would you define CAPTAS?
    It’s “clipped” to the hull of the ship correct? And it’s reeled in. ”

    Captas is a reeled variable depth towed array sonar. It is not a clipped on type.

  77. “Then people will complain that only one set of vendors will make the money”

    I know. But those people only want to see their garage full of kereta sports bikin. Most of us want to see a professional, well equipped armed forces.

  78. …. – “KAD, my idea is just to increase it by additional 1 regiment only to 2030””

    I would like to see an expansion and improvement in the engineering, transport (in the form of low loaders) and signals elements organic to that unit; as well as the future possible attaching of an artillery regiment.

    … – “Having pre-positioned equipment reduces the need (but not completely eliminate) for urgent heavy equipment transfers (that would partially””

    The raising of the 5th division goes a long with in reducing the level of men and equipment that would needed to be rapidly transferred West to East.

    For East Malaysia a live range that can accommodate 155mm is needed; little sense in building up our combat capability there (including a 155mm capability) if troops can conduct live fire.

    Long term contingency planning has traditionally been centred on rapidly moving things West to East; driven by the possibility of threats from the Philippines and Indonesia. Geopolitically things have evolved. Hence our traditional need for things to be air lifted – never mind that the actual air capability might not be there when needed.

    Given how things have changed over the decades; we could even end up with a situation where we need to urgently move men East to West (as it might of our units are not up to authorised strength).

    …. – should not overwhelm our current logistical and opex””

    It might not “overwhelm” it but it will still create additional strain on existing resources and will take time; not to mention getting the manpower which has to come from somewhere.. Extra things to be transported, maintained and parts to be stockpiled.

  79. …. – “Captas is a reeled variable depth towed array sonar. It is not a clipped on type””

    So it’s modular but not “clipped” onto the ship’s hull and the array is reeled in after use.

    I would be very surprised if indeed the array offered for Scorpene or anything for matter can’t be reeled as that brings along various disadvantages with it.

    Encik – “
    April 25, 2020 at 11:57 am
    There are a lot of comments about the Gowind/LCS – it is just a hull””

    And that hull might not meet the end users requirements in the future. Which is why; if needed we have to go for another hull. Not ordering more hulls of the same merely to benefit BNS.

    Encik -“ Most of us want to see a professional, well equipped armed forces“

    Also want we can afford to sustain. Not one we can’t afford to sustain because cash is being spent the wrong way because of projects that ostensibly are intended to benefit but in reality are a total waste of cash and resources and doesn’t deliver the desired capability.

  80. Azlan “Some were on pods. Like the ones on the Soviet Victor.” “Indeed. “Clip on” in the sense that it’s attached or “clipped” onto the sub but the actual array when reeled in does not enter the sub’s hull.”

    I’m not the one who said a reeled towed array has to enter the hull. However such a podded system does not meet the definition of a clip on.

    The definition of a clip on is a removable linear hydrophone array that comes in its simplest linear form (hydrophones, vibration isolation and towing attachment in that order) and must be manually attached when one wants to deploy it. It does not have its own reeling mechanism. A given system can be modular or removable as a whole, but will not necessarily be a clip on.

    “How would you define CAPTAS? It’s “clipped” to the hull of the ship correct? And it’s reeled in.”

    CAPTAS is not a towed linear hydrophone array nor a clip on. It is a variable depth sonar with hydrophones contained within a towed body or “fish” that is towed at the desired depth. A VDS has a tow line and a reeling mechanism.

    If you want to equip a surface ship with a towed linear array, you can get one with its own tow line, fish and reeling mechanism independent of any VDS. Or if your ship has a VDS, you can get a clip on model and manually attach it to the VDS’s fish when you want to deploy it.

    The USN had frigates with and without VDS aboard. When it was decided to equip them with towed linear arrays, the same array was produced and deployed in both forms.

    Early USN submarines had clip ons in the days before reeled systems were available. They couldn’t be reeled in and were towed for the duration of the sub’s mission, whether the sub was using them or not, unless the sub surfaced and did it by hand. Usually they were attached after leaving port and removed before returning, by the processes I described earlier.

    The array being about a mile long, there was the danger of the array being damaged or lost if it was dragged on the bottom, so it kept the sub above certain depths or out of shallow waters altogether. Or being cut and recovered by Soviet intelligence ships if they could.

