Barrets, Expal and FCS

SHAH ALAM: Barrets, Expal and FCS. Back in the carefree days of October 2019, I wrote about the Army looking to buy mortars, light machine guns (LMG), sniper rifles (12.7mm and 7.62mm) and light anti tank weapons. Fast forward to this week we already know what light anti-tank weapons we are getting. They are of course the RBR 7 portable rocket launchers from Serbia.

A 10th Para mortar team firing an 81mm mortar. BTDM

As for the mortars – it is supposed to be 81 mm mortar complete with FCS and accessories include a carrier vehicle – we know it will be the Expal 81mm mortar and the Talos FCS based on a multi-modal transport operator (MTO) published on June 23. Interestingly the ePerolehan website has yet to announce which company won the mortar tender though it is already preparing to get it delivered here with the MTO tender.

An 81mm mortar could be seen exiting from the the mortar on an Adnan mortar carrier. I was told that this is the Expal 81mm mortar.

This will be the second time the Expal 81mm mortar been purchased by the Army, back in 1996 it bought 40 units through Nazarul Corporation Sdn Bhd, a local company specialising in military weapons. In 1997 Nazarul also supplied 24 units of M-86 81mm mortars. The company had also supplied mortar bombs – from illuminating and air burst 60mm shells to 81mm shell since 1993 to 1997. It also supplied some 2,770 LAW
from 1997 to 2000.

A sniper with 10th Para Brigade Pandura company aiming his Barret M82A1 12.7mm semi-automatic anti materiel rifle during an exercise in 2021. Note the Nyxus Bird LR hand held thermal imager used by the spotter. BTDM

As for the Barrets, we are getting 40 M82A1 12.7mm semi-automatic anti-materiel rifle as mentioned in the 2019 tender (which said this were sniper rifles). Apart from the Barret rifles, the Amry is also getting – likely 40 – German made Jenoptik Nyxus Bird Long Range hand-held thermal imagers. The large number of Barrets being acquired – at least to me – meant that the rifle will be the Army’s standard anti-materiel rifles replacing the South African NTW 20mm rifles purchased in the 1990s. The Barret M82A1s are already in service with the 10th Para Brigade Pandura (pathfinder) company, the GGK, Paskal and Paskau.

A sniper team with 4th Mechanised Brigade armed with an NTW 20mm anti-materiel rifle during an exercise in 2020. Note the two spotters, one with a thermal imager and a long range binocular. Three soldiers are needed for the NTW rifle. BTDM

The company which won the tender for the rifles and accessories is Rangkaian Bekalan Sdn Bhd. The LOA is RM12.735 million.

A sniper team from 10th Para Brigade with the AX308 7.62 mm sniper rifle together with the Nyxus handheld thermal imager. BTDM

As for the 7.62mm sniper rifle, another MTO tender showed that the weapon selected as the Accurracy International AX308 sniper rifle. Also to be shipped are the Jenoptik Nyxus Bird long range hand held thermal imager. As the Army already operated the AX308 and its predeccesor AW308 sniper rifles, the selection of the weapon is academic really.

A soldier preparing to fire the FN Minimi, the standard LMG of the Army. BTDM

Unfortunately checks on the eperolehan website showed that the LMG tender has not been decided. Hopefully it will go straight to the MTO tender as the mortar one.

— Malaysian Defence

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