  81. @ azlan

    ” I would like to see an expansion and improvement in the engineering, transport (in the form of low loaders) and signals elements organic to that unit; as well as the future possible attaching of an artillery regiment. ”

    The 3 brigades will form the malaysian armoured division. 155 wheeled SPH and UAV elements will be attached to the division, as is engineering elements.

    Why it is important to have a gempita brigade is to enable the whole brigade to self deploy its gempitas without using lowloaders. As is the HMPV brigade and also mechanized and cavalry units in east malaysia. Instead of transporters, what we need for these units are actually recovery vehicles like the volvos we recently aquired. Each brigade should have at least a dozen of these recovery vehicles.

    Then all tracked unit will be put under 1 brigade, to maximise the advantage of tracked vehicle and rationalize logistical elements associated with tracked vehicles.

    Why i say it is impossible for me to explain all my ideas now, and i still need to finish writing it. It will span like half a dozen articles to even explain in general what i am thinking of for my army 2030 plan.

  82. …. – “n. 155 wheeled SPH and UAV elements will be attached to the division, as is engineering elements””

    That is the traditional but not always most effective way of doing things. It is also the conservative way.. It’s one thing having engineering elements placed at divisional level (as you mentioned) but another profoundly different thing having those elements placed where they are needed and having regular training with units intended to be supported.

    I would much prefer for sub units to be under the peacetime administrative and operational control of a higher HQ “but” with the needed mechanism, doctrine and administrative means actually having self contained “brigades”, “battlegroups” or “composite” brigade sized units; which have all the needed combat and supporting elements under one CO.

    Having units and sub units under a divisional HQ is fine but in actual reality our main element of manoeuvre remains the brigade. A division will be to unwieldy to be deployed as a whole and whatever supporting elements organic to the division will be insufficient to begin with. Structuring things at a lower level ensures better overall efficacy and makes things more manageable( in line with our actual threat perceptions and possible natures of conflict likely to be faced.

    …. – “Why i say it is impossible for me to explain all my ideas now, and i still need to finish writing””

    I think at this point most of not all of us here have a pretty good idea as to what you propose.

    As for me; at the risk of sounding pedantic; before we raise new combat formations we also have to pay attention to their supporting arms; without which those combat formations will be unable to operate effectively.

    Unsurprisingly most people pay attention to combat units; forgetting or overlooking the fact that these units don’t operate in isolation. Raising another AV-8 regiment is sound on paper but to be a able to operate effectively this regiment would also require effective engineering, logistical and signals support and all elements have to train regularly to acquire, refine and maintain the needed skill sets.

    It goes way beyond just buying the IFVs which is the relatively easy part.

    There is also the human element; the “frontliners” so speak; as well as the staff elements and the people needed to maintain all the gear operated by the unit. The manpower has to come from somewhere. There is also the question of what is the unit’s actual rifle strength and what ratio will there be between “frontliners”/HQ, support elements.

  83. P.S.

    I would rather have smaller self brigades with the needed combat power and needed supporting rather than a bigger division which will be harder to deploy and which to begin with will have insufficient organic assets to support more than 2 brigades simultaneously (at a stretch) and only in a non high intensify scenario. These brigades will not only provide us better results but will more sustainable (whether financial or resource wide) than divisions.

    Look up Grau’s latest book – “The Russian Way Of War” –
    at how the Russians have made organisational changes to better cope with what they are likely to face. A Russian “Tactical Battalion Group” has more organic artillery and MLRS than divisions in most or not all other armies and is far more practical to deploy than a division which of course the Russians are maintaining.

  84. @ azlan

    I did not say the whole division is to be deployed as one. I our context it is impossible. My aim is for the gempita brigade to be able to be deployed as a whole, as the first responder mechanized brigade. The advantage of a fully gempita brigade is that it can fully exploit all the advantage of a wholly wheeled brigade without being bogged down by tracked elements.

    Getting a wholly gempita brigade does not need any new units to be created. Actually to create the armoured division, only 1 new KAD regiment to be created. 2 existing adnan/mifv unit converted into gempita, 1 existing infantry battalion converted to mechanized adnan.

    Right now we have 1 gempita and 3 adnan/mifv mechanized battalions. My plan is to have 3 gempita and 2 adnan mechanized battalions. Plus 5 more battalions with HMPV. All are existing infantry battalions. Extra adnan/mifv to be pre-positioned equipments in east malaysia.

    Anyway lets discuss this further later.

  85. …. – “I did not say the whole division is to be deployed as one””

    I didn’t say you did. I pointed out that various assets should be under peacetime administrative divisional control for obvious reasons but should be organised at a lower level for operational reasons. One way of better utilising our limited combat potential would be to make organisational and doctrinal changes and have self contained brigade sized units with various integral combat and support elements …. The limited supporting assets we have at divisional level are meagre to begin with (unless we are in a low threat low intensity conflict) but distributed at lower lower will be put to better use.

    …. – “Getting a wholly gempita brigade does not need any new units to be created””

    Getting a whole new AV-8 brigade is not as easy as just buying the vehicles. A lot of administrative/training/logistical factors comes into play. That is the point I’m pushing.

    You keep stressing on the cosmetic part (raising/converting units and getting hardware); I stress on the overall part as resources are limited to begin with and new equipment enquires training (especially for units who have no previous experience) and also leads to the need for increase support/logistical elements.

    …. – “Plus 5 more battalions with HMPV. All are existing infantry battalions””

    Whether the units are being issued with 150CC bikes or HMPVs they will require training to fully utilise these platforms. Compared to previously adding a vehicle also increase the footprint as these vehicles have to be refuelled and will require spares and the people to maintain them.

    As such it isn’t as clear cut as just buying the vehicles but also ensuring the unit has the needed support/logistical capability to handle these vehicles.

    …. – “Why we really need our 3rd sub ASAP””

    We need a 3rd sub to take some strain of the existing 2. It also increases (but doesn’t guarantee) the chances of us having a boat at sea at all times. This is to perform a variety of roles; not necessarily to deal with Chinese intrusions which are better dealt with by other assets; especially during a peacetime footing which we’re in now.

    Subs also are not and never will be a panacea; nor will they in the majority of cases be able to achieve everything on their own.
    Ultimately we also need to acquire other assets which can operate along the subs; all complementing each other. This is a lesson learnt from both world wars, from other postwar conflicts; still valid today. We tend to hear more about the sub per see but less on the other elements that enable one to get the best of the capabilities as sub offers.

    Correction – “A Russian “Tactical Battalion Group” has more organic artillery and MLRS than “brigades” (not divisions) in most or not all other armies”

  86. There is some confusion over definitions here. Maybe an exhaustive list of sonars will help:

    1. Hull mounted sonars.

    2. Variable depth sonars. May only be deployed from surface ships. Consist of a reel, a towing cable and a towed body that contains the sonar apparatus. Towed body may be towed at desired depth.

    3. Towed linear array sonars. [Have a vibration isolation component, followed by a very long string of hydrophones.]
    3a. On surface ships, can come with their own reel, tow cable and towed body. The towed body sets the depth and in turn tows the bracketed parts at the desired depth.
    3b. On surface ships, a clip on towed array comprises only the bracketed parts. It borrows the reel, tow cable and towed body of an existing VDS, to which it is manually attached.
    3c. On submarines, the bracketed parts may be reeled. There is no towed body. Deployed depth is effected by allowing those parts to sink.
    3d. On submarines, a clip on is the bracketed parts without a reel. It has to be attached after leaving and removed before entering port.

    Therefore
    “Captas is a reeled variable depth towed array sonar. ”

    No, CAPTAS is a VDS and not a towed array.

    “It is not a clipped on type.”

    Correct, because only a towed array may come in clip on format. A VDS cannot.

    “How would you define CAPTAS? It’s “clipped” to the hull of the ship correct? And it’s reeled in.”

    The mechanism by which a VDS is sometimes grabbed or clipped by the ship when recovered is not by definition a clip on. Neither is towed array in a pod such as on Victor or Akula class subs is not a clip on.

  87. @ azlan

    ” A lot of administrative/training/logistical factors comes into play. That is the point I’m pushing ”

    I am totally aware of that point you are raising. Hence why it is actually easier (and much more tactically effective) for the whole brigade to be riding on gempitas. Single training for all of the mechanized infantry battalions in the brigade. Less spares to be stocked and carried along with the logistical train.

  88. …. – “Hence why it is actually easier (and much more tactically effective) for the whole brigade to be riding on gempitas””

    Naturally the whole brigade would be equipped with mainly a single type. No one suggested otherwise.

    It’s equally important that we assess not only the cosmetic issues but also the al round aspects of what makes any unit combat effective. That is the point I keep stressing which you said you understood.

    We also need organisation changes rather than relying on the sane one we’ve adopted and hardly changed for decades. A good place to start world br with a couple of combined all arms brigade sized units with integral elements; rather than the standard way of having eggs under the operational control of a higher HQ and having them parcelled out when required.

  89. “We also need organisation changes rather than relying on the sane one we’ve adopted and hardly changed for decades.”

    We can make these changes even if we have no money to buy things. The trouble is finding the political will for it is harder than finding the funds to buy things. As things stand, there is little reason to be optimistic.

  90. “A Russian “Tactical Battalion Group” has more organic artillery and MLRS than divisions in most or not all other armies and is far more practical to deploy than a division which of course the Russians are maintaining.”

    “Thai artillery was outgunned by Lao 130mms”

    The Russians have always emphasized artillery. It was once said that western doctrine provides for artillery as a supporting arm for infantry and armour, while the Russians view infantry and armour as the supporting arms tasked with winning firing positions for artillery, locating and holding the enemy for artillery to do its work.

  91. AM – “ is some confusion over definitions here”

    Maybe but this started out from me saying that an ideal complement to the existing sonar set up on our subs would be a towed array.

    In reply to …. I pointed out that from the very onset DCNS was offering customers various options; options which included a towed array. Adding a towed array will not lead to any major modifications to both boats as they were designed from the very onset to have one. I also pointed out to … that a array doesn’t necessarily have to be reeled “into” the boat. The array offered for Scorpene was a self contained unit placed outside the hull.

    AM – “Neither is towed array in a pod such as on Victor or Akula class subs is not a clip on“

    No definitely not. It’s fitted into a pod which is welded to the hull.
    The array is deployed from the pod and is later reeled in.

  92. P.S.

    – We know our subs have a flank array but we don’t know for certain if it actually has a hull mounted sonar. What’s for certain is that a towed array would be a perfect complement to the existing set up.

    – The mine hunting sonar on the Mahamirus is described as a hull mounted on but the actual sonar is only deployed into the dome when used. When it’s not used it’s winched (if that’s the correct word) into the hull where it’s stored.

  93. @ azlan

    ” A good place to start world br with a couple of combined all arms brigade sized units with integral elements; rather than the standard way of having eggs under the operational control of a higher HQ and having them parcelled out when required ”

    Instead of having support units permanently attached to brigades, what we can do is to create an “army ready battlegroup”. Any units can be attached as required.

    http://www.armedforces.co.uk/army/listings/l0014.html

  94. ….

    The idea of having brigade level of sized units with all round interest combat and supporting assets is to ensure that they have the capability when needed and also do that the unit can train regularly alongside the various sub units that constitute the unit; sub units that will deploy and operate alongside with.

    Having sub units at a higher level is fine on paper but the risk is that these might not made available when actually needed.

  95. Our experience in Bosnia played a major role in how we later went
    about creating mechanised and armoured units and the needed combine arms skills needed.

    MALBATT (later MALCON) comprised infantry mechanised companies (KIFV) with an integral mortar platoon, ATGW platoon, signals squadron; as well as recce platoons (Condor) and medical, engineering and logistics elements.

    An all arms mechanised combined arms unit with all the needed sub elements under a single CO. It was something we never did before and the to use a cliche it was an ‘eye opener’.

  96. @ azlan

    On my ideas for the army, including a wholly gempita brigade. I think you have previously summarized my line of thought perfectly

    ” And I’ve long been saying that our policy of buying “a bit of everything but not enough of anything” leaves the MAF in a neither here nor there situation in terms of getting the desired capability and having the ability to actually utilise the said capability effectively …. “

  97. …. – “, including a wholly gempita brigade. I think you have previously summarized my line of thought perfectly””

    The difference is you’re emphasising more on the AV-8s to equip the unit.

    I’m emphasising on the parallel need to not only focus on the cosmetic part but to also ensure this new brigade has the needed arty, logistics, engineering and signals support;not only in the right numbers but also organised the right way to ensure they are there when needed and the unit has decent all round capabilities rather than being deficient in this regard and hoping they’ll be made available when needed.

    I’m also pointing out this it’s not just the hardware. We need to make new and radical changes in organisation to mitigate our weaknesses and to ensure we get the best in terms of capabilities with what we have.

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